Thursday, December 29, 2011
Christmas 2011 ~ the giving
For Christmas this year, we didn't go entirely homemade or even entirely handmade, but I would call it an eco-Christmas. A creative Christmas, for most of what was not handmade was either purchased gently used or was in the form of new or monetary charitable donation.
For our adopt-a-family (single dad and 2 toddlers): We purchased new toys and grocery gift cards. My parents bought used books for the kids and new clothing for the single dad.
From Santa (yes, we do Santa gifts...our kids believe and it is a bit of magic we approach in a non materialistic way): a nutcracker (White Elephant sale) with walnuts and a educational game (new in box from the thrift store). We also do stockings for everyone. We try and do quality items in the stockings, but since this can add up, I look for little things all year long and I get creative. My mom got a rock I collected at the lake, on which I wrote my word for the year, nourish. My aunt, a gardener, got seeds from our pumpkins. My brother got that knit thing he made a joke of at the lake. The kids got discounted wool socks. My uncle got gluten free recipes. And so on.
From Isabella Sofia to others: Bella made Finnian a dream catcher (with a little help from me and using this tutorial). Her idea. She also made everyone a bead bracelet. And she and Finnian made salt dough ornaments for everyone.
For dada Mike: Isabella gifted him a painting she had made at school. I wish I had bought a frame for it in time for Christmas. I gifted him with some emergency supplies ("free" to me with public radio donation), wool socks, and new, folding sawhorses. (His homemade ones had finally rotted beyond repair and I know we could use the space they took up.) I had intended to make him some lunch bags, but they just haven't gotten through my sewing machine yet.
For Finnian Luca: A puzzle (thrift store), books (clearance from our favorite bookshop in Santa Cruz), the rubber band board, and a scarf I knit (but haven't finished! I love how it matches the rocks at our favorite beach!)
For Isabella Sofia: pajamas and slippers (clearance) and books (clearance from our other favorite bookshop in Santa Cruz). Also a heart beeswax ornament I got in a barter.
For both kids: Dada-made wooden iron, ironing board, play fridge, more big wooden blocks, and playsilks (Sarah's Silks seconds. They allow space for requests and they filled my request for colors exactly!). All things they both have been asking for. Both kids also got mamma-made lunch sacks (simple, they get to decorate with fabric pens), a big bag of sand for the sandbox, and real, sturdy, hardware store shovels...that Mike painted pink and blue. (Finnian's choices of color, although he didn't know what he was choosing for.) Now where to put all of this?! We did it to ourselves! (Mike made up the fridge and the ironing board and iron he loosely followed this tutorial.)
For grannie Annie: We took grannie on an outing during Mike's week off and then framed a photo of her with the kids. We also gave her a framed photo of our kids and our niece (her grandchildren) together. That might be the only photo of all 3 kids together, looking at the camera, so far. She got some Smart Wool socks and a pocket calendar, as well.
For grandma: We gave my mom a book about bird's nests from a local photographer, gave her some pull-on grips that go over her shoes for snow and ice, and she received some photos as well.
For nonno: A coffee tamper that Mike turned and two half pounds of good, local espresso. He also got a gift card and a set of cards of local bike trails (White Elephant sale).
For my aunt and uncle who were visiting: A sushi set, with a board and chopstick rests made by Mike. We included some of the goodies, such as gluten free soy sauce, since my uncle also has Celiac Disease. Included, but not photoed, were dipping dishes.
For my brother, Stian: a gift card, cook book (White Elephant sale), baking mat (clearance), coasters (Mike made), and wooden block picture holders (Mike made) with photos (mine). The photos are placeholders until he picks some of mine he really wants, because he asked for some prints (despite the fact that he is a very good photographer). (I noticed there are project directions for the log card holders in Rhythm of the Family.)
For Mike's brother and sister in law: mugs decorated by me and tea. Also a photo of the little cousins.
For niece, Caroline: Green Toys truck (thrift store) and with wooden blocks (new, but from the thrift store) in a bag made by me, clothes (thrift store and White Elephant sale), and books (thrift store, but not the ones shown, in the end)
All our immediate family members got a calendar I made of the kids. Usually, I use Lulu.com. This year, I used Costco. I have been pleased with everything from Costco, but for most calendars, I will stick to Lulu in the future. Better quality. Lulu is pricier, even with discount codes, but the quality is reflected in the price.
So there you have it. It may seem self-absorbed to post the loot we made, but I love to read and see other people's recaps, as it sparks so many ideas!
Christmas 2011 ~ the giving
celebrations and holidays|gifts|needle crafts|woodwork|