Christmas Light Basket

Christmas Light Basket

Finished product

This picture does not do this basket justice.  It really is beautiful. Beautiful, and super easy to make. This one took about forty five minutes. It would be a fabulous gift and would be a great addition to your Christmas decorations because it adds light and a festive atmosphere wherever you put it. It can be simple, made with just a few objects, or a fun and light-hearted basket with children in mind. You could use lots of colors and ornaments with a theme in mind. These baskets make wonderful “solo” decorations for a college dorm, apartment, grandma’s house, retirement center, small apartment or office even a hospital room. If you make them as gifts, you’ll definitely on the “good list”

Plug in your glue gun so it can heat up while you stuff the basket. To begin, simply loosely roll up a paper grocery bag and push it into the basket to form a mound.

Christmas Light Basket

Pinecones and Lights

Next, begin gluing pinecones to the mound in the basket. Place them 1-2 inches apart until they have filled the basket. Leaving the plug side of the lights outside the basket, begin to wind the lights around the pinecones. Don’t worry about it looking perfect or completely filled in because you will be adding pine pieces and ornaments and berries to fill in.

Christmas Light Basket

Add Tree Branches


Now just cut your pine boughs off the wreath and glue them in strategically around the pinecones and lights. Add berries, ornaments, bells, small wooden toys…the possibilities are endless with themes and colors you may pick.

Make one. I make one for someone every year. It’s fun, fast, and easy. Try it. Make it merrily.


“Pitcher This” as a Thank You Idea

While snapping pictures for another post, my cute neighbor, Sarah was working on a thank you gift for a woman who had helped her with a girl’s camp. She gave us a “Yoo hoo” and handed it over the fence. Ahhh! Pre-made post, no waiting. Thank you, Sarah and check back with me in a few weeks please. (I’ll be waiting by the fence with my arms open).

Maybe every month or so we should write an idea for a “thank you”.  It seems I’m always in someone’s debt and a good thank you idea is never a bad idea.

This darling “thank you” is a pitcher full of fresh lemons, a wooden spoon, a cute dish towel and a recipe for homemade lemonade.  Who could resist? I’m puckering.

       Homemade Lemonade:

  • 1 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice

In a small sauce pan, combine sugar and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve sugar.  Allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate till chilled. Remove seeds from lemon juice but leave pulp.  In pitcher stir together chilled syrup, lemon juice and the remaining 7 cups of water.




Don’t Blow It All

Having a hard time coming up with fun birthday gift ideas?  Well look no further, this gift is a way to give  cash without looking like you dug through your purse on the way to the party.  You know…when your birthday “card” is an envelope from the bank and you drew a smiley face or birthday balloons on it with a ballpoint pen.  This gift is a step above that with not much more effort.  It’s a “one size fits all” present.

I don’t know if you’re familiar with the comedian Jim Gaffigan, but his routine on birthday gifts is HILARIOUS!   It’s worth a search.  Here is a quote from Jim on birthdays:

“It can be hard to give a gift.  I can’t believe we’re still giving clothing as a gift, because whenever you get clothing as a gift you open it up and think… ‘not even close.’  And the person who gives it, is like: ‘you can take it back if you don’t like it.’  That’s all right, I’ll just throw it out.  Really. Don’t give me an errand.   ‘Happy birthday.   Why don’t you head to the mall for me and pick up my dry cleaning while you’re there”?

Did you ever get a candle as a gift? ‘Hey, thanks… You know I have electricity right?  Just tell me if my house stinks”.  Ha. Ha.  ( I however, appreciate a good smelly candle).

The materials for this birthday present couldn’t be more simple.  All you need is an empty Kleenex box.   Oh and cash.   Dollar bills.  Tape the dollar bills together end to end with Scotch tape.  Obviously the more dollar bills the greater the “WOW”.  Stuff them in the Kleenex box with just one dollar sticking out of the box.  It’s fun to watch someone’s eyes grow wider as they pull out the dollars that go on and on.   Make a tag that says:  “Don’t “blow” it all in one place.  The End.  Happy Birthday.


Cold Hard Cash

When my children got older, it became more difficult to choose a gift when they were invited to a birthday party.  It was  easy when I knew every girl wanted a Littlest Pet Shop or Beanie Baby, and every boy wanted a Transformer.  But when they got a little older those in-between ages were perplexing.  You know,  it’s the age children can’t hide the let down on their face, but still manage a “Thank’s, I love it”. (Sigh)

That’s when we started the “Cold Hard Cash” present.  You only need a day’s head start and you can give a gift that’s lots of fun and a hit every time.  Find a freezer proof container and fill it half full of water.  Give it two or three hours in the freezer and then prepare the money.  If you’re using dollar bills, put them in a Ziplock bag, take out all the air and put it on top of the frozen ice.  Weigh it down with a layer of ice cubes.  Next, pour water on top of the ice cubes almost to the top of the container and put it back in the freezer.  If you’re using quarters, do the same thing but you don’t need to weigh it down with ice cubes.

When it’s time for the party, pop the ice out of the container and put it in a Ziplock and  a big piece of cellophane tied with a bow and tag that says:  Break open some “Cold Hard Cash“.

Make sure your kiddies remember to give the gift to an adult to store in the fridge until it’s time to open the gifts.  Try it.  It’s always a “hit”.