A Simple Christmas Gift

I have a confession: I didn’t know what Black Friday was until I dated my husband. Growing up in the boonies, there was no such thing as Black Friday. Prices were the same the day after Thanksgiving as they were the rest of the year. There was no online shopping back then, so Black Friday was unknown to me. Some of you avid Black Friday shoppers are probably shocked, but that’s the truth. However, this Black Friday, I was going to be brave and stopped at Target to find a bargain or two. I walked in, assessed the crowd, took a deep breath, grabbed a cart and started browsing the $1 and $3 section. Only to put my cart back and walk out the door five minutes later! It was too much. Couldn’t handle the bustle. Oh well… I tried.

Christmas is really about Jesus, and spending time with family and making memories anyway, right? I’d rather be able to do more of that and less time browsing crowded stores trying to find the “perfect” gift. 

After the Target fiasco, I decided to make gifts. Something simple. Perfectly imperfect maybe. I really enjoy simple, homemade Christmas gifts. Even the dish cloth Grandma crocheted can be appreciated. It’s the time and effort someone puts into crafting something special that counts. And if it’s either useful or beautiful, that’s an added bonus! 🙂 

A couple summers ago, I came across an ad on Craigslist for free wood. Someone was tearing down their old barn. And wouldn’t you know, it wasn’t far away! I excitedly drove my car over and loaded as much beautifully weathered Ohio barn wood as I could into the back of old Betsie. I didn’t necessarily know what all the wood would be used for, but I knew there were projects in the future where it would come in handy.

Like today. My simple Christmas gift. Totally doable on a cold, snowy day.IMG_0627I found a couple boards of varying width and used my saw to make them the size I wanted. Using gorilla wood glue, I made the cross and put a bunch of library books as weights to hold them while they dried for a couple hours. Then I looped jute string around the center, with just a little bit of hot glue on the back to hold it in place.

Christmas is about Jesus humbling Himself, coming to this earth as a baby in a manger (can you imagine?), and thirty-three years later, dying on a cross to redeem fallen mankind. What better way to remember what He did for me?

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“On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross, the emblem of suffering and shame. And I love that old cross where the dearest and best for a world of lost sinners was slain. So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross, till my trophies at last I lay down. I will cling to the old rugged cross, and exchange it someday for a crown.” (The Old Rugged Cross, by George Bennard)

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Easy Chalkboard Wall

This was an easy couple-hour project that has been fun for both my husband and I, as well as the kids. We’ve enjoyed doodling and leaving each other silly or sweet notes.

My sister has also been wanting to do a small framed chalkboard on her kitchen pantry, so I challenged her to see who could complete their chalkboard first. I won. My sister said that I can help her paint hers next time I come to visit. 😉

Our chalkboard wall is just at the top of the stairs in the playroom where it is handy to scribble something as you walk by. Or you can sit and stay awhile. DSC_4936 I taped off the ceiling and along the baseboard (such an easy way to cut in, I’ve found… even though the “experts” say you should never tape to cut in!) Well, it works for me.

The wall only took one coat with touch-ups in areas where the paint was sparse. *Update: I’m going to add 2 more coats. The main reason is to be able to erase easier. As it is now, I have to use a wet rag to erase adequately. DSC_4938Doodles!

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I found this fun little box at Tuesday Morning and thought it was perfect for holding chalk and an eraser. I might mount it on the wall…

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