Monday, January 28, 2008

Homemade Christmas Gifts From My Family

I realize this post is belated, over a month past Christmas, but I still think it's worthwhile to share the homemade gifts from my family. Some members embraced 'Homemade Christmas' at the outset, others struggled coming up with ideas, but it was so much fun as I anticipated how everyone would get involved.

I'll start with the presents that arrived at my doorstep which will encourage me to be creative. My maternal grandparents gave us gift subscriptions to Better Homes and Gardens and Smithsonian. Two months' worth have been delivered, and I have really appreciated them. This is the sort of gift that keeps on giving. Each time I see one in the mail, the first thought that crosses my mind is, "Yay! A magazine from my grandparents!" They allow me to indulge in some relaxing reading (and the former gives me decorating and recipe ideas, while the latter makes me feel smarter!).

Continuing with my grandparents, I will move to another gift from them. It was a beautiful bracelet made by a local artist.

And then my grandmother had all the grandchildren select a photograph that she had enlarged, matted, and framed. Each had special significance and many were taken on their travels. The one I chose was from a recent Canadian trip.

Heather made necklaces for us, showing that she is talented in so many ways.

Admittedly, I had requested the following sewing project from Hope when she asked for ideas.

When it unrolls, it reveals my stash of double-pointed needles for socks, as well as some crochet hooks.

Since apparently that project was too simple and quick for her, she felt she needed to make something else. First, a simple striped table runner...

...followed by a solid table runner.

Charity knit me some fingerless gloves, Fetching (or as we like to call them, Fisticuffs).

Chad undertook Christmas dinner for all of us, everything from the turkey to the mashed potatoes. Quite delectable.

Even Eric got in on the homemade action. He used his Latin background to choose quotes tailored to each family member and printed both the Latin and the English together and framed the result.

Finally, while I don't have pictures of them yet, my dad made us two matching bedside tables. Take a look at the plans if you'd like. They're spectacular, but there was some more staining and polyurethane that needed to be done, and since we were going to be in Iowa for a February wedding, we didn't make him rush.

I'm not sure how everyone else felt, but I really enjoyed Christmas this year. There was no stress about needing to get a gift as the date neared, compounded with the uncertainty of what that gift would be. And I'm surrounded by special things that will always draw my mind to loved ones. I confess that after several months or years have passed, I sometimes forget who gave me a certain gift, but there's no chance for that this year.

One couple we know had another creative family exchange this year. The adults drew names, and the task was to spend $15 at Goodwill. There were books, games, and furniture discovered (although she admitted that the Indiana stores she checked out seemed pretty picked over). Some were gag gifts, but she admitted she felt like she ended up with some of the better things. This is an amusing idea, especially for adults who don't need anything, and it lends itself to a scavenger hunt.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can already see the gears in your mind turning for a Goodwill Christmas next year. I don't know how well that will fly, but I liked our homemade Christmas and wouldn't mind seeing it turn tradition.

By the way, I am working on your CD of pictures. So hopefully I'll send that out within the week.