handmade holiday

This year, finally, I completed some steps towards sharing handmade gifts.

I’m not going to go into the whole ‘hand made Christmas’ conversation right now, beyond the mention that for my family, it was a mix of desire and necessity. We don’t hold the desire (or the space!) to fill our home with many more purchased goods. We truly do have more than we need. At the same time, we wanted to ‘gift’ our children and each other with expressions of love and care and awareness. Finally, we didn’t have the means to purchase or make a whole lot, either way. (and there’s that whole other post on gifts and giving….)

My hope for this year was to focus the handmade on the stockings. We’ve had some big swings on the stockings; some years they are overflowing with all kinds of amazing and expensive and ridiculous things, sometimes there’s waaay too much candy, sometimes there’s a bunch of random bits just to make it look full. My plan was to avoid all of those expressions this year.

First, we needed some new stockings. I’m a legend on the sewing machine. Yup, soooo bad that myu children will sing folk songs about it I’m sure! But, this year I buckled down, pulled out the user manuel (er, again!) and crafted a few new stockings. One of them went wrong when I folded the hem the wrong way, but overall, they’re workable. Yay!!!

still awaiting initials and trim, and definitely snubbed in the toes, but they'll hold the goods!

Next, some handcrafted goodness to fill them.

A couple of these little guys (needle felted with local wool)

the bee is for Knightley, the lady bug for Jem

And some carefully wrapped bundles of this…
(a tradition in our home)

almond-vanilla, and mint-cookie

And some pots and jars of this surprisingly yummy lip balm (which Jeremy uses with odd addiction!). I used this as the base recipe cuz I felt like trying something new, and it was sooo easy!!! I’ve made a lot of butters and balms in the past several years, but never so quickly and easily. This time around, just in light of creating a mess and materials on hand and such, I melted everything in a recycled glass pickle jar in the microwave! So fast, so easy, and really really tasty! ( I flavored mine with real mint and real vanilla). I poured it into my new favorite teeny jars, as well as the (now) empty advent buckets from the calendar we made this year. Oh the re-purposing that went on with this! 😉

mixing up some super simple balms

deliciously cute aren't they?

It’s far too many hours past my bedtime and the next twenty-four hours hold many many tasks. (Hm…if only I had the time to concot these as well cu they look soo good!)

Best to you in these last days of preparation….


2 Responses to “handmade holiday”
  1. thismama says:

    The little jars are great aren’t they? So many different uses, I love them and have about two dozen:) (I even canned up some blueberry applesauce as a travel treat for the girls in them). I have been wanting to make that lip balm…we will see if I get to it before Christmas, ha!
    Anyways, loved the glimpses:)

  2. Delynne says:

    these are wonderful gifts, Deanna. the boys will be thrilled! I have continually been amazed at my children’s “expectations” at Christmas. Soren’s favorite gift of all time remains the quilt I made for him – at the time, I was terribly worried he’d be so disappointed that the big mysterious package under the tree wasn’t some cool new toy! But he loved it and still does.

    And, way to go with the sewing machine!! 🙂

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