And Sew, This Is Christmas… November, 2013

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In denial that Christmas is just around the corner?  Trying to figure out how to avoid the shopping madness this time of year?  Not  your holiday but still, you join in on the frenzy anyway?  {lol}  

However you refer to Christmas – Happy Holidays, Feliz Navidad, Merry Stressmas – there is no escaping this major holiday.  For many, Christmas is obviously a religious observance.  For some, the holiday is more of a tradition where friends & family gather for good cheer.  And for a small minority, it’s bonus time at work.  That can certainly put the Merry in anyone’s Christmas, no religious adherence necessary.  

But how to get creative with gifts and without busting the bank?   The fact remains that whether or not you celebrate Christmas, this is still the time of year when gift giving is customary, especially for certain people in your life.  The crossing guard at your child’s school, the guy who consistently pumps your gasoline (if you live in either New Jersey or Oregon),  your mail carrier, etc.  And if you do celebrate Christmas, maybe you’re scratching your head as to what kind of gift would be suitable – and affordable – for a number of people on your list.  A sewing machine, or even hand sewing, and access to the internet can give you some nifty ideas.   My focus here is on home-made gifts that offer a lot of warmth.  

Heating pads, therapy pads, neck warmers, hand/pocket warmers, sachets – whatever those scented rice-filled wonders are called – they make great gifts.  And you do not need to be a gifted artist or sewing wizard to make these.  I kid you not since I learned how to make different kinds by watching YouTube tutorials.  It was that simple.  

Some samples:   

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The above is a neck warmer with pockets; filled with lavender oil scented white rice.  The neck warmer is heated in the microwave for about 2 minutes (I also place a cup of water inside the microwave as well).  This heating pad helps to relieve neck pain or to provide some stress relief.  The lavender scent has a soothing, calming effect.  

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These are hand or pocket warmers.  Great if you need to be outside for a while.  Also filled with lavender oil scented rice.

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Use your imagination in gift wrapping (beyond my limited skills) and voila!

The internet offers a variety of tutorials and blogs on how to make all kinds of scented heating pads.  Note that they also double up as freezing pads which provides relief for headaches as well.  Here’s a link to the YouTube video that I found to be very helpful:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1sAMOC9CfE

Google your way around the internet for even more tutorials and blogs on how to put together these items.  It’s not just the sewing piece of it but mixing just the right amount of filler material might take some trial and error.  Hint, if you’d like to use crushed cloves as the scent for your filler, a little goes a long way.  Too much of the cloves and the scent is over powering!  No doubt, the more you view, listen, and read up on sewing different types of heating pads, the more tips you’ll gather.  And if you’re not an expert at sewing – as is the case for me – then I highly suggest trying your first heating pad on a piece of fabric that you won’t mind messing up.  You’ll see where your mistakes are once you’re done and learn what not to do for the ones you’d like to give as gifts.  Keep that first heating pad for yourself.  No matter what it looks like, you’ll use it over and over.  

Lastly, If you can make these types of heating pads as holiday gifts but have a lot on your plate, start now.  Not because they take a long time to make but because the process itself is quite relaxing.  A nice twist on the usual holiday stress.  But if you can’t make them yet like the idea, they are readily found in novelty and department stores.   Either way, they make great gifts that keep on giving.  People love them!

Enjoy the season of gift giving that is soon upon us.   In the words of John Lennon’s song – “So This is Christmas” – I hope you have fun.

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