They say necessity is the mother of invention. In the case of our past Christmas’s, lack of funds was usually the mother of invention, but for what we have because of it, I wouldn’t trade it for all the money in the world.
I have my tree up, something that takes me a couple of days to do, the assembly and lights one evening, and the decorations another day. I enjoy the entire process, but with two new members in our family this year, things that haven’t been noticed in years have been recognized and needed explanation. It made me realize the time that I have spent over the years, usually out of necessity, making our Christmas ornaments, and gifts.
I would see pictures in magazines of opulent Christmas trees covered in ornaments, and when we would get our tree each year, it always seemed so sparse in comparison. There wasn’t money to buy fancy ornaments, so I went the home made route with what else…..fabric. Handmade ornaments were purchased as flat pieces of fabric, cut out, sewn, stuffed, and stitched shut, and hung on the tree.
Other times it was with wood and paint.
These were all along with the ones made at church and school to take home to Mom and Dad.
When Audrey was 5 and Nic was 3, ready to turn 4 the Cabbage Patch Doll craze was on, of course Audrey wanted one, but as hard to come by as they were, and at $300 each there was no way. Once again fabric and kits came to the rescue. I remember staying up late after they were both in bed asleep making two “knock off” Cabbage Patch Dolls; a boy and a girl, Gilbert and Glory. They had complete wardrobes, the little girl doll even had a dress and pinafore that matched a dress and pinafore that I made for Audrey.
Not to leave Nic out, each of the kids got a robe, made by me that year. Nic’s was a quilted plaid, with a roll collar and double breasted—he looked so cute, and Audrey’s was a flannel quilted one much like the one I had. Our home at the time was a big old drafty refurbished school house, so keeping everyone warm was a priority. Footy, blanket sleepers and quilted robes were just the ticket.
I've always made homemade baked goods to give to friends, and Roger always receives a full recipe of his Mothers Date Bars, all for himself—but he always shares.
When we were homeschooling the kids were right in the thick of it. We made cookies, candy, Chex Party mix, and homemade bread, filling plates and jars, and decorating the bags they were delivered to the neighbors in.
It was all a lot of fun. And the expression on peoples faces, especially those of my family when they received a “handmade” gift was never one of disappointment; they were always thrilled.
I still enjoy the process of Christmas, mostly because the process involves doing it all for someone else. After all--that is what it is about isn't it?