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Notes & News from Dorah Blume, Deborah Bluestein & Juiceboxartists Press & Workshops
Thinking Outside the Gift Box
There are many ways to give gifts that are not store-bought. Even though gift cards and gift return receipts enable the receiver to select something they want, receiving something from the heart and hands of the giver has its place. 

Recycling possessions that no longer serve us as re-gifts is another option. Jewelry, a nick knack, a book that you have treasured over the years—items long admired by a friend or family member are legitimate gifts. In the interests of downsizing and decluttering, why not pass this item on to someone who might want it more than you do? Someone who can give it a more loving home. Someone who will wear that necklace, treasure that sculpture, read that book. 

My six-year-old granddaughter Raquel gifted me with a hand-made bookmark (pictured here), and I will treasure it. Hand-made and recycled gifts are ways to show caring while also helping the environment without depleting your pocketbook.

Bears, Bunnies, Mice, and Puppies Spring to Life from Jan's Busy Knitting Needles

"I have a lot of spare time now I’m retired and like to keep my hands busy making these knitted animals, (sometimes w clothes!). Each one of the bears, bunnies, mice, and puppies is a different color combination of new yarns. Making them is a hobby, and become gifts from me to friends and their families. I’ve knitted them for 6-7 years and over 100 have gone to new owners.” ~Jan Eld
You can learn more about Jan Eld and her “critters” by reading Susie Davidson’s article Jan Eld is Knitting Up a Colorful Menagerie.

Why Not Consider Low Stress, Low Cost Gift Alternatives?
By Anne Gilman

The frenetic energy of “buy-me’s” clings to the airwaves and is hard to escape. It’s online, in the media, in the lights that line the highways and shopping malls. You don’t even need to go into a store!

A few years ago I had a lot of cream colored bulky yarn I had planned on making a blanket with. Instead I knit ski hats for everyone in my family – kids, grandkids. They all loved them and said it was the best present yet! This year I let them select paintings I had created. Some I framed, others put in mats that I found at Michaels or the Christmas Tree Shop. They were delighted and I was so proud too. And the cost was so minimal!
Making easy handmade gifts is both relaxing and soul-filling. There are websites galore to give you inspiration.

Thrifty Frugal Mom – with over twenty ideas for this season, such as rice heat therapy bags to keep you warm. 
 
Creative Try-Alls
Where I found Senior Citizen Survival Kits as  well as those for moms and dads. Check it out.

When I’m not creating my own gift stash for the holidays, I do thank heavens for on-line shopping as well as local craft fairs where I find unique gifts and help small businesses. If you don’t have the time or desire to leave your home once there in your busy life, consider on-line craft sites that offer amazing inexpensive presents for everyone.  such as:

Shutterfly
Perhaps include things like coasters, soaps, beard balm, succulent holders and beaded rings

Etsy for Eco-friendly gifts
For eco-friendly gifts as well as those you had no idea about.

Re-Gifting
If you are experiencing holiday anxiety, too much to do, too many places to go, cards to write, gifts to buy, then … consider this: Do you really need to do all that? Why not consider re-gifting? Look around you. What can you create “New Heirlooms” with? How can you recycle what is already there that a friend or family member might treasure? 

The Gift of Self-Care
Holiday time is really “holy day” or sacred time whether you are religious or not. A time to cherish those you love with your presence, rather than presents. It’s a time for reflection and hope for the new year. Make yourself a cup of tea, sit on the couch, put your feet up, and breathe.

Wishing each of you everything good for the holidays and the new year! May your life be filled with good health, lots of love and laughs, grace and gratitude. Not Stress!!


Follow @juiceboxcreative_workshops on Instagram for weekly writing prompts and creative inspiration!
Sunday FREE Free Write 2021 Monthly Hour Sessions Conclude December 26
Not just writers and artists, but people from all backgrounds and geographies have found their writer’s voices during more than 60 Sundays. Since April 2020, juiceboxartists workshops has hosted a Welcome to my Living Room Free free write hour. Stay tuned for new sessions sometime in 2022 and thank you to everyone who has participated!
Your class is giving me a semblance of sanity in an otherwise insane time in the world.
 
~Susie Goldman, Every -Other-Saturday Workshop Participant
Immigrant Voices Podcast Project
In a search for a better life and to escape violence and the oppression she felt as a young woman in Guatemala, Blanca and her husband decided to pursue the American Dream. They left their two young children in the care of her mother-in-law and started out for this country on January first 14 years ago. Listen here.
Follow the Renaissance  patron of the arts tradition! For as little as $5 a month.
Become one of my patrons on Patreon.
Sources of Inspiration for Alternative Gifting
Name a star!
The options are endless and it's a gift you'll remember forever. Learn more.
Make a Charity Donation
in Lieu of a Christmas Gift!

This is a thoughtful way to show someone you care, but be sure the charity you select is the right fit for the recipient.  Learn more.
Gift someone with homemade food!
There are so many tasty Christmas gift ideas, from chocolate truffles and miso caramels to hot pepper jelly. Learn more.
Gift an Experience!
Museum memberships, national parks passes and other activities make great gifts. Learn more.
 
Gift something crafted!
Handcrafted gifts will mean so much to your friends and family. Learn more.
We'd love to hear from you! Is there a particular creative topic you'd be interested in learning more about or do you have any suggestions on how we could make this newsletter better? Email me at deb.bluearts@gmail.com.
The next Juiceboxartists online writing session series of committed writing groups will begin again on January 8th and 15th of 2022. Limited spaces are available! These committed group sessions meet every other Saturday for a total of five two hour sessions for $150. 10% discount for Patreon patrons!

*New series can be scheduled upon request. Minimum is four participants. Maximum is six participants.
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