I haven’t got any Christmas presents yet, I haven’t even added suggestions of presents to my list of names. I usually buy things throughout the year and certainly have my list finished by August. This doesn’t mean that I’m not wrapping things until just before they are given or finishing a handmade gift the week before – people don’t like it if you’re too organised!
This year I’ve been thinking ‘Should I make things, or should I buy?’ Then on Thursday I came across this…
Handmade presents or ones bought from family or local business.
I ummmed, I errred and then I signed up!
Once in the past (2007 – I keep records), I did make Christmas decorations for everyone (except my two nephews and the family dogs). Previously it had been probably 50/50 handmade and bought. Not that this didn’t come with its issues.
One year I cross stitched pictures for both B’s Mum/Dad and his brother/my sister in law. (You can see that the only my in there relates to a non blood relative of B’s – sigh!) Gillian’s cross stitch was bigger than the mother in laws and I knew this would cause comment or a slight sulk, something anyway. I needed something esle to pad out the m-i-l’s gift, so I ended up buying the mother in law a big bunch of white and pink artifical roses which were quite (very) expensive but were representive of the money.
Christmas Day when we called round at B’s brothers with the presents the m-i-l, opened hers first and said it was nice. When Gill opened hers, the first words out of the m-i-l’s mouth were ‘That’s nice, its bigger than ours!’. The flowers then spent the six years still wrapped up ‘bouquet style’ on the back bedroom bed with various other un-utilised gifts.
Another reason to go for a handmade Christmas is that B’s brother is also not really a fan of handmade stuff – if it doesn’t have a PROPER label and a receipt to take it back with he’s not really interested. I did once knit him a jumper that I know he wore at least once, because we accidentally bumped into him and he had it on. What he didn’t know was that the cotton yarn originally started off as a cream jumper I knit for myself, didn’t like, unravelled, knit back up into a guernsey style jumper for him and dyed dark blue!
B’s brother and Gill were once buying custom made curtains for what I considered an extortionate price. I mean good on the small shop charging this, I know the work that goes in, but I find it hard to justify paying a lot for curtains when I know I can do them myself and enjoy doing it. When I obviously couldn’t hide the stunned look on my face and upon being asked what I thought I said ‘Well I’b probably be looking at doing them for a quarter to a third of that at most.’ I was then informed that this was the difference between going out to a restaurant for a steak and cooking one up at home!
I so wish I’d been able to come back with ‘Well if you make it at home you know exactly how fresh the steak was, where it was come from and that someone hasn’t kicked it across the kitchen floor’ (and if they have at least it was your own kitchen floor and you know how clean it is). I was vegan at the time so I wouldn’t have entertained eating a steak – so I came back with NOTHING!
Here are some of my homemade steaks, I mean curtains…
The landing, with long voile to cover the uneven plaster wall beneath and a matching roman blind. (Yes, we do need a light shade.)
The hall/dining room
The kitchen blind which was a piece of material I had over from making Auntie Ann a duvet cover one Christmas.
The lounge, the material for which was a bargain
And where I spend my days working for a living has swags and tails. I’m not really a that girly kinda gal so I decided to use thin velvet/velour cheap material (in case I didn’t like it) and patchwork it in big squares first and I actually really liked it. So much so I made a matching throw for the office chair.
They may not be wagyu steak but they’re certainly not scrag end!
Welll I love your curtains, I hate making those kind of curtains with the pleats…but they do way over charge so I’d be doing it myself to….I hate to see people fret over christmas gifts…it shouldn’t be so hard uh….my freind stresses for months as what to get his wife…then she never has liked one that I have seen…bless his heart if she only knew…hehehe! Happy Holidays….
The one (and only!) “handmade” activity I am good at is baking. So for Xmas, and for many other occasions!, I bake truckloads of all sorts of cookies, including some spice ones that have loads of turmeric in ’em (wouldn’t you know! :-)), which I then seal inside bags decorated with colorful ribbons. I make them for us, for our friends and family, but also for our GP, our vet, my students and so on. A huge effort, but it’s fun, too, because I always try new recipes. Hmmm, okay, that is not “handmade” in your sense of the term, but it’s as close as I can get! 😉
Your talent never ceases to amaze me! Being a crafter and seamstress in my younger days, I truly appreciate the time and effort that goes into a homemade gift. Your curtains are gorgeous, elegant and totally nicer than anything store bought!!
Have a good Holiday
Though I have no idea what either term actually means, context is my friend here, and, NO, those window treatments are NOT scrag end!!!!
It just doesn’t seem like Christmas unless I have made at least one gift for someone. I need to get moving because I haven’t even made a list yet! Oh and your curtains look beautiful.