When I was sorting through the Christmas boxes in the attic….at the bottom of a red tub underneath the silver reindeer and the glittered birds’ nests….
…..I found a book called, Simplify Your Christmas: 100 Ways to Reduce the Stress and Recapture the Joy of the Holidays.
(total aside: it seems a lot of title for a simplification discussion….but I digress).
I think my mother gave it to me one advent and profusely expressed my appreciation….and tucked it away at the bottom of a Christmas decorating tub…..
….never to be read.
Because….seriously….just between us….
…..simplifying Christmas was the furthest thing from my mind.
I….along with the four families who recently competed for the biggest light display ever on HGTV….subscribed to the theory….
….go big or go home.
But now….I’m older and 39 Christmas boxes wiser.
And my heart yearns for a little Christmas simplification.
The book had me at Chapter 1: Remember what you once loved about the holidays.
What I once loved about the holidays….when I actually say it out loud….it seems silly….and obvious….and simple….
….but I haven’t enjoyed it in a very long time.
It’s wrapping gifts.
You see…I always wait until the last minute. And then the stores are out of all the cute tags and I’m stuck with Scooby Doo or neon happy faces.
And then I run out of wrapping paper and boxes.
And I’m rushed. And hurried. And irritated. And all the fun goes away.
So this year….I stocked up and bought the cutest reindeer tags with silver glitter and black and white polka dot paper and paper that looks like faux wood and rolls of craft paper and I’m making monogrammed jingle bell toppers.
And when I wrap a gift now….it’s all about the simple joy.
Thanks Chapter 1.
Here’s how to make your own jingle bell monogram.
Monogram Ornament: Jingle Bell Style
needle nose pliers
Step 1: Choose your jingle bells
I made my monogram with a smaller jingle bell that came in a package of 50 silver and gold jingle bells.
My monogram is silver….but gold is a good choice, too.
Step 2: Begin threading the jingle bells
Start the monogram by threading one jingle bell with a piece of wire.
Using the pliers….loop it around and tie off.
One quick tip: you want to make sure your wire is pliable enough to bend to tie around the jingle bells….but strong enough to hold its shape once the monogram is finished.
Step 3: Thread the second jingle bell
Add a second jingle bell on the wire as shown.
Step 4: Thread the wire back through the jingle bell
Important step alert.
You want to make sure that you have the wire threaded back through the jingle bell a second time.
This holds the jingle bell in place and prevents it from moving.
Pull the wire tight and secure.
Step 5: Complete the jingle bell strand
Repeat step 4 until you have a length of jingle bell wire.
Step 6: Form your monogram
After you think your wire is long enough…shape your letter.
Print out a letter from the computer to use as your guide.
This allows you to adjust the length of your strand.
Once your letter is finished…tie off the end of the wire to the last jingle bell.
You could tie it on top of packages to be used as an ornament later.
It was so much fun to make….
….and to tie on top of a gift.
Chapter 1 was right. It did simply my Christmas just a little.
Although….I think I like Chapter 3 much better….
…it’s called “Stop Trying to be Organized.”
PS What about you?
What is your favorite thing about Christmas….and have you taken a moment to try it this year?
If your favorite thing is gift wrapping like me….
….here’s a little more inspiration from some of my favorite friends.
And here’s the winners for the Balsam Hill Gift Certificate giveaway.
All winners have been contacted.