Monday, November 26, 2007

Homemade Christmas

I love this season. I love the spiritual side of it and all that means. But I also love the chill in the air, the hot chocolate, the sweaters, the lights in windows and on trees, time with family, cooking big dinners, and the music. But one thing I don't like is the overconsumption. It doesn't affect me too much since I don't have any kids so I'm not tempted/guilt-tripped into buying lots of plastic toys that will only be used for a few days. I'm single, and while there are plenty of things I don't like about that, one good thing... it is much easier to make changes in my life, to become more like the person I want to be, because I am the only person who has to make the effort and the change.

So, this year, I want to make/buy more homemade gifts for Christmas. I would love to have it be a completely homemade Christmas but I really want an iPod dock and I don't know any engineers who can make me one...

This year with stores like Etsy and about a month till Christmas, I have plenty of time to make/buy some homemade things, and so do you!!!

So many ideas for a homemade Christmas...

Cute garlands made of fabric leaves from wisecraft. You could also do garlands of trees, ornaments, wreaths, spell out "Merry Christmas" or lots of other things.

A velvet/ribbon belt would be so cute with a simple dress, you could make a headband instead or to match. Or modify it to wear with a flannel belted coat.

This super-cute little photo album. You could make one for each person as a place card. You could make it a book of Christmases past or "a year in review" of family events.

Make beeswax candles, all you have to do is roll them, so easy. Order wax sheets here, or skip all the work and order handmade candles on etsy.

Sew, Mama, Sew has too many good ideas to list them all, so go have a look. Some of my favorites are the Aprons (Nov 1), Tote bags (Nov 5), Fabric ornaments (Nov 9), Sachet & Therapy Pillows (Nov 24), and Embellish! (Nov 26).

I love Advent calendars. Every year my grandma used to send me a cardboard one with a chocolate piece behind each door. has lots of ideas for making them.

Help a friend, offer to paint a room, decorate something, hang curtains, make them some throw pillows, whatever. Everytime they see the room, pull open the curtains, or curl up with the pillow, they'll be so grateful and happy.

And while not quite in the homemade category, I think books and magazines that inspire you to dream, be more creative, or learn new things should be allowed. Here are a few I would like...

Eat, Pray, Love
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
Dwell Magazine
Domino Magazine
Real Simple Magazine

Any ideas out there?


Chelsea said...

I love a handmade Christmas. These are all great ideas. I have my Dad's name this year so the whole gift won't be handmade, but some of it will be;)

I like giving paperwhites or other forced bulbs for Christmas and wrapping them up in a cute way.

Hey, It's Ansley said...

Chelsea - Yes! I love paperwhites, I actually meant to put that on here but forgot. Thanks for mentioning it. They smell so good and I have a brown thumb but can manage to grow these.

lenalou said...

Love these ideas, thank you. I'm all for reducing our raging fever of consumerism.

paul said...

Outstanding Ansley! Sounds like you've become a bit of an Adbuster :). I love your ideas and your attitude.I'm excited about staying home and getting creative this Christmas instead of navigating through mall crowds.

Marie said...

Great list! If you sew, it's also fun to refashion old clothes as gifts. It might be too ghetto for some families, but not mine. (Our motto is that if an item doesn't have bloodstains from the previous owner, it'll make a perfectly good gift.)

I'm also an obsessive paper snowflake cutter, and for the people who are only getting a Christmas card from me, I often also throw in an intricate snowflake on a gold thread for them to hang up.

Sara said...

Marie, I love the snowflake idea!

Last year I made earrings. Lots of earrings. They were really inexpensive to make (less than $5 per pair) and people really like them. Actually, they were my very first items of jewelry I ever made.

Lizzy said...

Oh dear. I am not crafty or creative at all when it comes to making things. Except food. I'm afraid I stick with online shopping for the holidays. Luckily, we draw names so I only have to buy one gift every year.

Ninny Beth said...

ansley! I miss your crafty creative energy. Korea doesn't really do innovative... I know that your christmas will be nothing but beautiful and warm.