Homemade gifts: given, received, how did they turn out? Failure or roaring success?
A very timely topic for me, as I've about had commercial Christmas up to here. I understand that people need to spend money to make the economy go and that the retail sector out there is hurting and doing everything they can to make people spend money. The problem is, I don't have that kind of money. And even if I did, I'm so turned off by the commercials and print ads that I wouldn't spend it on the stuff they're advertising. It all looks like crap to me. Plastic, fakey crap.
Now, before you call me Scrooge, please know this.... I love Christmas. I just happen to think that commercialism is ruining it. I like to hear carols and light candles and decorate a tree. I like giving to people who need it and sharing a sense of humanity with everyone. What I don't like is the one-up-manship that happens between people that shows up under the tree. And my mother and mother-in-law feeling like they have to go out into the crowds, spend money they don't need to spend nd wear themselves out over the craziness. My advice to them? DON'T DO IT!!!
Really. I have everything I need. And my minimalist personality can't think of anything I want. Get my boy a little something - a book or a toy - but don't go crazy. Unbelieveably, there's not a lot he wants either.
For my gift giving this year, I'm making things. My friend Jennifer got the ball rolling Saturday by hosting a little crafty get-together, and five women spent two hours bent over needles and paint, talking and trying out different things. I had decided I wanted to try making felt ornaments. I remembered that my aunt Jill had made these marvelous ornaments when I was a kid and I wanted to do something like that. I just didn't know how to start. So I free-hand cut out a camel shape (not anatomically correct, by the way) and gave it a shot.
It didn't turn out much like I had envisioned, but I did learn a little something about beading some decoration, what not to do for a hanging loop, and I got to practice my blanket stitch a little.
Two of the other crafty ladies were working on owl ornments. They turned out so cute! I asked where they got the pattern and they gave me the website. When I got home, I printed out the pattern and gave it a try. THIS one turned out quite nice!
Sunday afternoon, it was just me and my boy, so we decided to do some more crafty kinds of things. He found a pattern for a mouse, and we tried that one. This was actually his project with just a little help from me - and look what my boy did!
He opted to not make it an ornament, but rather just a toy mouse. It's hard to see the work he put into it because it's black, but he did a wonderful job of it.
While he worked on his mouse, I made up a pattern for another ornament. Then I cut it out, did a little embroidery on it, and viola!
I'm very encouraged. I think our ornaments turned out pretty well (once we got past the camel). I'll be dragging out the sewing machine next. I have several presents I want to make - one of which I need to mail. But both my guys and my granddaughter are going to have presents lovingly made by hand - by me this year. I do not plan to step foot in a store unless it's for more sewing supplies!