Hope Wissel

Last Minute Holiday Shopping

angel ornament

I am off enjoying the day with Belinda and family but that doesn’t mean I don’t have some words of wisdom to share with my readers….

This is for those ambitious people who can actually pull off a “crafty Christmas” in 36 hours.

As I reflect on the last year, my inner gremlins always want me to head to the “shoulda”, “coulda”, “woulda” kind of things.  You know what I mean, things like wanting to pay off debt but not getting very far, vowing not use credit cards and then you do or the big one this time of year is to not spend ALOT on Christmas gifts.  Everyone’s definition of “a lot” is different but a post on Dave Ramsey‘s site about Christmas on a Crafty Budget brought back so many memories….

Somewhere in the midst of the hustle and bustle of Christmas  and the desire to make sure Belinda had everything she wanted (but maybe did not need), I lost some of the meaning of Christmas.  Yes, I was one of those crazy moms who didn’t care that I went into debt.  I was a single mom and never wanted Belinda to feel like she was missing out on things.  Don’t get me wrong when she was younger, I used to make her clothes for special occassions including Halloween costumes.  The sewing machine was my friend.  It took up space in my dining room and when we moved to the trailer, I had an office.   A corner of the office for my consulting business and one for my sewing.  I miss those days.  Those were the days of the crafty Christmas….

Ever heard the expression “It’s the thought that counts”? I always felt like that was the polite way to say, “This gift stinks, but I don’t want to hurt your feelings.”  That was always my fear just before the person receiving the handmade gift opened their present.  Only to find out, the best gifts you can give are sentimental or have some thought attached to them, not a price tag.  Some of these were: table runners that are still used by family or the recipe file that contained all of recipes we loved that Grams made.

When I buy gifts now (non-Thirty One gifts that is) they are usually from a fellow crafter.  I love being able to share the amazing things that others create.  Add to my bucket list  – get back to sewing or at least making some things.

So, are you fretting about money or the lack of it and worried that you don’t have something for everyone on your list?  Are you getting sucked into the shopping frenzy, tempted to just “charge a little” this holiday season?  Why not try some of these ideas…

  • The gift of time is a great gift for that mom that never gets a break from the kids.  Or how about a set of new parents that could use a date night.  What about spending the day with YOUR mom or dad?  Special time of just hanging out together, enjoying each other’s company.
  • Homemade goodies are always well received especially by those who have little time to bake.  Why not bake a batch of cookies and drop them off to a friend, a neighbor or even that family member that you don’t know what to give them.

I was blessed this year to have a CASH Christmas as a result of my Thirty One business.  Of course, fewer gifts were bought since Belinda and Ashley just got married in August.  The best gift is that the girls are back in NJ for Christmas.  Gathering with family and extended family over the holidays will be the best gift of all.

Maybe you have already finished your shopping and are having buyers remorse.  Bless and release!!!! Now is never too late to start planning for next year.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel, Relax, Reflect, Recharge



“When I am overwhelmed, you alone know the way I should turn.” Psalm 142:3 (NLT)

These words bring great comfort when I LISTEN!  I have discovered that my greatest source of stress and distraction in my life is when I take on too many things trying to please everyone around me and not thinking of the consequences.  I FEAR that if I say “no”, I will miss out on something.  The truth is when I take on too much,  I end up rushing through things, not enjoying the moment or sometimes not even remembering what happened or who I met.  Or the days when I am Workaholic Wendy,  I spend countless hours being busy and NOT building my business.  Sad, right?

I need to learn to release before taking on something else and in most cases, it is negative thoughts and FEAR! FEAR causes me to side step the blessings that God has for me.  I have dreams personal and business but when struggles come, I grab onto something that appears safe and secure instead of stepping out in faith.  I have not released those FEARS that have plagued me for years. Oh, I have days of filled with faith and confidence but when a little struggle comes, Negative Nellie and Doubtful Debbie come for a visit.

Release is a gift for me who is weighed down with FEARS.  Release is for me when I know I can’t take much more. Remembering Psalm 142:3, “When I am overwhelmed, you alone know the way I should turn.” Tears well up in my upturned, pleading eyes. “God help me. It’s all too much. I’m tired and frustrated.”  Into my head pops the word, “R-e-l-e-a-s-e.” GOD is that you?  I know that I need to listen in order to EMBRACE the blessings that are in store for me.  Can I do it?  Will I do it?  In that struggle of trying, will I miss every bit of joy.

With RELEASE comes the gift of peace. There are opportunities I need to decline,  there are things I need to say no to, there are fears I need to let go of so I can make room for the blessings. When I release in peace, I am signaling that I am now ready to receive.Receive what’s next. Receive what’s best. Receive what’s meant for this season, right now.

What do you have to release, to receive peace and joy and more blessings?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!