Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas from the Keslers...2011

It's all here...a new version of the Crazy (non-)Target Lady, a little romance, some Ninja skills and wrapping paper sword fights, some impressive Broadway moves, lots of ugly Christmas sweaters, loads of ridiculous nonsense, plenty of "Jingling" and it all comes together with a big splash at the end. It's Christmas once again with the Keslers!

Wishing you the Warmest of Holidays!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Gift Exchange Part 4: Treasures that Tell a Story

I interrupted our Christmas Gift Exchange Themes series to address the Thanksgiving Holiday, but today I am back with the fourth theme that I presented over at Studio 5 last month. This theme touches the hearts of all who have received or given one of these types of gifts, as they are gifts with deep sentimental meaning. The theme?

"Treasures that Tell a Story"
In each of our homes, we have treasures or trinkets that are special to us or that have a story behind them. What a beautiful way to present these items to a family member in the form of a meaningful gift.

*Costume Jewelry:

My niece made these stunning displays for her relatives out of their mother's old jewelry when they passed away. She created the outline of the tree or shape on velvet with necklace chains and filled in with the assorted jewelry using glue like E-6000 and framed it. Aren't they gorgeous?

*Shadow Box Displays: Use trinkets and photos to create one-of-a-kind displays that hold fond memories of loved ones. This is a photo of my parents on their wedding day along with some random pieces of silver that I inherited after they passed away. It hangs above my pantry door, and I love seeing it daily in my kitchen.

*Recipes: Is there a family recipe that has been handed down over the years? What about making up a plate of the yumminess and writing up the recipe to be handed down once again? Pictured here is a version of my Grandma's Chop Suey Candy...(recipe to follow in an upcoming post!)

Recipe books also tell great stories of the meals and recipes that are important to a family. One of my favorite gifts was the year my hubby gathered all of my old, worn, misshapen recipe cards and printed them onto uniform cards and organized them into a binder that now sits proudly on the counter. All who enter my kitchen comment on it, and when they find out my husband did it for me, they are impressed all the more!

*Quilts: When my mother passed away, she had bags and boxes full of sorted and organized fabric scraps that she was sure she would use again someday. My siblings and I couldn't bear to throw them out! So instead, we began using them to create quilts.

We have laughed together as we reminisce about the fabrics we remember having dresses, prom gowns, or doll clothes made out of.

To date, we have made four quilts, and they have truly become treasures that tell many stories. Below is the beginning of the latest quilt we worked on a few months ago. It is always amazing to me how a few scraps of seemingly useless fabric can transform into something beautiful.

Of course, t-shirt quilts tell a terrific story as well, and can make a meaningful treasure. Never underestimate what can be done with old t-shirts!

*Photos: I got a little teary this past Mother's Day when I opened one of my gifts from my hubby. He outdid himself again with a simple, yet sophisticated gift that I love.

He gathered photos of my parents, grandparents, and children, and created a pictorial pedigree chart in Photoshop for me and had it framed. I love that my children can regularly see and remember who their ancestors are.

*Random Belongings: My sister inherited some old records from my parents that she and my other siblings listened to regularly in their youth (apparently, I was too young because I didn't remember them at all.)

She sent them to me after I talked her out of throwing them away, and I added painted clock hands and a battery kit. They have become unique clocks that are a reminder of happy days of my siblings' childhood. Almost any trinket can be turned into a treasure with a little imagination.

Whatever theme you choose, it is sure to leave your family with warm and fond feelings as you make some unique memories over the holiday season!

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