Hand made Christmas

It’s almost New Years, and before I start talking about resolutions, I want to show some photos of the gifts we made for each other here at our house for Christmas this year.

It was so much fun making these gifts, and such a crazy fun celebration when we opened them all up on Christmas Eve.

Everybody was so enthusiastic and everybody had a couple of things they were just popping to give, and to see how their creations would be received.

Everybody was happy and  laughing, and a couple of people cried.

Here’s a little breakdown of what we unwrapped:

Daniel made a mug for Jon, and some coasters and tiled trivets which we will treasure for years to come.

Maggie glued a hundred buttons onto a basket because she knew that was just what Audrey needed, and she also painted and glued beads and sequins onto a flower pot for Jon into which she planted a Christmas cactus, making him a really dramatic piece of living art for his office.    I addition to these treasures, she made an adorable collection of pompom art animals, complete with googly eyes.   They are almost like a little pompom nativity set.

Helen made a set of festive paper lanterns for Audrey and a painting of a mountain scene which she framed up for Jon to take to work.

Jon made some gorgeous wooden items.  One was a beautiful wooden lap desk for Helen, which he tricked out with all kinds of cool calligraphy pens, paper and ink.  So, you can see the writer wearing her new blue shawl here on the left, and here is here lovely desk just below.

Audrey sewed up a cute bag for Helen.

She also made Maggie a soft pink blanket with satin rosebuds on it, under which Maggie is sleeping  as I write here.

Audrey also made some funny T-shirts for the boys which they are wearing in the photos here, and she made  a beautiful collage of black and white photographs for Jon and me.

David made some killer hot-chocolate mix, which is disappearing fast.

Michael made some lovely fragrant candles, and he also  found an old doll sized dresser which belonged to my mother long about 1936.    It was in very poor condition, but he sanded it down,  replaced the mirror, painted it, rebuilt the drawers and made it like new for Maggie.

The queen of all gifts was the wooden knitting box Jon made for me.

It is lovely, lovely.  And I will use it for years to come, and pass it on to one of my girls.

It has three compartments, and one of those has lid with holes especially designed so I can keep yarn in the box, safe and clean, and run it through holes in the lid……and there are three holes in the lid, so I can work with three skeins at a time, if I want.    When I pulled the three boxes apart, I discovered it was packed full of bulky yarn for some great felting project which is yet to be drawn up.   Maybe it will be somebody’s gift next year.

And here is something special Audrey made for me.

It’s a set of twenty one knit markers which she made from silver rings and little blue and green beads.

There’s even an extra large centre marker which I can use for lace knitting, or for marking the beginning of a round on circular needles.

And she’s put them on this funky piece of bent wire which not only looks way cool, it also keeps then from wandering all over that gorgeous box.

Here’s a photo of some knitting that needs pretty markers.  See how boring those little green plastic rings look there.  Imaging that little piece with some groovy beaded markers to set it off.  Maybe then I would finish it!

And in addition to these home-made treasures, there was the annual Christmas slot car stuff, a pile of hockey equipment, an electric keyboard, and various other things that none of us knows how to make, so Jon bought ’em.   Which brings to mind a question that popped into my head Christmas morning:  I wonder how many households have an annual slot-car derby on Christmas Day.   It’s kind of amusing to me that one of the sounds I have come to associate with  Christmas goes along with the sounds of breakfast preparation.

It is the unlikely   sound of those toy  racetracks whining, cars flying off the tracks, and the boys yelling at them while I’m getting the food on the table.  Ruby-red grapefruit, sausage and cheese balls, egg-nog and the sound of those little cars whizzing along and crashing into the furniture.

So much to be thankful for!

5 thoughts on “Hand made Christmas

  1. Paula….we have never done this before, but I am sure we’ll do it again. I am sure your family does some neat gifts, hand made….I need to check your blog to see.
    I think it would be a great idea for some really creative people like you to collaborate on a post or a series of posts with good inspirational ideas about gift to make.
    What do you think?

  2. Hi Missy, Jon, and family,

    It was inspiring to read about your family celebration and the wonderful hand-made gifts. We have had a time of simple celebration here, with dinner on Christmas afternoon at Rick’s house, and again tonight with Mike and Charity.

    I recall with much pleasure the days I spent with you many years ago, picking strawberries and enjoying our wonderful house. I especially remember when David and I took a walk across the river. There were so many interesting things to see that I guess we stayed over time and you became very concerned. I dream of coming back to see you some day, but that will probably just remain a dream. A visit here by you all would be much more practical.

    I miss Yucaipa but I’ve grown to love living here in Galt with Becky and close to Mike and Charity. I see Thelma and Hulda several times a month. They are not in the best of health; they both use walkers or wheel chairs to get around. That is sad, but their spririts and minds are very strong.

    I see Rachel at least monthly. She and Becky and I went to Monterey just before Christmas for a nice two-day visit. Often we go to Yosemite at this time of year, but this year the weather has been so severe that we were afraid we might not get back.

    I love each one of you and would so enjoy seeing the children again (and Missy and Jon).

    Frederik is visiting here now, and he sends his greetings.

    Now that we know that MIssy has a blog, we will try to check it frequently. I do not have my own email address any more, but if you send email to Mike (kingbirdfarms@gmail.com) or Becky (reaton0120@yahoo.com) they will share it with me.

    Much love,


  3. Trouble is, Missy, I have so few original ideas! There are lots of bloggers out there, though, that have compiled some decent lists :)

    I’ve discovered that I really have a complex about my handmade gifts. After reading your post, I suggested to B that we should start a new tradition of all making Christmas gifts for each other, and he said, “OK” — but with such a tone that made me immediately defensive and reply, “What — you don’t LIKE the gifts I make???” Poor guy 😉

  4. Paula, maybe we could work together, find some good lists, beg people for ideas, and make a nice little collection of inspirational gift ideas. It’s such a fun project, and we learned so many things. I am going to get myself organized for this, but not until Tuesday. My brain is mush.
    And hey…..you have so many creative ideas! I have seen your blog. I have seen your house. You are funny.

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