Saturday, September 11, 2010

Handmade Christmas Challenge

What really is the spirit of Christmas? I was encouraged to think about this after reading last week's entry from Moon Scribble. So many families I know will be watching every cent they spend this year. Financially it's been a couple of really tough years and now more than ever there is a need to cut back and save. 

Every year I've fallen into the trap that is commercial advertising and joined the masses in frenzied, unconscious buying that left me penniless. Christmas isn't about the gifts, its much more significant than that.  

So what is the spirit of Christmas then? For me, it's one day in the calendar where I reflect on the past year and give thanks for everything I have. What I give other's is my unconditional love and friendship. There is so much good will at this time that handmade Christmas gifts perfectly encapsulate these values don't you think?

This doesn't require a Master's degree in all things crafty. Simple gestures of love in the form of a handmade card or focusing on the story behind the gift you have made or bought, is really what it's all about.

Culling your list of present buying is never going to be easy but I think its important to remember that you are sticking to your values - cherishing good will over gifts, choosing sustainable living over commercialism and setting the most valuable life lesson to the next generation that expressing your love doesn't come pre-packaged with a nice neat bow around it!

And so, to get everyone inspired (regardless of your crafty bent), this week I've put together a list of free tutorials and gift ideas for you all. Please feel free to add to the list, and help spread some crafty love.

Printable stickers from the lovely Bee at Honey Jumble 
Felt Christmas tutorials over at Bugs and Fishes
A master list of Christmas tutorials at Sew Mama Sew
Fantastic gifts in a jar and all things that melt in your mouth at Inspired Papertrey Ink
A Christmas inspired crochet cushion cover at Kootoyoo

What wonderful creations are you making for Christmas? Have you spied someone else's creation that would be perfect for a loved one? Perhaps you need some help with a few ideas.To join in, just leave a comment and simply add your link below.You can join in anytime during the week. If you are new to this meme, click here for all the details on how to join in on this Handmade Christmas Challenge and feel free to grab my button.


Little Ted Canvas said...

I agree, I think it's about time we got back to basics & enjoyed the real meaning of christmas. It sure has been nice to shop handmade & not get caught up in the kaos & commercialism so is just so much more simple & relaxed this way.

BugsandFishes said...

Thanks for linking to my tutorials! :)
I definitely favour a low-budget, crafty Christmas over a shiny super-commercialised one. Making things, and making things personal = Christmas for me. I also do a lot of easy baking (things like biscuits and mince pies), and give little bundles of baked treats as gifts.

Jules said...

I love this idea Tracey, so I thought I'd jump on board, it will be nice to make Chrissy a bit more personal and special, and hopefully people will appreciate the thought and effort behind a handmade gift!
I will keep you all updated with my find/creations and look forward to seeing what other people are doing! Cheers Julie

5 star, baby! said...

get back to the basics I agree also!!
my post is a little outside the square this week, but one that also is about what christmas really means.
giving to those who really need it &
giving from the heart xx

Sandra :) said...

Here's an idea -- last year my sister gave me a GOAT for Christmas!! Oxfam Canada ( gave a needy family a goat on my behalf - I'll be shopping their site this Christmas for my own siblings and in-laws!

Baa-Me Kniits said...

I love the goat idea, two years ago i gave the cousins an adoption of a baby elephant for a year. They were sent photos and monthly updates via email and the foundation was able to save another orphan. Sorry can't remember who the foundation was but if you google you should be able to find it or similar. Less is more don't they say :-) Sorry can't join in this week, we have hockey finals and breakup BBQ

handmadehappiness said...

i have been on catch up this week but i have lots of ace decorating links on my page xx