It feels like I was just home for Thanksgiving, or at least I just uploaded my pictures from then onto my computer, but my Dad is actually traveling down to Texas this week to celebrate an early Christmas with the Houston branch of the family later this week! The boyfriend and I bought a little live tree from Kroger that we're hoping to nurse through the hot summer (and protect from cats) so that by next year it'll be a slightly bigger live tree. In between editing papers and collecting data this week (and caroling with my a cappella group), I'm hoping to sort out most of the rest of my Christmas/ Chanukah shopping/making- I've finished one scarf and I'm planning to get someone on my list a subscription to Whimseybox (it's a craft sample box in a similar vein as Birchbox and a new project from Alicia of Dismount Creative). That still leaves me with a rather terrifying amount of knitting and sewing for projects that seemed totally doable at the beginning of December and lots of gratitude for the Amazon prime student membership (free shipping is the best, but when it only takes 2 days it's even better), but most of the people on my list and an appropriate gift are starting to come together. And when all else fails, there's always baked goods wrapped up with a pretty bow.
Since I'm a grad student and make $2/hour, and I have a reasonable amount of patience for crafting, it's mostly been handmade gift guides that have caught my eye this year. Here's a list of some that I've been looking at for inspiration:
http://transientexpression.com/2011/12/01/diy-gift-guide-for-the-fashionista-part-2/ (there may be some projects that end up being gifts to myself, plus she links to quite a few other gift guides that for the <insert descriptive here>)
http://www.mintdesignblog.com/ (there's even diy gifts for pets included)
http://www.designsponge.com/2011/11/2011-gift-guides-skip-the-stores-use-your-hands.html (more experience driven than crafting)
And of course, there's Pintrest (that links to my diy board, which isn't all Christmas gifts, but there are a lot of ideas floating around on that site).
(Images above were taken from the Hancock Observatory in Chicago)