Handmade for the Holidays

There are many blogs that I peruse on a semi-regular basis. I like to read about other mothers' trials and tribulations, particularly those who have multiples. I keep up to date on friends' travels and other adventures. I have a few blogs with health and environmentalism bents that I enjoy and of course, there's no shortage of craft and sewing tutorials to keep my hands busy. Being relatively new to the whole blogosphere, it's a real thrill happening upon something that makes me laugh or makes my life a little bit saner or more "green."

A few weeks ago when I was reading The Crunchy Chicken blog, I found the perfect way to approach the holidays this year. With her "Buy Hand" challenge, this blogger asks that you do one or more of the following:
  • hand-make your gifts
  • buy your gifts that are handmade by someone else (like from Etsy or a local craftsperson)
  • buy it used either at a thrift store, yard sale, Craigslist or Freecycle, etc.
  • buy tickets, memberships to museums, or another non-tangible item
  • barter for your gifts
So I went ahead and took the pledge. This takes all the things that I love (the holidays, my family, crafting, and being conscious of my impact on the environment) and rolls it all into one.

As I've blogged about in the past, December has a way of getting out of control very quickly around here. I have five siblings and my husband has three. Combine that with some very generous grandparents, Santa Claus, and eight nights of Hanukkah and all of a sudden we have one bleary-eyed pre-schooler tearing through wrapping paper without any clue of how to take it all in. It truly is an embarrassment of riches. With the Buy Hand challenge, I'm hoping to emphasize the process and love that goes into the things we give and make it less about the stuff. I don't want to deprive the grandparents and aunts the joy of giving my girls' gifts, I just want to take a step back within our little family. Since we'll be home for the holidays this year, it should be a lot easier.

But how to do it? First, I've turned our dining room into my crafting room which gives me a place to go. With everything already out, it makes it easy to sit down and get to work after the kids are in bed. So far, I've whipped up leg warmers, rattles, bibs, fairy wands, snack sacks, a "memory" game out of paint chip cards, and various other doo dads for the girls' stockings. We'll round them out with some used board books for the Turtles' and a video for Vivi.

With the gifts from us, Vivi is getting a scooter from Santa (found in great condition on Craig's List for $15) and a homemade canopy/reading nook from Mom and Dad for her new room. We are in the market for a used BOB duallie stroller which will be the Turtles' and our gift to each other. (Take that crappy ol' New England sidewalks!) I'll probably let Vivi pick out a used book or something small from a local craft fair to give to her sisters and her dad. That's it.

Any night after 7:15, you can find me in the dining room getting my craft on. Why not come on over and join me?


  1. I really wish I could join you. I totally want to make some of those snack sacks. The way lunch at preschool works, I've become totally reliant on zip-top bags, and I don't like it one bit!

    Your crafting sounds like great fun. Happy holidays!


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