The Color of Christmas

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The colors of Christmas abound – and yes – we just got done with Halloween! I have been working hard since All Hallow’s Eve on a less than stylish head cold. But prior to taking refuge in my fuzzy robe and slippers, I was in Home Goods to grab some last minute candles. I was stunned, not to see Christmas every where but by all the people buying it! This is a big change from the last few years, watching shoppers milling about with set faces and empty hands. It seems as though there may be a change in the wind, but for many of us stretching our budgets to include everyone we want to remember can be daunting.

There is a silver lining to most dark and runny clouds – being under the weather is an excellent excuse to shop resources, and while it may be a bit early to talk about Christmas it’s not to soon to plan. I like small clever gifts that keep home on the list, and keep the emphasis on sharing rather than going broke. In that spirit I have compiled a list of creative ideas that bring the color of Christmas to all those you love, while streching your budget.

All these hand-made tokens come in at $20 or under; just click the links under the images if you want to visit the sources:

These handmade soaps on Etsy are stunning – the colors are gorgeous and the price is right at only $13 for a selection of four.

While trend-setters may have projected the horse as the accent theme for 2013, the buyers have spoken – or rather shouted “peacocks” from the roof tops. Like any band-wagon trend, you don’t want to hedge your design bets on a bumper sticker aesthetic – spend your hard earned dollars on something with an unexpected twist to keep it fresh. This wine stopper fits the bill and the occasion beautifully at only $15.

goddessglass10359 on Etsy – $15

$19 buys you a dozen 3D Summertime Peach Cookies. These scrumptious little jewels are butter shortbread cookies sandwiched with Chocolate Hazelnut Filling and Finished with Sparkle Sugar Peach Fuzz – almost too pretty to eat and a treat to receive!

 

Handmade Chocolate Marshmallows, 1 dozen – whimsyandspice – Etsy $6.50

These light and fluffy classic chocolate marshmallows are made with Valrhona chocolate and have an intense, rich flavor. Perfect for your favorite chocolate-lover to dunk into a steaming cup of hot chocolate or coffee. One order includes a dozen 1.25″ cubes (teacups shown are miniatures). A steal at $6.50 per dozen!

How about a tiny tree in a salt shaker – how cute for someone special’s holiday table story, or add a hanger and put on the Christmas tree! $18 each from Anthropologie.

$10 buys a bag of real butterfly wings! Just frame an assortment and you have one of a kind art for under $20 (loads of great frames at Target).

 

For only $13, kids’ walls in need of whimsy will love your gift! Want to add some whimsy to your wall? Portholes wall decals are just the thing to finish out a pirate, space ship, submarine, nautical or steampunk themed room. The porhole decal is 13.75″ in diameter, but Wilson Graphics offers over 1,000 designs starting at $3.50 each! Larger sizes are available as well on request.

An archival quality print for only $20! You won’t find that claim in your pedestrian store for $20……

A set of ombre spoons adds style and fun to any kitchen, and makes a budget friendly wall display at $15.

four ombre, gold tipped wooden spoons OhmeandOhmy – Etsy – $15

Melamine is a fabulous budget-enhancing trick for glass fronted cabinet display, and Mad Hatter Platters offers bright, unique and unexpected display plates that can pull double duty in your most whimsical table stories for only $18 each.

Fancy those French Macaroons for Christmas dessert trays? For $19 you can give someone their wish!

Each assortment contains up to 3 different flavors picked by you from the following:

– Magnifique (lychee, orange)
– Hypnose (passion fruit, chamomile)
– Rogue (chocolate, hazelnut, cognac)
– Strawberry
– Honey Sesame Pistachio
– Lemon
– Toasted Coconut
– Cafe Aguni

Finally, check out these collapsible vases – perfect and unexpected for office gift draws, or teacher gifts….

Everyone loves getting flowers – to complete the gift just reach into your purse and pull out a flat-packing flower holster (no I did not invent the name). It’s a collapsible, reusable vase for or and outdoor use! Its even recyclable—a green win/win – see for yourselves, I was amazed it stands up the way it does!

More Christmas Color to come, with some interim shopping suggestions as we draw closer to the holidays….