One of the things I deeply enjoy about the holidays is Creation. Baking cookies, making gifts, crafting decorations… Always the gifts we give involve some homemade elements. We buy a few things new (or “newly used” at the thrift), but I love the feeling of ingenuity I get when I create something special out of something we already have.
This year I knitted these darling cherries as a Tree Ornament. One tradition is that the Little Bugs always find a new ornament in their Christmas stocking. Often I find nice ones at the thrift store. This year I saw this pattern online and knitted up two little cherry bunches for their Ornaments. They were fun and easy to knit, very quick, and I made them out of yarn ends that were just gathering dust at my mom’s house.
|Tasty tree trims – made of old scraps.|
I would post some of our other creations, but I don’t know who reads this and don’t want to spoil any surprises. After the Holidays, when the gifts are all given, I will post more extensive pictures and descriptions of some of our creating. I’ve been having fun, in a financially tight year, finding what I can make with what we have or can find. I often do this, but this year I am focusing on it more than usual and having great success!
The other thing I delight in creating each year is our holiday card. Some years I draw a picture, we color copy it, and make that design into a card. The year I was 6 months pregnant with Sister-Bug we sent a standard photo card. But since then I have been getting into minimizing our card footprint. What can I use to make a fun card?
We are blessed to have the Materials Exchange Center for Community Art (MECCA) here, which is an art supply thrift store. Bins of old fabric, stacks of paper, odd bottle caps, you name it. And more than fairly priced. MECCA is a blessing when it comes to making holiday cards. Last year I scored a stack of odd shaped white card stock, 55 envelopes, and a pile of used holiday cards for $4.00. A little work with paper cutter and glue stick and I had glued the old cards to the card stock, creating new cards!
|Kid writing, fabric scraps, reused card stock. Voila!|
This year I made these cards – again a stack of old card stock and assorted envelopes from MECCA. I added fabric scraps from my scrap bin, and had Brother-Bug write assorted festive words on a paper, which I color copied and cut out to finish the front. I used some other old card to print out our own greeting which I glued to the inside. I like writing this – what I want and not settling for an approximation of what I want in someone elses’ words. Very home made. Very us.
Making my own cards is not simple. It is, in fact, far more complicated than buying cards at the dollar store, or getting a photo card printed. But there is a blessing here. The card says “I took time to make this for you. I thought about you.” At least, that’s what is says to me. It also champions recycling and reusing (the genesis of the card is printed on the inside, letting recipients know it is a reused item) which is so important to think about in this season of trash.
But though it is not a simple thing, it makes me plan ahead a bit. It makes me slow down and think about people outside my immediate family and those I make or buy gifts for. It makes me stretch my creativity each year as I find something new, something fun, something that will be special when opened.