Every year I have the same conversation about Christmas presents with my husband. We agree we’re not going to spend loads of money on presents but end up doing it anyway. Even when I decide to make most of the gifts for our family and friends, and I get everything done in time, there is always the worry that I won’t finish. The horror of someone being presentless leads to “just in case” bought presents, that sneaks into “just a knick knack each” and then the whole thing, for want of a better word, snowballs until I have all the pressure of making presents as well as the cost of buying them!
In recent years my whole family has relied heavily on Amazon wishlists to plan Christmas, but it feels as if it’s all got out of hand as the piles of books and discs stack up. Usually I don’t even remember who got me what from my wishlist, and my poor mum can’t remember what came from which list when the parcels start arriving. It’s almost an annual tradition for there to be at least one mystery gift that has to be claimed on the day, and sometimes this is complicated by being an item on more than one person’s list!
The Christmas presents I look forward to the most, both those I’m giving and receiving, are those that are home made. I am very lucky that as well as internet or shop bought items, I am always given things made by my family. My older sister’s homemade fudge is something that my husband in particular looks forward to all year; both my younger sister, and my brother’s wife are expert and prolific knitters; and my mum often knits or sews us presents. My nieces and nephews also love to make us things, and my eldest niece is proving to be a real whizz on my old sewing machine!
Shop bought presents are fun when they are new, but there are very few that become part of lasting memories that have anything to do with the people that gave them to me. Hand knitted socks, hats, gloves and bags on the other hand are most definitely associated with the people who made them for me, and I wouldn’t part with my knitted penguin hot water bottle cover from my little sister, or the leopard-print sock monster made by my nephew for anything! Not even for every item on my Amazon wishlist.
So I’ve committed to handmade all the way this year and DEAR GOD IS THAT THE DATE?
I don’t know if I’ll make it or not this year, but I’ll give it my best shot. Here are a few of my finished (and work in progress) presents for people I know won’t see this blog.
Work in progres: Papillon Scarf pattern by Birgit Tüchsen on bynumber19.com
Child’s beanie worked in half trebles, waiting for an epic pompom to go on top!
It’s far too late for an early night so I think I’ll just have a quick look at Handmade Monday over at Handmade Harbour for some last minute inspiration.