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CIJ: Retro Christmas July 27, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Christmas, Christmas decor, Christmas in July, family, Feelings, hilarious, life, memories, thoughts.
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I was watching the Christmas in July special they had on QVC yesterday and the day before. Yesterday, they had a special segment called “Christmas Memories” where they brought out all sorts of retro Christmas ornaments and decorations. While I don’t remember having any retro Christmas decorations, I thought it would be neat to have a retro Christmas this year!

Instead of putting up a big artificial green Christmas tree, I love the idea of putting up an aluminum Christmas tree with the color wheel! Mom told us about them and ever since that story, I wanted one! I thought it would be so cool to go retro for Christmas, but that also includes the tree! Every year, it frustrates us because we can’t get the lights to go the way we want. They’ll blink when we don’t want them to or they won’t blink when we would prefer they do. So to counterbalance all of that, I want an aluminum tree!

When I was little, Mom used to have this HUGE collection of Santas. I mean, there were a lot. They were given to her as gifts or she would see it, and say “I have to have it!”, thus ended up buying it. But a house fire in 2001 destroyed it all, including everything we had. So one year, Manders and I bought her this beautiful and colorful ceramic Santa that stood a little over 12 inches. Mom loved it. So she put it on a shelf. But one of the cats we had at the moment (I hope it wasn’t Smokie!) jumped on top of the shelf, where we thought they couldn’t reach, and knocked it over. It was broken into a million pieces. So one day, Manders and I decided to start re-collecting Santas for Mom. But this time, I would love to give her a retro Santa! It just brings back that magic that Christmas held close as children.

I don’t know if anyone remembers these, but way back when, they started making plastic Santas that you could put out in your yard and there was a light so Santa could shine. I believe they also had Frosty and Toy Soldiers. As I was watching QVC’s “Christmas in July” event, they had a Toy Soldier ornament. It brought back the image of those plastic Toy Soldier’s outdoor decorations and I thought it would be so neat, if I can ever find them, to snag 2 and place them outside. I know as older people drive by, they will be reminded of Christmases that features these outside their home. It would bring back a lot of memories.

I would love to buy all the retro Christmas decorations I can and just make on Christmas completely retro- down to even the tiniest decoration! I think it’s because it was a simpler time when Christmas didn’t mean the hottest iPhones or the coolest toys. It was about family and being together. I think most of society has lost that idea and I would like to see it come back!

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CIJ: OrnamentsWithLove.com Review July 24, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Christmas, Christmas decor, Christmas in July, Feelings, holidays, Home Decor, Product Reviews, Products, Reviews, thoughts.
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If you’re anything like me, you get tired of the generic ornaments on your tree everything Christmas rolls around. You want to add a little flair and personality to your ornaments, but you’re not exactly sure how. Did you know that you can have your own personalized set of ornaments just for $10 or more per ornament? Most places would charge you anywhere from $15 to even $90 just for a personalized ornament! But not OrnamentsWithLove.com!

OrnamentsWithLove.com offers over 700 personalized ornaments and a variety of photo frames and table decorations. Most of their ornaments are handmade from artists and companies all around the United States. Many of the ornaments are made from bread dough here in the United States. Others are made of wood, resin, polymer clay or clay dough. If you are looking for a specific ornament (i.e. a horse or a panda), then they have a lot to choose from. Unless specified, all ornaments come with personalization that you do right at ornament’s page. So let’s say you want to order the Cat – Grey Tabby Personalized Christmas Ornament. When you visit the page, all you have to do is type in the name you want for the ornament, the year, the quantity, and just press “Add to Cart!”. It’s very simple!

I love personalized items, especially at Christmas since it makes it so special for that person receiving the gift. I personally love the Twin category of the ornaments for obvious reasons!  I have no idea which one to choose! At first I thought Bronner’s had the best ornament selection but because OrnamentsWithLove.com has more handmade and personable ornaments that are just too cute for words, I think I may have to take that one back. OrnamentsWithLove.com has been in the retail gifts business for over 50 years! But in just the last 10 years, they have made it a priority to take what they know and apply it to personalized Christmas ornaments!

So if you’re looking for a few places for personalized ornaments but don’t want to spend a ton of money, I promise that you won’t have. They even have a category for items under $10 so if you’re trying to save money this Christmas but still want to show that special someone you care, you won’t want to miss it!

CIJ: Frugal Christmas Decorating July 21, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Christmas, Christmas decor, Christmas in July, DIY, holidays, Horror Movies.
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Xmasgiftcheap-main_FullOur family doesn’t do any major Christmas decor shopping. We simply cannot afford the huge Christmas tree or the collection of snowglobes. So we’ll decorate on a smaller scale while still buying Christmas decor to replace what was lost during the Summer.

If you’re not sure how to make those Dollar Store decorations work without looking like they were bought at the Dollar Store, there are numerous ways to make it look like you’ve spent a fortune without really having to do so! eHow tells you that if you mix a teaspoon of liquid dish soap with any metallic acrylic paint (craft paint), you can create your own snow color. Then, sponge paint pretty snowflakes on your windows for a shiny, old-fashioned holiday effect. You can also wrap empty boxes with colorful Christmas paper and stack them all decoratively in a hallway or living area. While the kids might think they are presents for them, explain that they may or may not be. The element of surprise!

You can also use nature to decorate. Spray paint pine cones whites for Holiday candle votives. You can use holy/evergreen branches to create wreaths, line a basket, or a hanging bouqet of evergreen branches. The children can help by sprinkling glitter while the paint is drying on the pine cones or even help gather the branches.

What my family does, to create an eye-popping door that reflects the outside Christmas decorations, we take metallic wrapping paper and tape it to the front door. We then take some ribbon and wrap it like it was a gift. We sometimes top it off with the inevitable velvet bow and sometimes we don’t. At About.com, you can use swag or even wreaths for a classic look. There are also tons of ideas for easy and frugal Christmas decorating!

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