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Every single Christmas season I stress out and make myself ill. Between trying to get my work done, decorating the house for the season, keeping the decorated house clean, purchasing and wrapping gifts, making travel and accommodation plans, remembering mundane things mail holds and travel notifications for my bank card, figuring out what I’m going to eat while I am away from home with my dietary restrictions, finding someone to take care of our cats and then actually making a 2-day drive PLUS realizing the cost for everything, it makes sense to me WHY I stress out and make myself sick.
And because I’m such an enigma, though the season stresses me out, I absolutely love it. Giving gifts truly makes me happy. Decorating for the holidays is such a joyous thing for me. Baking cookies and helping make a gigantic meal for my whole family to enjoy together is hard work but also so rewarding. But most of all, I get to spend time with my family.
Since moving away from Oklahoma a few years ago I don’t see my family nearly as much as I used to. And I miss them pretty much every day. So when we can all get together and play games and watch movies and make crafts and do, basically anything at all, I often find myself both incredibly sad and incredibly happy at the same time. These are my people and I love them so much and I feel more like myself when I’m around them.
This year I have found myself in that same stress trap of trying to do it all and, yet again, I’ve made myself sick over it. But with Christmas less than 2 weeks away, I’ve made my mind up to knock this mess off. I’m not going to stress anymore over decorations or perfection or any of that business. Travel plans are made and paid for. Gifts have been delivered, though not yet wrapped because they aren’t even in the same city as me so that is something I literally can do nothing about right now so it’s off the stress table. The pets will be looked after and well taken care of. I’ve decided that I can’t keep the house neat as a pin by myself with everything else going on, and that’s just going to have to be okay. Basically, I’ve come to terms with the fact that things aren’t perfect and nobody really expects them to be but me.
And so, in with this new attitude of not caring quite as much, it only makes sense that when making gifts for neighbors and acquaintances and co-workers that we take a step back and make it simple and inexpensive. These DIY Christmas jars tick off all of the boxes I hope to fulfill when gifting. Because they are handmade (though not difficult to do) they are special. Because they are filled with the things I know the recipients will love, they are thoughtful. And because they are inexpensive to make they don’t stretch out my Christmas budget. Are you ready to see a super easy DIY gift that embodies my more laid back Christmas approach (albeit acquired very late in the season?)
Let’s make some inexpensive but thoughtful Christmas jars filled with the favorite treats of your friends, co-workers, and neighbors!
- wide-mouth jelly jars with embossed designs in the glass
- wide-mouth mason jar lids & rims (you can buy these separately if you’re raiding the kitchen stash & don’t have these)
- chalky paints (we used DecoArt Chalky Finish in red, white and green)
- gold metallic paint
- fine sandpaper (we used 180 grit)
- wood items like cut outs (like our Christmas tree) or candle cups to act as knobs
- super strong adhesive, like E6000
Paint your jars and give them plenty of time to dry. Psst – with paint that has chalky textures you don’t have to prime glass (or anything) how cool is that?!?
When completely dry use a fine grit sandpaper to knock some of the paint off of the raised edges from the jar’s embossed design.
Paint your wooden knick-knacks or candle cups to match your jar lids. Set aside and allow to dry. Glue the rims and lids tog Once dry, use a strong glue, like E6000, to affix the wood pieces on top.
Adorn each jar with matching, festive ribbon.
Fill with your choice of treats for an inexpensive and simple but thoughtful gift!