I am SO thankful for good neighbors: friendly faces on a walk, impromptu conversations as we chase kids in the circle, many helping hands working together to dig out from a huge snowfall or walk each others children to the bus stop when needed.
We started the tradition of handing out neighbor gifts during Christmastime quite a few years ago and love to go around as a family to pass out our Jingle Java Crunch (get the recipe here). This year we all donned our Santa hats, even our dog, Snoopy, had a big red bow. Together we braved the 20ish degrees outside to drop off a gift to all our wonderful friends on the street. My kids really get into it and I love that they can witness a small gesture bringing such JOY!
Several years ago as I was rinsing out a spaghetti jar to put in the recycle bin, I was admiring how nice the jar was and thought to myself “I can’t believe I am going to toss this away!”. I had a lightbulb moment….and that was when I came up with a great idea to reuse those pretty little things. I consider myself a bit of a tree-hugger so this is a teeny way to help the environment, get creative AND save a few pennies.
I use Classico Spaghetti Sauce jars - they remind me of canning jars, but they’re FREE! I keep empty, clean ones in a cabinet in my basement. About this time in December, I bring them out and think of a way to decorate the lids. Over the years I’ve used a variety of methods: wrapping the lids in holiday washi tape, or covering them with Modge Podge and glitter or the most simple method - paint.
This year I decided to paint them and recruited my older kids to help. Of course they couldn’t agree on a color so we did both black and red. Simple acrylic craft paint from the craft store does the trick.
We painted several thick coats and let them dry for 48 hours. To fancy them up I used glitter paint to add a simple Christmas Tree. All that was left was to add some pretty ribbon and a tag then we filled those babies up and handed them out to all our loved ones.
(Obviously we need to eat more spaghetti! We didn't have quite enough so I had to use bags too. )
YOU can do this too - start saving those spaghetti jars and get creative!