How to spend less and give more

The headlines are up already: "Holiday shoppers plan to spend less this year." (msnbc.com, 9/12/11) Some say online sales will boom, others are too uncertain to predict. Nevertheless, consumer spending is a hot topic right now.

When the holidays roll around, it is tempting to overspend on gifts for family and friends. We want to show people how much we love them, and often think that gift after gift will make them happiest. However, the realities are: 1. many people simply don't have money to overspend, 2. our loved ones would rather have us than things.

The holidays are really about making connections — spending time together (face to face or Skyping), making memories, and celebrating traditions. We still want to give presents, but we can be more thoughtful about them. One way to spend less and give more this holiday is with handmade gifts. Crafted ornaments, cards, and presents are as much a part of holiday traditions as, well, Santa Claus himself. Now more than ever they can show how much you love and care without breaking your bank account.

Here at Kreinik we have created new projects for you to make meaningful yet inexpensive gifts this holiday season. Check in with www.kreinik.com each week as we debut the new kits and products. If you have a local needlework store, look for (ask for) the new items. If you prefer online shopping, www.kreinikmall.com will have everything.

First up: Stitch-A-Pen kits that include a cross stitch chart, threads, perforated paper, needle and the pen to stitch a useful, beautiful, fun gift. Priced right, four designs are available. Easily stitch one in an evening. The pens write beautifully and use standard Parker™ refills. Check it out: www.kreinik.com/feature.htm

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