Friday, 21 December 2012

The Handmade Christmas

Today is the last day of work for me for 2012 and I could not be looking forward to the Christmas break more.  This post doesn't have any How To or food adventures in it, but instead, I thought I would post a little bit about why I think I create and make things, especially around Christmas.  Would you indulge me? - and stick with it, there are some cute photos!

For me, making things are very much part of my life.  It mainly started as a child, making things for my parents and grandparents.  My Granny's whole life, Birthday and Christmas presents were handmade.  Whatever I came up with that year, she loved, displayed and kept.  Because there is a real meaning in handmade things.  Often, it's not what's been made, but the knowledge that someone you love and that loves you has taken the time, effort and commitment to make something, just for you.

I've always made Christmas cards, for all the family and I genuinely cannot think of buying one.  I'd also like to think my family would be a bit disappointed if I gave them a shop bought card.
For some reason, wanting to make things, draw, sew, bake, create things has never left me.  I'm a classic 'I could make that' shopper, or a 'I wish it was in a different colour...didn't have that button...I'll make my own' and when I get an idea, I have to make it fairly soon or another 20 will have entered my head.  It's pretty constant, which is exhausting, but I get round to them, eventually, success or ... not.

Of course, it's not all completely selfless.  I love doing it and having an idea that I can see through from start to finish, whether I know what I am doing or not.  If I'm making a one-off, I can also put everything in to that one project, knowing it's my one chance and if it's difficult, well, I never have to make it [or make it the same way] again.  It's also pretty difficult not to be inspired all the time, but it has always been like that, for me, where it has not been like that at all for others in my family.

I've seen and know how something handmade can make someone feel and I think that's part of why I do it.  Anyway, I wont go on about it any further - you can look forward to it in another post, another time ;)  I think what I am trying to say in a round about way, is that handmade things are personal, there is something special about them and for me, as much as I love this, it wouldn't be Christmas without the handmade decorations my family have made, that have been kept and will come out every year.  My Mum has very much carried on the traditions of my Grandparents and I know my Brother, Sister and I will do the same.  There are decorations made by my Mum when she was a child:
...decorations made when I was a child:
[seemingly with a fondness for Michael Jackson dance moves]
...some more recent decorations:
...and decorations handmade by family friends [my very talented Godmother]:
...but my favourite handmade decoration is this handsome man.  Handmade by my Granny when I
was a child from a roll of cotton wool padding, black sugar paper and a black plastic hat.
My Granny might not be here anymore, but he is and there is a lot to be said for knowing that she had an idea to make us something special, made this just for us and took the time to create something that is loved and will be kept forever.  Thats a lot for a something handmade to hold.  I am pretty sure I got my make and create genes from her.  Maybe, if I'm lucky, some of my creations will still be around and seen in the same way we all see this little snowman.

I don't know if this post has made much sense, I have just typed my thoughts about an aspect of Christmas that means much to me without any real structure, so if you have made it to here, thank you and have a well earned drink [it's Christmas, you can at any time of day, completely acceptable].

I also want to thank you so, so much for visiting my blog this year.  It has been amazing for me to make things and then have somewhere [other than with my family] to share them.  I only started my posts at the end of September, as a document for the things I make, in the hope other people who make similar things or want to make similar things might visit.  But I have been genuinely overwhelmed each time I've seen how many people have visited the blog, when I get a tweet, favourite or mention on Twitter,  someone mentions me on their blog or when a comment is posted on the blog - thank you so much!

I really hope you have a wonderful Christmas break, rest and enjoy more than your fair share of food and drink!  I will be back towards the end of next week with some New Year decoration ideas that will take very little time [are perfect for kids] and fit in with Christmas decorations too.
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