Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Gift Giving Philosophy: Want, Need, Play With, Read...and Give!

I came across THIS Christmas gift giving philosophy and thought it was worth mentioning.  More and more, year after year, we are realizing how unnecessary it is to accumulate stuff when there are so many folks in need in our communities and around the world.  And really, do any of us need more "stuff?"

I was thinking.  Maybe we buy a few less gifts this year and try gifting with this philosophy in mind.


Something You Want
Something You Need 
Something to Play With
Something to Read

Wouldn't that be more than enough for a joyful and thoughtful Christmas morning?
Spending time with my family will surely be the best of my Christmas day for sure.
Maybe we could take what we would have spent on other gifts, and instead...


And, let's get serious for a minute.
How about care for orphans?

We are given so much.  Can't we then give of ourselves even more?!  I encourage you!

Just a thought!


Linking to Its So Very Cheri

Christmas Mantel 2010: The Christmas Story

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I present to you our 2010 Christmas Mantel!
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So our house is small cozy.  That is totally fine with me.  We are a small family, and it suits us well.  I try my best to be content with what we have and not always strive for more.  But I must admit, there are some things I'd like to change.  Who doesn't want to do a little sprucing up of their home?  

As I share with you my Christmas Mantel, I also want to share that I am surely hopeful that someday, my mantel will have a makeover.  I'd like to beef it up, redesign the surround a bit, and flank it with two built ins.  I think it would go a long way in adding useable and beautiful storage and optimizing the large expanse which is this fireplace wall.  But because that is not going to happen today, or tomorrow, or before Christmas, this mantel will have to do nicely, and I will work every day to be content and thankful for the mantel I have.  And with that, let the Christmas story begin.

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So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 
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Luke 2: 4-5

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
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Luke 2: 6-7

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 
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Luke 2: 8

An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
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Luke 2: 9-12

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”  When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
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Luke 2: 13-15

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
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Luke 2: 16-20

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
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Matthew 2: 1-2

When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 
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Matthew 2: 10-11

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:  “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
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Matthew 1: 22

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Hallelujah! for the Christmas story and the birth of our Savior.
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I made stockings the first year we were married as a gift to the Hubbs.  Had no idea what I 
was doing.  But,  I did make a few extras for the twinkles in our eyes (our future munchkins!)


I used a rich, deep red corduroy for the sock portion and a burber type fleece for the top. 
For our initials, I found letter ornaments that would do the trick.  I haven't found the courage 
to sew them on yet because I always wonder if I will find letters I like better in the future..

 Some of our favorite Christmas stories to read as a family.  I've been collecting them over the years.

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Stay tuned for a DIY Wreath: From Faux to Woah! 
and a Pottery Barn Insired DIY Advent Calendar.

Also, our Christmas tree has made it's arrival.  Time to trim.  :)

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Blessings to you as you celebrate the Christmas season,

Linking to...
The Lettered Cottage   My Backyard Eden   BCD 125

Monday, November 29, 2010

GIVEAWAY Courtesy of CSN Stores...And A Few Thrifty Finds!!!


Are you ready to shop 'til you drop?  Okay, maybe not shop 'til you drop, especially if you like to shop online like I do!  :)  Shoot, give me a comfy chair, a cozy blanket, and a warm drink, and I am good to go...how about you?!

First, I noticed that we have a few more followers, and that just brings a huge smile to my face.  Thanks so much for joining us, and I hope you will enjoy the everyday hallelujahs we'll be sharing here!  Secondly, I am so excited to announce my very first giveaway...courtesy of CSN stores...just in time for Christmas. Yahoo for giveaways!  So fun!  Alright then, so let's get to it!

CSN Stores is graciously offering YOU,  my readers,
a $35 dollar gift certificate to use at any of their stores!

How great is that?!  CSN Stores offer great products ranging from toys, clothing, home decor, cooking and kitchen products, books, shoes, and the list goes on really.  There is surely something for you or your loved ones this holiday season, and really, who wouldn't love a free $35 gift?!.

Rules for Entering to Win
One restriction does apply: The user of the $35 Gift
Card Online must be a resident of the US or Canada.

You can enter this giveaway multiple times.  Just follow 
the 1, 2, 3, 4 below for a better chance of winning!  Yeah! 
  1. Be a follower of this blog, and leave me a comment telling me that you already follow along!
  2. Become a follower of this blog, and leave me a comment telling me that you are a new follower (I am happy to follow you back!).
  3. As a follower, leave another comment and tell me if there is something specific you would look for at CSN Stores.
  4. As a follower, leave a comment telling me your favorite holiday tradition.
That is three separate chances to win!  Go for it!

This giveaway will close, Sunday, December 5th at midnight!  I will then do a random drawing to determine the winner, and I will then announce the winner on Tuesday, December 7th at 7pm!  Who will the winner be?  Hopefully you!

Also, in an effort to be completely honest and fair, I wanted to let you know that I have several family members following this blog, and they have been so kind in supporting me.  My family has had a huge hand in many of my hallelujahs!  Because the winner of this giveaway will be chosen completely at random, I think it is fair to allow them to enter if they so choose.  Please email me at hallelujahs[at]gmail[dot]com if you have any questions for me.

Okay, enter away!  Woo to the hoo!

Oh and I wanted to share with you a couple of great finds from this weekend's thrifting.  The Goodwill was having a major sale...everything...literally...was 50% off.  It was awesome.  I totally scored!

This all wood, butcher block style kitchen island made it's way home with me...for $15.  Can't wait to clean this one up.  Think it will get a nice coat of white to coordinate with the kitchen or maybe a fun color to really make it sing.  Will have to think about that one...as I am hoping to paint the kitchen cabinets a crisp, fresh white in February for my birthday.  I also scored a couple wire baskets for organizing...and for only a dollar or two each...just couldn't pass them up.  A sweet white vase for 50 cents, a rotating picture frame for $2, and some candle holders for 50 cents each (maybe I will use them to DIY some cute plate stands) also came home with me.  I was definitely smiling from ear to ear!

Blessings and looking forward to seeing all the entries,

Linking up to...


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas Card Options...DIY and 50 Free at Shutterfly

Oh Christmas cards.  How I love thee.  There's just nothing like getting a Christmas card in the mail...nothing.  Will we send them sooner than later this year?  Better get on it! Of course, everyone has their own timing for this sort of Christmas tradition.  The first few years we were married, the Hubbs and I were all over the map in terms of sending out Christmas greetings to friends and family...both in style and timing.  I think one year, I even planned the whole Christmas letter and picture out, but it never got sent.  Go figure!  

Last year, we printed cards through Costco, like everybody 
and their Mom, but tried a little something different.

We used this picture in Picassa, changed it to black and white, 
applied the text tool, and wrote a message on the bottom.  

Costco offers a blank Christmas card option, so we uploaded this photo and chose the blank card.  In essence, the Christmas card looked exactly like this...no borders, no pre-printed writing...just exactly like this.  Voila...our very own Christmas card that didn't cost a fortune.  (Let me say I look at this now and think...gosh, I really could have spruced things up a bit, couldn't I?  Oh well, hindsight is 20/20.)  I suppose you could do this same process, print it as simple photos, and mail them out like postcards...but they would be a bit flimsier than the Christmas card option, so I'm not sure how they'd hold up in the mail.

This year, Shutterfly is having a promotion.  50 Free Christmas Cards for Bloggers.  Bloggers?  Hey, that's me!  Sounds good, thank you very much.  Is that you?  If interested, check out the promotion HERE.  I must say, I have had only stellar experience with Shutterfly in the past, having ordered two photo books and LOVING them.  I don't see how their Christmas cards would be any different.  Let's see, I'll link to some of my faves.  Let me know what you think?

I'll start with some bright, fun, and colorful cards that stood out to me.  The brighter tones seem to give the card a fresh, whimsical look.  With many cards, and especially with brighter colored cards, my preference is to do a single photo on the Christmas card.  In doing so, I think it allows for the biggest impact visually, and keeps the card from looking too cluttered.  It reminds me of when I remember Nate Berkus (this is years ago when he was on an Oprah episode)  that he prefers one photo to a frame, as opposed to a collage frame, as it makes for a cleaner, stronger visual impact.

Anyhoo, take a looksie.  Can I mention how funny it is posting 
all these pictures of folks and kids I don't even know?! Ha!  

This beautiful green color makes me so happy.  


Love these black and whites with bright, colorful words.  Very playful.

And isn't this one darling?  Love the red glitter effect on the word JOY.

And, how about a more classic look...something a little more sleek and 
elegant feeling?  A clean, simple look, but still with that bit of whimsy.   
The important thing to remember here, from my perspective, is to 
make the photo the main focus, as opposed to the little details and
printed messages on the card.  Minimal design, one main photo, 
and just a touch of whimsy seems to look just right to my eyes.

With many of the Christmas cards above, they used a photo where the 
faces are the main focus, and any clothing worn in the picture is very simple 
and neutral, so as not to distract from the photo and card itself.  If you can't 
find a photo to use that has that same effect, I might suggest using a classic 
black and white or sepia version of your favorite photo.  This allows you 
more photo versatility...for example, photos you've taken throughout the 
year, with all sorts of random seasons, weather, and colors, do not look 
quite as busy or cluttered on the front of your card.  Just a thought.

Ahhhh, aren't they all beautiful?  I'm just so excited that the Christmas season has officially begun.  With bills and junk usually littering my mailbox, what a treat to receive an envelope with a little holiday postage stamp and the address of my favorite people!    

Still wondering the route we will take this year.  Obviously, I will not be passing up this amazing Shutterfly promotion.  So excited.  Do you like any of the cards I featured above?  Which one should I choose?  I will still need to order a few more from somewhere... will it be Shutterfly? Stay tuned to your mailbox to find out!  He he he.  

What is your favorite way to send Christmas greetings to your friends and family?  How do you spread the warmth of the season to others?  Would love to know!  Thanks for taking a peek.

Much love and many blessings to you and your family,

Stay tuned for a giveaway, my very first in fact, just in time for a little Christmas Shopping!

Linking to...

   The Girl Creative Keeping It Simple Making  Texas Monkey  Simply Designing  Check me out Saturdays   My Backyard Eden 
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