Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Thinking Outside the Box...

I have two examples of "thinking outside the box" that I'd like to share with you...

Some traditions in our family are meant to be kept, like putting on a nativity play every Christmas Eve and sharing spiritual thoughts about the Savior, but it's fun to see other traditions evolve and adapt to family circumstance and change. You might know that my husband and I have seven children, but our family has grown in the last seven years to include five more children (in-law) and seven grandchildren. Several years ago after buying the many items to fill stockings for our children and children-in-law that were going to be with us that Christmas, I saw the writing on the wall. That year I had spent way too much money on too many little items of little significance or consequence to fill umpteen stockings! I realized with each passing year and the addition of more children-in-law on a regular bases, this tradition of filling Christmas stockings for our children needed to be revamped. The next year I decided to use the money I would spend on many insignificant little stocking stuffers for each stocking (those little gifts add up!) to buy one meaningful gift. I bought just enough presents for each of the adult children that was going to be at our home that Christmas Eve. After the nativity play and spiritual thoughts that Christmas Eve and after grandkids were nestled in their beds, our children and children-in-law gathered in our family room for this new tradition. It has become one of our all-time favorite Christmas traditions.

We run this tradition much like a "white - elephant" game. As I said, my husband and I buy one nice present for each of the children there that evening. Then we draw numbers and the person who picks #1, chooses a present and unwraps it. Then the person who draws #2, can either pick the present that #1 opened or choose another from the pile. Each gift can only be traded three times. This goes on until the last person is finished, and then #1 gets one last chance to keep the gift he has or choose one from another person in the room. These gifts are really fun to buy because you can get very creative. We have had massaging pillows, restaurant and movie tickets, cash (wrapped so no one can tell just how much money is really there), best selling books, redeemable airline points for tickets, and many more fun, creative expressions of love! Every member in our family has the "competitive" gene, so this activity ends up being filled with laughter and fun! (Last year we had to instigate a new rule that no "alliances" could be formed before or during the game.) The moral of this story is that sometimes it's good to "think outside the box" when you revamp an old Christmas tradition into something more suitable for your current time and place.

Here's another example ... Yesterday I decoupaged a couple of boxes for this year's "white elephant" tradition. I have a few gift cards that needed a cute place to reside, so I whipped up some more colorful boxes. I love the traditional colors of red and green for Christmas, but this year I'm using lime green and bright red to wrap presents in, so I bought some scrapbooking paper to reflect those colors for these decoupaged boxes. I made some traditional looking boxes a couple of weeks ago, but I thought you might like to see a different twist on these paper mache decoupaged boxes. (Click here for instructions.) It's my second example of "thinking outside the box!"

Happy Holidays!
Brrrrr. It's so cold in Colorado.
Last night it was -20 degrees with the wind chill.
Try to keep warm wherever you are!

I've linked to "Show & Tell" at Blue Cricket Design.
Check it out to see more creative posts!