14 December 2009

Holiday Handmade

N8tr0n has been looking for a job for eleven months. We've been living lean.

Technically he has a job. It's just not the kind of job that allows us to have money for anything but food and rent. We know that someday he'll get a better job and until then, we're doing our best to get by with what we have. I like to think of it as green living.

When N8tr0n balanced the checkbook in November, we decided that we had to have another "strict month" in which we do our best not to buy anything that isn't absolutely necessary. We didn't really WANT to impose those restrictions on ourselves in December but we didn't feel like we had a choice. I immediately began to worry about Christmas presents.

My first thought was to just tell our friends and family that we couldn't buy them any presents this year because we were just too dang po', but I knew that was a horrible idea and I would regret it when Christmas finally came. I started talking to N8tr0n about the idea of giving everybody in our family handmade or re-purposed gifts. In a matter of minutes, we had thought of gifts for over half of the people on our list and I was feeling great about being able to save money and still give meaningful Christmas gifts.

I can't tell you what we're making for everybody, because I know of at least two family members who actually read this blog. Yes, I'm talking about you Dr. Pants. But what I can tell you about is the joy that I've felt putting together these gifts for the ones I love. Despite many acquaintances telling me that I'm absolutely crazy to be taking on such a big project for the holidays. I'm suddenly reminded that Christmas is about giving, not getting, and I've been blessed with so many things in my life, that I actually have excess to share. I know the things we're packaging up aren't necessarily things that are on wish lists, but I know that they are things that will be used and enjoyed.


I can also tell you that I have a crap-load of crafting supplies. Seriously, you should see my basement. I find great comfort in the knowledge that if we were trapped in our home for whatever reason, I would have crafting material sufficient to entertain myself for weeks. I'm also so grateful for the plethora of ideas out there! I think I add something new to my list everyday. Hello, Internet, I love you.

Plus, I haven't had to step foot into a mall or big-box-store to buy gifts all month. Heaven!

Okay, except that I had to last Saturday...and I hated it...and it made me very grouchy...and in the end I had to admit that there are some things that I can't make for as little as Old Navy sells them. But that was only one blip in my otherwise successful handmade holiday.

I've told a few of my friends that I think this will be one of our best Christmases yet. A project like this is the kind of thing that Christmas stories are made of. I hope to make a new tradition out of giving more handmade gifts each year.

Not ALL handmade gifts though.

No. That would be crazy.



Brock and Kristina said...

Good job you. Seriously. I truly think handmade and heartfelt gifts are appreciated much more than something bought. I'm excited for you and can't wait to see the end results....after the holidays of course!

Laurel said...

I'm so excited to see what you come up with. Every year, in July, I think "I'm going to do all handmade for Christmas! I'll start now!" and then December rolls around and I say "Holy crap, I don't have time to do all that in a month." This year at least we bought mostly handmade. It's a start.

Tiffany said...

I'm so impressed with your attitude and your ambition! I hope you'll post pictures after Christmas.

Kricket said...

I think that is so cool of you. I am looking forward to knowing what it is after the holidays.

catherine said...

crafty wonderland!!!

michelle said...

Yes, all handmade would be crazy. Unless, of course, you started in January, then maybe...

I love handmade gifts!! I always wish I had time for more, because they are my favorite ones. And I too take great comfort in knowing that I have supplies on hand to get me through many a crisis -- I will never be bored.

So... please post your creations after the gifting is completed!

Greeneyes said...

I wish you well in that audacious, awesome endeavor!
When you're finished, you can just tell Martha Stewart where to stick it, oh craft queen.

Petit Elefant said...

Honestly, our leanest Christmases have always, always been our best. A lot less about receiving and a lot more about giving.


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