Here's another great link to a blog called Freda's Hive that is sharing Great Ideas for a handmade Christmas 2009. The idea is that if you start now, you can do a little bit each month to have handmade gifts for your loved ones by next Christmas. Check it out, I'll keep the link on my sidebar here for future reference.
Another great link for getting ready for Christmas in a non-stressed way is Organized Christmas. They have great suggestions and plans for breaking down all the many tasks that are needed to do (mostly by Mom) to make our wonderful Christmas traditions come together. By breaking things up and working on it throughout the year, things are less stressful in December. This site as well has a great plan to follow to keep the housekeeping under control thoughout the year, and has a focus on simple living and gift giving that I like.
I know I'd like to give some handmade gifts this year, I haven't done that in a few years (probably since starting to work at the quilt shop ~ you gotta love deadlines). My mom often gives things that she has made herself, and they are always so thoughtful and from the heart to each individual. The ceramics that she did this year were really personalized to each person and their interests, which made them so special. To me that's what Christmas is all about!
"When you give yourself, you receive more than you give" ~ Saint-Exupery, Antoine De
Enjoy the Day!