Every July, I begin thinking about Christmas gifts and what I’d like to make for people. I have always preferred giving and receiving handmade gifts and not just because it’s frugal! The very best gifts I have ever received are homemade. Luckily, I am surrounded by a small group of highly creative women who make everything from awesome mosaics (as you have seen!), to knitted items, baked goods, collages etc. In grade 10, among other homemade gifts, my friends blew up a favourite photograph I had of my favourite band (“Blew up” as in “expanded” not as in “used explosives to destroy” lol) and I believe I actually BURST OUT CRYING because it was such thoughtful gift.
In the past, I’ve crocheted dish cloths (my crocheting skills are limited to square and rectangular-shaped items!), made spiced nuts, baked cookies, and made my own greeting cards. I am always so excited to give my homemade gifts. The fact that homemade gifts are almost always less expensive than purchasing gifts is a huge bonus too (FRUGAL!).
This year, I haven’t made a single thing. I have spent the past few months cutting out recipes of various cookies I want to bake this holiday season, or various granolas or nuts I wanted to make for my friends. However, as of November 4th, 2010, my creative energies have been primarily directed towards the child I birthed from my loins (to put it poetically!) and I have failed as a homemade gift giver. As they say on the Internet: *hangs head in shame*
I have done most of my Christmas shopping via Amazon.ca or by giving specific directions to Husband to pick up such-and-such gift card at the store. I pride myself on giving somewhat thoughtful gifts, so this has been difficult for me! I know that the recipients will understand, but still. A huge part of Christmas for me is the creative process. From baking to even gift-wrapping, using my hands to make a gift for someone I love is a huge pleasure.
This year, my Christmas joy has come primarily from the constant stream of Christmas music I have been listening to. Yesterday, I spent a good hour wrapping gifts which was fun! And I like to peek out my front window and see my neighbour’s Christmas lights. I stare longingly at a favourite sugar cookie recipe I am just itching to make and I am bummed I am giving so many gift certificates this year. I think if I had just started sooner, I could have created many Christmas gifts in advance and saved myself a bundle of money!
Oh well. Bygones, right? Christmas 2010 is a bit different this year, and different is good. I may not have crocheted a single thing and my cookie sheets are severely underused, but I have one of these now:
Surely that counts for something!
I am not sure if I will get around to it in the next 23 days, but I leave you with this recipe for Spiced Nuts. They are delicious and highly addictive! Consider yourself warned.