Friday, December 5, 2008

Free For All Friday: Santa Claus is Coming to Town


Big sigh of relief as many of us head into a busy (but FUN) weekend of holiday planning and celebrations.  

Free for All Friday comes at the perfect time in the week for me.  Monday through Thursday is always jam packed with activity and the rigorous exchange of ideas.  On Fridays you, the readers of highlowaha, become the architects of the blog.  You drive the swap of ideas, based on the the questions you ask, the tips you solicit, or the rants and raves you chose to make.

And yet, with all that latitude... I feel especially responsible for making sure our party guests get all their holiday needs met.  After all, we're trying to make a good impression so that Lindsay, Emily, Sarah, Michelle, Nicole, and Cassie will come back to visit again and again (though, I don't think we need to worry about Cassie!).  The value of this community grows with each creative and committed newcomer we welcome into our fold.  For it is true, each time he or she shares a creative insight, we are the beneficiaries.  So... with only Friday and Saturday left to this week's Friendship Party, lets all be on our best behavior and show these women once and for all what our community is made of.

All week long we've been talking inexpensive holiday gifts and tomorrow we will resume our discussion with $5.00 ideas.  Today, in the spirit of Free for All Friday, I want to open the floor to any holiday related gift ideas or tips.  For example, early in the week Lindsay said she would deem the week successful if she received ideas for somewhat sentimental holiday gifts she could present her group of friends (all of which will be graduating in the spring).  Yesterday, Heather also made a plea for $10.00 gifts she could give her 39 year old brother and her 12 and 14 year old nephews.  It would be great if we could lighten their loads by offering up some ideas.

Do you have a holiday trick of the trade worth sharing?  If so, share with the rest of us.  Here are some examples to get your wheels turning...
I found these Avery Marking Tags at Staples for $3.00.  I thought they would be easy and fun ways to label Christmas presents.  100 come in a box.
I'm sure most of you have seen these fun holiday utensil holders.  I love to stuff the toes with treats for our dinner guests.  I spend the year looking for creative things that will fit.  Variation: Target has infant mittens in their $1.00 bins.  How about buying a couple sets of mittens and using those?  They are about the right size and come in bright colors.

Our very own Nan came up with binder idea as a way to organize her holiday tasks.  It is chock full of all her most essential information (think wedding planner meets North Pole).  Her tabs include: Wish lists, Decorations, Recipes, On the Go, Purchases, Give Thanks, Next Year, Christmas Past.  There's also a pencil case for holding receipts!

Finally, as announced in yesterday's post, Cassie P will be serving as Highlowaha Intern For a Day.  She and a friend will be road tripping to Santa Claus, Indiana where they will mail Christmas cards from THE Santa Claus post office and where our cards will receive the authentic Santa Claus postmark.  Look under Announcements for the address and date by which she needs your mail.  TODAY, however, I want to brainstorm ideas - or challenges - sure to make their road trip memorable!  Give us your ideas.  What fun (and legal) things could we ask Cassie and her friend to do along the way?  What might we want them to do once they arrive in Santa?  Are there photos we want them to take to document their adventure?  Put on your Ellen DeGeneres thinking caps and help us generate some fun. 

  • Owl's Nest Adventure:  North Texans... shop at the Owl's Nest on Saturday and receive 10% off your purchases just by saying your with highlowaha.  Search the store for fun and unique gift ideas and then post a short review of your item on Saturday's blog.  Do those two things and receive a Highlowaha owl patch for your Patchwork Denim.  Also search the store for the hidden Ray and earn an added bonus from me.  So far, the only non-Texans for whom we will be seeking toy ideas are Kristen's 8 month old daughter and Amber's 9 month old girl (is 9 months correct Amber?).  Anybody else.
  • Patchwork Denim: Party goers and newcomers, this explanation is for you.  "Patchwork" is your chance to earn patches for various Highlowaha fun activities and challenges.  The goal...designate something your "patchwork denim" (ie. an apron, jeans, jacket, hat, bag) and jump right in to start collecting.  The next patchwork event is Sunday, December 14 when we host Celebration of Lights.  Check out the announcements in yesterday's (12/4) post to find out exactly what you need to do.  It's easy as 1, 2, 3.  
  • Paint the Town Red:  Do a random act of kindness.  Drink a coke and pass along your reward code to Heather.

Signing off until tomorrow.

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