Sunday, February 3, 2013

Handmade Christmas

For a long time I've felt that Christmas has become too commercial here in the United States. We seemed to forget the reason why we celebrate Christmas--which is celebrate the birth of Christ. 

About 10 years ago, I had a strong urge to put more meaning into the holidays, simplify, and produce less waste. I read several books, including this one

Simplify Your Christmas: 100 Ways to Reduce the Stress and Recapture the Joy of the Holidays (Elaine St. James Little Books)
which helped me make the transition. I wanted Christmas to be less about things and what the children got as gifts. After some extreme negotiation, I got my husband to agree to scale back the number of gifts we gave our children down to two and some stocking stuffers. We also decided to give gifts only to a few extended family members and close friends.

Fast forward six years...Continuing on my path to make Christmas more meaningful and less commercial, I decided to give my children handmade gifts. I consider myself quite crafty and they seem to appreciate what I make. Last Christmas I gave them custom clipboards with mini calendars which they could use as clipboards or hang on their wall to use as a calendar and memo board. 

My youngest daughter got this one. She's going through a stage where she's determining who she is and her place in the world. Being accepted is important. I wanted her to know that no matter what, she is loved.

My son is a no fuss, no color, no pattern kinda guy. He would have been happy with a plain, solid blue clipboard. But, what fun is that? I tried to keep the design simple so that he could as least tolerate it.

My older daughter is quite the social butterfly. She is also on the cusp of leaving the nest--at least for a few years--to continue her education and journey. This was her gift.
I think they all liked these gifts. (At least they were gracious about it and told me so.) I enjoyed making them and I can't wait to see what I'm inspired to make them for next Christmas.

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