Easy Gifts in a Jar (Really)

I love Gifts in a Jar!
I hate that often
they are complicated, time consuming and expensive to put together.
So this year I've come up with some ideas for gifts in a jar that are simple, inexpensive, and fun!

Blessings in a jar- fill a jar with slips of paper containing inspirational words, quotes, bible verses, or anything that will brighten someones day.

Hot cocoa- fill with hot cocoa and marshmallows

Cookie recipe - fill jar with all of the dry ingredients from your favorite cookie recipe and attach a label with the wet ingredients needed to complete the recipe and cooking directions.

Rice mix- fill the jar with rice and spices. Attach cooking directions on a label to outside of the jar.

Pasta mix- same as above; Pasta and spices with directions on how to cook them.

Sugar face scrub- White sugar with herbs makes a wonderful facial scrub. Label the outside of the jar as face scrub with directions on how much to use.

Cake Mix - From a box with dried fruit, nuts, cinnamon, or your favorite addition to make it special. Or cake mix from scratch. Attach a recipe card to the outside of the jar.

Pancake mix - From a box or from scratch. You may want a larger canning jar for the mix and also to include a smaller jar full of syrup.

Potato mix - Instant potatoes with chives, rosemary, and other savory spices mixed in.

Oatmeal - Plain oatmeal with brown sugar and cinnamon or your favorite additions and directions on how to cook it.

Muffins - Muffin mix from scratch or a box. Anything from corn muffins to (dried) blueberry muffins.

Trail mix -m&m's and peanuts for kids or white chocolate covered anything and nuts for adults.

Beads in a Jar - This can be simple for kids or more elaborate for an adult who loves crafts.

Scrapbooking jar - Decluttering your scrapbooking supplies, buttons, small ribbon, stamps anything you do not think you will find a use for and give to a fellow scrapbooker or cardmaker.

Gardening jar - fill a jar with inexpensive seed packets. Tie a decorative or small gardening tool to the outside of the jar.

Once you have your jar filled top with the metal top or saran wrap, decorative cloth and the metal ring. And then decorate with any combination of ribbon, twine, rope, raffia, candy canes, a label, directions on how to use, small wooden spoons, and/or Christmas ornaments.

How to Tie a Christmas Tree to Your Car

If you are cutting your own tree either from a tree farm or with a permit from the national forest service and transporting it home on your car here are a few tips on getting your tree home safely. First of all my disclaimer: I am no expert, just a mom who has successfully done this a few times before. So please take every precaution, I make no guarantees, and you do this at your own risk. Now with that said, some things you will want to take with you are gloves, a jacket that can get dirty, a tape measure, a blanket or plastic, 1/4 inch or smaller rope or twine, extra rope or twine, a red "flag" and a saw. We have used both a chain saw and a regular wood hand saw and prefer the hand saw as most Christmas trees do not have that big of a trunk and my children love the thrill of cutting it themselves. When you find the perfect tree measure the height, width, and trunk diameter to make it will fit in the spaces you have for it. Most car roofs will handle a 6 foot or smaller tree with no problem. If you  are going for a larger tree you may need a larger vehicle. When you are ready to transport first check if the tree will fit in the backseat or trunk as these are the easiest ways to transport it. You will want to wrap it in plastic or a blanket to protect the interior of your car. If you need to tie it to the roof of your car first you will want to place a blanket or plastic on your car to protect the paint. Lay the tree on you car with the trunk (or stump end) pointed toward the font of the vehicle and the top (or tip) of the tree pointed back toward the back windshield. Then if you have a roof rack wrap rope around the the tree and through the rack several times till tight. If you do not have a roof rack open all of the doors and wrap the rope around the trunk of the tree and feed the rope through the inside of the car to the other side back over the top of the tree and through the car again several times and tie it tightly. You will want to do this at the base and near the top of the tree. Make sure the rope you use for this is no more than 1/4inch think, not nylon, and will not stretch. Twine is an excellent choice. Once you have tied the tree test that the doors will close and lock securely. There should be no slack in the rope and test that the tree will not move. Pull on the rope an tree and double check. Attach a red flag to your tree so it is visible to other drivers and drive slowly with caution. In addition you can tie the tree to your antenna base, loop rope around the trunk of the tree and then through your open car trunk and shut the trunk and use bungee cords for extra protection. Happy tree hunting!


The Woman Who Made Thanksgiving Official -Happy Thanksgiving

The author of "Mary had a little lamb", Sarah Josepha Hale, campaigned for 17 years to make Thanksgiving a national holiday, writing letters to five presidents: Zachary Taylor, Millard Filmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchann, and Abraham Lincoln. It was President Lincoln who finally officially declared Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863, more than 200 years after the Pilgrims first shared in this Native American harvest tradition. Sarah was born October 24th 1788. She was educated by her mother and an older brother who had a college education. Sarah married David Hale the day before her 25th birthday, and together they had five children. Sadly, David Hale passed away when Sara was 34. She wore black as a sign of perpetual mourning for her husband until she passed away at age 90. In her life Sarah was a school teacher, a poet, and an amazingly influential author. She also campaigned for the preservation of George Washington's Mount Vernon plantation. Sarah was also instrumental in bringing about completion of the Bunker Hill Monument. Today the Sarah Josepha Hale Award, a prestigious literary award, honors her memory. The Liberty ship #1538 is named in her honor. Sarah was 75 when she finally saw Thanksgiving become a national holiday.
(source: and wikipedia)

Simple accents for crafts, bridal showers, baby showers, home, decor, or gifts:

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