It’s June and, yes, we’re already thinking about the holidays. Why? Because there are a number of things that, if you want to lock them in for the holiday season, this is the perfect time to do so - be it availing of better prices, or simply to eliminate unnecessary stress around the holidays so you can enjoy them to their full. Here are five things you may wish to order now by way of setting yourself up for a stress-free holiday season:
A CUSTOM ORNAMENT: If you checked out the “50 Great Gift Ideas” we shared this past holiday season, you might recall that we lauded Cindy Thurston’s lovely, hand-painted custom ornaments as a marvelous way to give a highly personal gift, depicting a home/place/person of importance to your loved one - a gift that has a high likelihood of becoming a family heirloom. You might also recall, however, that the lead time to order ornaments through Cindy’s Etsy shop, Heavenly Treasures, is fairly lengthy. Why is that? Well, she gets a lot of orders - and, she takes great care with each one. Before she applies the sealant to each ornament, she sends through pictures for your approval to make sure you don’t have any final little tweaks. Needless to say, the process takes a little while, but it’s worth it in the end. Consider this your reminder to get on those personalized ornaments now if you fancy giving one (or more) as a gift this year!
PERSONALIZED GIFT TAGS: Always admired the handwriting in centuries-old letters? Fancied taking a calligraphy class but never quite got around to it? You may wish to take a moment now to order personalized gift tags you can use for friends and family members. Check out BagOfTags’s printed cards (the birdie one especially caught our eye!), shoptwofold’s watercolor dip-dyed handwritten tags, MarleneMakes’ calligraphy tags, TheScriptMarket’s round and ornate tags, or Santa tags from PartyDesignsByPenni. Have a thing for vintage gift wrapping? You may also wish to check out SweetlyScrappedArt’s lovely, personalized gift tags from Santa Claus. We ordered a slew of tags from Emily Vincent (the talent behind SweetlyScrappedArt) last year - both customized and non-customized - and they really upped our gift wrapping game. If you like what you see, consider ordering now (or soon!) to avoid the holiday rush and stock your gift wrapping station like a boss.
VINTAGE HOLIDAY POSTAGE: Do you send cards at the holidays? If so, a fun/interesting way to change up your envelopes this year might be to use vintage postage. Many vintage postage vendors offer special holiday packs, or you can pick and choose by theme, be it Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, winter scenes, conifers and/or snowflakes. Alternately, assemble stamps that reflect what the past year has meant to you, or that are themed around things/places/people of personal importance. The possibilities are endless… And, now is the time to lock in a lot of those stamps, often availing of discounts or offers that might not be around as the holidays loom closer. There are many great folks selling vintage postage out there. Based on past experience, a few we can personally recommend include: VintagePostageShop, EnfieldPost and MailMaidStamps.
CUSTOM CHRISTMAS STOCKING: Christmas stockings are usually carefully stored and reused, year after year. Sometimes too they are even passed on to the next generation. For that reason, a personalized and/or handmade stocking can be particularly meaningful. If you fancy a stocking upgrade, or recently welcomed a new addition to the family, now might be the time to explore all the lovely custom options out there, getting in on the action before demand outstrips supply in the latter part of the year. We especially like the looks of looploft’s custom Christmas stockings, made from repurposed sweaters. They are brightly colored, cheery and customized with the initial of your choice.
CRAFT SUPPLIES FOR DIY HOLIDAY PROJECTS: Do you enjoy making your own holiday ornaments and decorations, or working with your children/nieces/nephews on holiday crafting projects? If so, chances are you may have encountered the perennial problem of seasonal supply shortages. Have you rolled up to the craft store only to find out that they’ve run out of all their felt? Have nothing left in red/green/black/silver/blue? Yep, now’s the time to anticipate what you might need this year and stock your crafting cabinet. Replenish your rolls of ribbon, take stock of your supplies of fabric, felt, yarn, thread, glue, rubber stamps, ink pads and so forth. Will you be wreath-making? Ornament decorating? Rubber stamping your own wrapping paper? If you need a little inspiration, check out these Christmas ornaments featured by Remodelista, these DIY ideas for Hanukkah ornaments from the Martha Stewart team, or these Kwanzaa ideas by Amber Kemp-Gerstel, shared on her blog Damask Love. Make sure you’re primed to tackle any and all such DIY projects by taking a quick inventory of your supplies and stocking up.
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