Friday, January 4, 2013

UFC December Challenge :: Make it a Simple Christmas

This month's challenge wasn't too far from what we normally do every year at Christmastime.

I've always felt that in this day and age of people being able to buy anything they want at any time, it is more interesting to receive something that is functional or consumable as a gift.  Especially for those blessed with much already, and at a time of year of when it is easy to become overwhelmed with stuff.  We try to focus on homemade and artisan made, with books or gift certificates being our back up plans.

I especially like to have my child create things for members of our family.  This year she made homemade organic bird treats as described in a previous post.

Birdie Treat
Bird Suet Wreath :: A Hard to Beat Present for Bird Lovers

We also made a set of napkins for my mom.  Unfortunately, i don't have a picture (maybe you could send one, Mom?) :)  We found a couple different styles of fabric and made napkins that fold into the shape of Christmas trees. 

For my dad, we made a shirt, with the help of my mom and her embroidery machine.  My dad is a freight train geek and a techno music connoisseur, hence the detail we create on the shirt.


For other members of the family, we focused on useful food stuffs.  We have a new store here in Enumclaw called MountainAire Mercantile.  Wonderful place using local and sustainable as their business model!  We found coffee roasted especially for them from a company in Wilkeson, WA and beautiful handmade soaps from a friend to gift my in-laws.  Another store in town that has wonderful gift items is Sweet Necessities--a wide variety of tea, which we gifted, fudge and caramels made by the shop owner, Toby, and chocolates from a chocolatier in Oregon.   

The last couple wonderful gifts we gave this year were for my daughter.  I finished my first pair of hand knitted socks for her just before the holiday.  That was my Christmas miracle this year. :) 

Sideview of First Knitted Sock
The other gift was a beautiful handmade costume from her Irish dance instructor.
SRS doll dress
It is made just for 18 inch dolls (i.e. American Girl) and is a spitting image of the costume Cookie wears for her competitions straight down to the ghillies.  Everything is machine embroidered and the craftsmanship is amazing!

Other gifts of books were given.  Books are one of our favourite gifts...knowledge is the best gift in our book.  And another gift is coming for my hubbie from Etsy...a handmade case for his e-reader.
Trying to support creative pursuits of others is a Christmas gift in and of itself...being able to share the holidays with people in your community-at-large and reward them for their cleverness with a purchase or two.  It also helps other families have a Merry Christmas, as it gives them a little extra cash in their pocket to make a merry holiday for their loved ones.
Happy New Year, Everyone!

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Thanks for taking the time to read my silly lil musings. Hope you have a wonderful day!