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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

To make or Not to Make...that is the question!

Christmas is coming...and fast! I remember each year anticipating all of the toys and goodies that my wonderful family gave to me. First came Santa, then the family gifts, then each year we would make a trip to my grandparents house to share Christmas with the rest of the family! Over the years I grew out of toys and into the need for more personal items.

My grandmother is a very talented woman. She has tried and mastered every craft from sewing and cake decorating...a few more interesting fads, such as the plastic jewelry that you heated up and molded into crazy and odd shapes...to acrylic painting and making jewelry. My grandparents are in their early 70's and their time with me is becoming more and more precious. We have had some big scares with my grandmother's health (all is well now).

Each year she asks each and everyone of us what we would like when our birthdays or Christmas comes near. Within the last few years I have been requesting, not your latest fashion trend, but items with a more personal touch. Just recently my wish has come true. I finally inherited one of my most favorite paintings by her and more recently (due to my birthday) she has made me some jewelry.

Things tend to get out of hand when gift giving comes around and most of us rush out to "purchase" just the right thing or things! I came to a realization that I no longer wanted these store bought things but something with heart...something that has more meaning than just the thought...a hand-made item.

Enlightened by being a first time Aunt...I have been trying to think of some keepsakes that I can give to my new nephew for Christmas (something hand-made by me). I ran across these cute patterns for little stuffed animals (hand-sewn). Not only am I going to get to hand-make and item but I am going to recycle some material from some of my favorite sweaters that I can no longer wear!

My challenge this year is to try and make something for everyone instead of buying a processed ready-made item. Maybe it'll be baked goodies for some and who knows what else! I have already purchased things here and there for all of my other nieces and nephews but I will add something hand-made to theirs (I start shopping for the following Christmas in January when all of the sales are good and pick things up here and there along the way!).

My challenge to you is to re-think the gift giving process and see what interesting things you can come up with to give to your family! I would love to hear your ideas, so please share things that you have given in the past and will be giving in the future if you would like!

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