Monday, 19 October 2009

Don't look now if it's too early for you

Once upon a time, talking about Christmas in October used to be far too unseasonal for me, especially thanks to weeks of pent-up frustration of seeing festive cards and giftsets appearing in shops months before the celebration itself.

But this year, I'm of the opinion that if I can't beat 'em, I'm most definitely going to join 'em and start getting ready for Christmas too. I know we haven't even enjoyed Halloween yet, but I've got certain plans that need a little more time than traipsing around the high street can offer, which is why I'm getting prepared now.

Yes, this year I've set myself a challenge of organising christmas gifts which come with that extra personal touch and apart from a couple of things the children would like, most of the presents will be made by me or by local artisans and producers.

Without giving too much away, on account that some recipients may be looking in and due to the fact that I haven't yet got a precise plan of action, I am hoping to make Christmas preparations as simple as possible.

As well as getting creative with some tree decorations and bead jewellery, here are just a few of my other ideas:

  • I've been harvesting runner bean seeds from the garden which I can give to some of my more green-fingered friends.
  • I'm also going to make some festive pot-pourri, made from dried citrus peel, fir cones and rose petals. I'll be on the look out for some cinammon sticks to add to the blend too. I've never done this before so watch this space to see what happens.
  • My children absolutely love money, so I have been busy gathering all our loose change and filling up jam-jars. I'm planning to add chocolate coins to the collection to create mini treasure troves as stocking fillers.
  • And talking of stocking fillers, would you believe that I've had a special request to make more of the little stocking fellas I created last year.
This year I will also be ditching traditional gift-wrap and will instead spread the joy of reusable fabric wrapping, so I have treated myself to a few metres of gorgeous fabric decorated with festive prints. Don't fall off your chairs but I'm planning on calling the sewing machine into action to make some present bags.

There are simply billions of ideas out there and I am currently enjoying two particular scrummy books, which I picked up earlier in the year. The first is called Homemade by Ros Badger and Elspeth Thompson, which is stacked full of ideas that transcend the seasons. The other delightful read is The Christmas Book by Sheherazade Goldsmith, which focuses entirely on the festive season

So it looks as though this year will most definitely be a year of recycling and reusing, as well as using up stuff that we've got around the house. I'd love to know your ideas too. With little time on my hands as ever, I'm up for all ideas that come my way. If you're a blogger you may even be interested in joining in the Thrifty Christmas carnival which will be hosted by the lovely Liz over at Violet Posy. You can find more info about it here.

Given that the run-up to Christmas time has been very stressful indeed in previous years, this year, I am feeling surprisingly calm. Despite having more to do, I am optimistic that I will really enjoy it for the first time in ages. Well that's the plan.

All I now hope... is that the recipients will enjoy their gifts too.



mrs green said...

Yay! I'm doing a home made Christmas too! I love your teddy and the idea of a jar filled with money and chocs is fabby - I might have to adopt that one myself.

Off to check out your link and sign up myself; today I've been making decorations for the tree :)

Liz@Violet Posy said...

Blimey I'd better get that Linky up! You've got somew great presents there, I really like the idea of giving seeds from
my own plants. I've just ordered the ingredents to make homemade soaps it'll be interesting to see how they turn out. Thanks for joining in, I'm really looking forward to it :)

Anonymous said...

I've been thinking I ought to get my head around Christmas...
I find the men hardest to make stuff for. The older reli's get a hamper with homemade jam/Christmas cake/chutneys/sweets from the children etc. I put some smart(er) looking cans of soup in last year so the hamper had 'useful' food in too and would last longer. It's tempting to fill it with luxury things, but TBH my gran would rather eat soup than Gentleman's Relish... has great ideas for handmade gifts, submitted by bloggers. The last 2 years they've had something everyday in November, catagorized by gender/age/interests. It should be in their archives.
Better go and dig out my Christmas Cake recipe, thanks for the inspiration!


Hi Mrs G - It should be an exciting Christmas. British culture is definitely changing with the move towards more simple Christmas celebrations. Possibly due to the economy or perhaps a need for doing things differently. Hmmm...or is it my age I wonder? I'm looking forward to hearing how you get on with the decorations...please do post some pics. Would be great to see. Yay for a homemade Christmad :-) x

Hi Liz - Sounds like you're going to have load of fun too. I did a video about handwash soaps on YouTube ages ago, which might come in handy. If you need a link do let me know. I'm looking forward to joining in the carnival. Should be a good 'un :-D

Hi Hazel - the talk of Christmas cake is making me hungry :-) You're right about men being more difficult re home-made gifts. I made my husband some cufflinks a couple of years ago...was a bit of a disappointment as they fell apart a few months later. I may try again this year. Second time lucky. Thanks for the link. I popped over to visit and I love the necklace someone's made. It looks gorgeous. Good luck with your festive endeavours and do come back with news of what you get up to :-D

Condo Blues said...

My mother in law liked the Buttercup purse I made for myself and asked for one for Christmas. I decided to make one for the ladies on my list - I finished all eight and all but two were from material I had in my fabric stash! I decided to make 10 of the men and boys sleep pants because it's going to cold this winter! I have a few braided dog toys for the dogs, I'll make more when I get scraps from making the pants. It looks like many of the 35 people on my list (all immediate family) are getting something homemade this year. This is what I get for keeping myself busy because I can't paint our kitchen!


Hi Lisa - that's amazing. With your creative spirit, I'm wondering whether I should actually outsource my requirements to you. Then again, that would defeat the object wouldn't it. LOL

I love your ideas though and I just wish I had the talent :-D

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