Yes, things really are going so slow as to need no blogging. But my new years resolution is to do at least a weekly post, even when things are slow. Thanksgiving was awesome, Christmas was great.
So the last week of 2011. Hoping 2012 will be good, and not the end of the world, lol. Planning along the lines of seeing 2013 chime, and now that Christmas is over, time to think about next year.
Thinking in the Growboxhill way... waste not want not, work smarter, not harder, be self-sufficent as you can.
Make gifts. If you plan, and start devoting some time to making gifts now, by the time next year rolls around you can have all sorts of good things made to give away. Instead of having a mad dash running around spending a lot of money all at once, spend smaller amounts through the year picking up materials to make things, and take the time to make something for your loved ones. Spend time instead of money if you can.
Recycle and reuse. Planning making presents gives you time to say, save up all those glass jars instead of throwing them away to fill with homemade bath salts or flavored vinegars/oils or something like that. Be sure to wash everything thoroughly right away before setting aside, and remove all labeling that you can- and if reusing for consumption, use proper safety and sanitation methods.
Or save up other recyclables and make ornaments for everyone- this is especially cool to do and use the ornaments as gift tags :)
Another cool gift tag is christmas crackers- start saving your paper towel and toilet paper tubes now, and make up a bunch of them. Great way to utilize that tail end and odd cuts of gift paper left over from present wrapping too. Fill them with candies for a handy present to pass around the office, or as a "tipping" present.
If you know a Gardner that regularly starts seeds and has an eye into saving money on buying the plastic sets and is good with recycling, save egg cartons for them, styrofoam and cardboard. Plastic and styrofoam fresh mushroom tubs make good recycled pots too. Or use your print newspaper bits to make pots for them, and give them a whole box of them. If they are more DIY, get them a pot maker, and give it to them with a tidy stack of your newspaper bits :)
If you really aren't the making stuff kind of person. Start shopping for next year now, and stash goodies away. Keep an eye on sales and clearance items. If you take a trip somewhere, keep an eye out for cool local keepsakes to wrap up for under the tree.
The time is NOW if you are thinking about getting something Christmasy for someone next year, because the sales are on now. A lot of food entertaining items are on sale right now too, like crockpots and other party servers, entertainment dishes, that sort of stuff.
Things that are in Christmas colors when the color does not matter to you. For instance, silicone baking mats are usually fairly expensive around here, 10-15 bucks each for the regular white ones in the baking section. However, in the baking section of the Christmas clearance this year, I picked up a pair for 2.50 each- why? Because they are christmas green. They work exactly the same as the white ones. Christmas mugs and other servers make great gift baskets, and are good to get now. Obviously if you are going to be filling them with something perishable like a movie night kit with popcorn, or a mug filled with coffees, save the perishables for closer to gifting time.
Another seasonal thing to keep your eye on is the gardening department. Lots of stuff is on seasonal rotation, and it more expensive or harder to find in the middle of the winter, haha. Crafting supplies tend to run seasonally as well.