Monday, December 07, 2015

'Tis the season to make and give

I've always loved Christmas. Maybe it's the event planner in me, but there's so much to prepare for and make in advance to ensure that everyone has a wonderful, warm and loving time during the season. When my son was little I kept a book in which I tracked all the tasks I wanted to complete to make it the best Christmas ever. Everything, from shopping, to sending cards to baking and tree decorating, was plotted and followed to make sure nothing fell behind or was missed. Ritual. But within the ritual my creativity thrived. And, while I think that being busy at this time of year is great, taking time to plan and to hand make your Christmas is important and shows that you care. And I do believe that it's a two-way street: I get as much out of creating as the gift receiver gets when they realize that I took the time to make something special for them.

So let your creativity flow in December. Here are some ways I let my imagination play at this time of year:

Picking and wrapping presents
There's creativity in just picking presents for those you care about. Think about their interests and activities and buy something that shows you noticed. It doesn't have to be expensive, but it should be thoughtful. You're giving the gift of kindness and your time/attention. Then buy or make appropriate containers for the presents to show you spent time thinking about the person while you were wrapping it. Add glitter, beads, hand-stamped brown paper bags, decorated store bought boxes, tins, hand-made tags -- all of these add to the excitement and fun of gift-giving.  I bought these felt baskets at the dollar store and I'll fill them with goodies, cello wrap them and include pre wrapped things as well that I picked up in Paris. 

Make your presents
We crafty people know that it takes time and money to buy the supplies and make something special for someone. Back when I cross stitched, I made special ornaments for everyone each year with the date stitched on them. Small but detailed, each year when they deck their tree they have a reminder that I care about them.These days, it's jewellery. Every lady (and sometimes the guys) in my family get a piece of jewellery I make each piece with them in mind: a wearable reminder that you love and care for the recipient.

Make your cards
Sending Christmas cards is expensive these days, with postal rates and the cost of boxed cards. But receiving a card makes you feel like someone is thinking about you, and cares enough to jot a few lines of greeting. There's so many great paper crafting tools and supplies these days, that making your own cards is fun and easy. I just received a lovely hand made card from a friend and it touched me so much that she cared enough to create the card and write a personal message in it for me. Thanks, Rae!

Baking and cooking
Recipes are fun to make, and a good cookie baking session can give you the gift of the festive spirit while also yielding great gifts. Get creative and switch up recipes to give them your own twist. Put cookies and loaves in special tins, use pretty doilies between layers and wrap your gift in a big bow. Instant present that, once again, shows you give the gift of your time and love. Also, baking with friends and family is a gift of love, tradition and memories. I've baked cookies, bars and candies with my best friend Laura and we look forward to, and treasure, the time we spend together. And the bonus is you have treats for gift giving at the end of it all.

Take time to care and be present, not worry about presents
Christmas is a time for giving. But it's not about the amount of stuff you get. It's about spending quality time with friends, family and everyone you love. Make memories and make them special. 

Merry Christmas. Happy Hanukkah. Festive Kwanzaa, and whatever you celebrate this year. More blogging adventures in the new year.  

1 comment:

Gail Speers said...

Lovely post Cindy! Merry Christmas to you and yours!