Monday, November 8, 2010

Preparing for Christmas

I came across this idea on Plain and Joyful Living blog to pledge to a handmade holiday this year.  In her own words:
To create with our hands using mostly sustainable materials... and when that is not possible, to purchase from small family businesses ~ Giving with love while caring for the earth.
This idea has always been a cornerstone of our holidays.  Growing up, my mother was pretty dedicated to making most of the gifts she gave.  November would find us huddled around a quilt frame, tying quilts even as young children.  She would fill mason jars with fruit she dried in her dehydrator, bake a myriad of pies, and make all manner of Christmas crafts and treats.  Those were the gifts she gave.  There was a time I was super-embarassed about it - when my friends were getting (and giving) designer clothes and high-tech gadgets - but at some point I realized that her gestures of love were far more meaningful (to both giver and receiver) than most store-bought items. 

In my life I've tried to follow suit.  My first Christmas gift to my husband (back when we were highschool sweethearts) was a homemade photo frame with pictures of us.  We still have it!  Last year we made homemade jam and bread to give to most of our friends and neighbors (a successful endeavor that we will probably repeat this year).

Granted, it takes a little more work and thought and preparation, but it is a labor of love, and when you do it together as a family, it becomes a bonding experience as well.  As the weather gets colder and December looms on the horizon, I'm starting to realize it is time to get started!  So, as I complete projects, I'll be posting them here and please, do the same -  I always need inspiration!


Deanne Sturgis Doherty said...

I love handmade gifts, they are just that more personal, and even if someone doesn't feel particularly creative, just finding a meaningful picture and decorating a plain frame (or buying a cool frame) is easy to do. Problem is so many people don't feel they have enough time and/or they don't think they have a creative bone in their body (something I don't believe, I think they haven't looked or tried hard enough). I am working on some handmade gifts myself this year and have had my sewing machine tuned-up after it sat in my cellar for too many years. I always enjoyed your Mom's thoughtful gifts.

MaurLo said...

I love that you still have that homemade frame. What a great looking couple!

Mom & Dad said...

I concur with Deanne! Kumi made Jodi and Kendra such beautiful dresses! I have many photos of them in the dresses. I think I handed them down??
I love what your site represents. Thank you so much!
Love, Aunt, Sue