I just received the most amazingly huge assortment of scrapbooking ribbons and eyelets and buttons and glitter and beads and embellishments and papers from eowynmn! I know she took pictures, and I'm hoping she will post them up, because you seriously have to see it to believe how much incredibly cool stuff she sent.
Thank you soooooo much eowynmn! I can't wait to dig in and start using all this groovy stuff!
I would LOVE to do a crafty Christmas, but several years back my 4 sibs and I decided on a strategy to level things between our various income levels (one of my brothers makes 6+ times what I do!). We were also all fed up with the stress of running around shopping for lots of things for each other, and our new system works really well.
Now we meet up and have a fun night hanging out, and we pool the amount we would want to spend in total on the other 4 sibs then we count up the pot and divvy evenly, and we swap lists and make dates with each other for going shopping. We cycle through which sib is responsible for shopping for which other sib. lt allows us to get each other the big things that we normally wouldn't splurge for, and, while consumerish, helps put family time back at the center of things.
However, I am totally going to bake for my staff of 12 and the other 25 or so other staff members. I need to start putting out feelers to figure out who should get cookies, brownies, or truffles. Oooh... and since it's an animal hospital and we ALL have pets, I can make toys!!! Yay!!!
You can get a bunch of guitar picks super cheap, and glue them into a wreath shape. You can hang it from a ribbon, either attached to the back or wrapped around it at the top, and use a metallic pen to write the year in. Just a thought!
Noodle Princess: In order to avoid kitties developing litterbox problems, the official rule of thumb is 1 box for each cat, plus 1. (i.e. - 2 cats = 3 boxes). Kitties having to share too few boxes can result in kitties using things other than the box, and that's a slippery kitty-pee covered slope. You might get away with one box per cat, or even fewer boxes than there are cats, but I wouldn't risk it.
Also, if you are super-intent on letting your kitties go outside, make sure they always stay totally current on their vaccines, that you deworm them regularly (hunting kitties tend to acquire intestinal parasites from their prey), and don't let them out until they are fixed. Avoid letting them stay out overnight, as nocturnal predators (coyotes, mountain lions, wolves, etc) are a real danger in most rural areas.
All that said and done, let them out on successively longer supervised outings. You can eventually stop supervising them, once they are roaming beyond your immediate field of vision. If it's possible to get a cat door that can be secured closed overnight, that would give your kitties free access to the outdoors, and keep them in (and wildlife out) at night.