You are now looking into my closet where the Christmas gifts are hidden. If you have not been given an access code, shut that door right now if you know what's good for you.
If not, proceed
All right...for those of you who are allowed a sneak peak inside...
We didn't do that much of our usual dollar-store shopping run this year. I don't know if it's the discouragement over made-in-you-know-where stuff, or just that there didn't seem that much worth getting, or just that we had other ideas. In any case, the other ideas are turning out to be even better than we'd hoped. Obviously I'm not in on every present that's getting wrapped, but these are a few of them.
From Mama Squirrel, the Apprentice is getting a paperback copy of Up a Road Slowly (thrift shop), a vintage copy of Beautiful Girlhood, and a giant neckroll pillow that Mama Squirrel crocheted from several colours (cream, tan, white, lavender, turquoise) of yard-saled chunky-weight yarn and stuffed with leftover stuffing and quilt batting. (I started it last night and it was done by this afternoon. Squirrel paws work fast, especially when I know that The Apprentice is soon coming home from school and will be home from now through the holidays.)
From Ponytails, Mr. Fixit is getting a Daddy's Morning Drink Kit. Every morning Mr. Fixit sleepily asks Ponytails if she will kindly go over to the kitchen counter and fix him a tea or an instant coffee. Which she does. So Ponytails bought him a nice (thrift-shopped) mug, filled it with tea bags and instant coffee in baggies, and added this label: "Daddy's Morning Drink Kit. Ingredients: Tea. Coffee. Love." She was as pleased as all-get-out with it, and I think Mr. Fixit will be too.
Also from Ponytails, The Apprentice is getting a (thrift-shopped) fancy jar full of homemade sugar scrub, plus a fancy spoon to scoop it with, and a small piece of jewelry from Ten Thousand Villages.
The Apprentice got Ponytails her own makeup case with some toiletry items from the dollar store.
The Sunday School teachers are getting bags of Salad Toppers, decorated with fancy labels we made.
From Crayons, Mr. Fixit is getting a homemade book of her retellings and illustrations of Kipling's Just-So Stories. We used leopard-print paper to make a very cool-looking cover.
From Mama Squirrel, Mr. Fixit is getting two picture frames that are made to display LP covers. His request--one of those "yes I'd like them but don't tell me when you get them" presents. Half off at Michael's. Also a book about Captain Cook.
Ponytails, our budding cartoonist, is getting a set of Prismacolours, the fine-line kind (Michael's 40% coupon); and a few loose peach-coloured soft ones because she keeps using up all her peach-coloured pencil crayons drawing peach-coloured faces.
The Apprentice is getting a driver's-training handbook to study over the next while--and believe it or not, it's a fairly hefty chunk of change for those! No bargoons on driving books.
And the younger girls are also getting a small assortment of other things: a couple of Oz books, a couple of small Sculpey sets, a miniature boxed set of Benjamin Franklin's wisdom (for Ponytails), a toy cell phone so Crayons can talk to her imaginary friends (don't ask), a thrift-shopped Madeline Thinking Games computer CD-Rom, some chocolate, a couple of puzzle books, and anything else we come up with between now and Tuesday. Dollar stores may fail, but Squirrel imagination goes on.