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Christmas 08: It Begins

Normally, I'm not thinking about Christmas until much later, but a couple of accidental gift finds have got me thinking. (I've also been knitting for months.) There are some cute finds that I thought I'd share.

Firstly, something I spotted months ago for honorary niece M.
Ice Princess (Wand (straw) with star ice cube attached (plus some extras to toss into a drink)).

Perhaps something similar for her brother?
Skull & Crossbone ice Cube tray

Last year, I decided to continue a tradition my grandmother started - which my mother continued - and give my brother's kids, K & J, a paper/book-themed gift. I honestly consider myself lucky that both kids enjoy reading, but if they didn't, I'd focus more on paper. I downloaded and printed a few sheets of these adorable bookplates for K, and plan to do some of my own design for J. (I used full sheet labels, which I hope will peel easily while keeping glue away from the books!)

For K, I'm continuing to supply her with Trixie Belden books -- this time, in the form of "vintage" copies from my personal collection (I got some even older copies for myself). I also want to find and frame a reading-themed print, perhaps one like this (please don't order this one! I need to buy it when payday comes):

I haven't worked out what I'm going to do for J. I try to keep their gifts even when it comes to quantity, but don't try to make them identical. Things like bookplates (above) and reading lights (last year), yes; every single detail, no.

Christmas Knitting
I did very little Christmas knitting last year, so it seems that this is the year for it. Jen's kids (3 boys and 1 girl) and Heather's kids (1 of each) are all getting hats, which are complete except for a crochet border on 3 of them. Niece K is getting a (fabulous if I do say so myself) stripey ribbed scarf. My SIL's parents are getting scarves (yarn purchased, but not on the needles yet). I settled on 3 colors each of Woolease held together, for colorful and thick results (and machine-washable, which is, I think, a requirement).