Ah, autumn. Orange leaves, cool winds, thunderstorms. Southern Oregon is one of nature’s garden spots. In September you can actually smell the sweet harvest of so many different fields and orchards all at once. You need only to slow down and breath. It’s also the time I get started on handmade Christmas gifts. I know, most people are so annoyed to see red and green on the shelf this early but I prefer it. I want to have all my gifts made and stowed away by the time I’m trimming the tree. That way I have the time to enjoy all the bright eyed child-like wonder of Christmas with my family.
Last year I found myself in a situation where I either had to make toys or Santa got stuck in the chimney. I made a stuffed frog and a striped scarf out of fleece. I painted an ABC block toy box and purchased blank thermal pajamas, ironed on a photo of Thomas the tank engine and drew silver and gold tracks all over them. It was a success. My two-year-old loved it.
Making gifts is a wonderful way to treat your young children and to teach them the value of creativity. But don’t underestimate your older child’s appreciation for your hard work. A handmade gift from Mom or Dad can be cherished for a lifetime. Combining Christmas with handmade skills is a wonderful way to create family heirlooms to last generations. And all the more fun if they get to watch you make it.
This year I plan to make a blue plaid teddy bear, a black and yellow road sign scarf and maybe a stuffed monster. And that’s just for one child. My daughter will get a stuffed toy (like a bunny or a cat) and a new crocheted Christmas dress. I also plan to make scarves and shawls for extended family. Canning is a really fun way to treat your friends. I like to do sweets like jams, syrups, and pie fillings decorated with a piece of festive fabric under the ring.
So have fun, get creative and don’t wait 'till carolers are singing to get started. Make the season last. If you’re looking for patterns or handmade gifts on line, check out my etsy shop. It’s here on the blog. There’s more to come so keep checking. Peace on earth and good will toward men.