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Completely Homemade Christmas?

874 Views 13 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  NiteNicole
Have any of you done a completely homemade Christmas? Absolutely nothing store bought (except for supplies, of course). Its too late for us this year but I'm already thinking about next year. DH is a woodworker (has made a large portion of our furniture) and I'm pretty crafty (anything from scrapbooking, stamping, to sewing and soap making). I'm specifically referring to the children in your household. The vast majority of our other gift giving is already handmade. What were the ages of your children when you did this and how did they respond?
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I bet you would get a bunch more responses in the crafting forums or TAO rather than the safety forum.

I have not done a completely homemade Christmas with my so yet, but this will only be his second. I would love to do it next year though. He is getting many handmade gifts this year, just not exclusively.
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I haven't done this as an adult but as a child there were a few years where my family did this. We actaully liked it a lot. My parents are pretty crafty (my dad with wood, my mom with sewing) and they helped us kids make presents for each other if we were on the younger side and gave us some ideas if we were stumped. I don't remember how old I was, but I want to say somewhere between 10-12? I know there was a year where I decorated picture frames for my sisters and put pictures of us in it. It's a lot of fun to see what people make.
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My husband and I both come from large families and we have managed to not spend great amounts of money during Christmas ..
We focus on more crafty and personal gifts for EVERYONE (20 + people)
Homemade Salsa
Homemade Candles
Homemade bath scrub (Olive Oil and Sea Salt)
Having the kids paint on Canvas and giving them to grandparents
Homemade Snow Globes
Knitting Scarfs
Framed Collage of Someones name and words that best describe them

There is a website I like going to for ideas is
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I'd also recommend the book The Creative Family by Amanda Soule. She has lots of ideas about crafting with and for kids. She also has a blog called soulemama which you can track through for great ideas and resources.

have fun!
If I can finish everything before Christmas ...
DS (19mos) will get knit 1. fruits and veggies, maybe a handmade crate to keep them in
2. knit fishing game, fish have magnets in them, magnetic pole
3. homemade mini mop... trying to think of how to make a broom... mop would be easy
4. game made from wood, box type with holes in the angled top to aim balls into, maybe a couple doors on back and sides with different kinds of latches to do and undo
I work at an unfinshed wood furniture store so all the wood and use of tools are free

Any body have an idea of how to make a broom, drop me a line
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I make maybe half of it. A dress up cape, a felt checkers/tic tac toe game, one of those scary stuffed animals. Lots of games, stacking boxes can be made with wood. This year I wanted dh, who is a woodworker as well, to make them a dollhouse but it didn't happen. I can't say my then 5 year old was impressed with homemade things. Over time though he really enjoyed them.
Several years ago, I knitted, cross stitched and crocheted every gifts for family members. It was fun planning, choosing the materials and watching their reactions when they opened the gifts.
Interesting thread

We are not totally homemade here, but aspire to continue increasing the % of true-homemade stuff and stuff made by other local artisans.
I can't say how the children have "responded" because this has been a natural, ongoing evolution in our household and not something that was suddenly dropped on them. Also, since they attend a Waldorf school, admiration for artisans and receiving handmade crafts as gifts seem very normal. I don't think we will ever reach 100% homemade, and the kids always get something that is mass-produced, not on "principle" but because we always see something that we know they would like and that looks OK to us. I have observed some tendency for the kids to be drawn to plasticky tacky MIC stuff, but they are not yet at an age where they want to fight for it at all costs and resist homemade and local items. Or maybe they will never get there???

What other crafts do some mamas do that are not fiber-based (like sewing, knitting, crocheting)? Not that there's anything wrong with these, it's just that I have never learned them and am wondering what other women are making....I make jewelry (for sale as well as for gifts) and am handy at painting and restoring furniture, though not at making it. I also give homemade wild blackberry/Grand Marnier jam to the extended family. I like jam better than cookies as a gift, because many people are all cookied out in December and January, but the jam will keep until they are in the mood for something sweet that's not too sweet....We also, of course, give honey and mead from our domestic production. I haven't yet gotten into candle making, but that's on the list.

One thought that's come across my mind is getting someone (hubby? mom? a professional seamstress?) to sew some fabric gift bags of various sizes that we can put our presents into and re-use year after year rather than having to burn all that paper. I also want to have someone make re-usable wooden "advent" calendars (maybe only for the days up to the Solstice) that I can fill with small organic goodies and homemade decorations.
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Hey all. Please try to keep this on topic to the OP:

What were the ages of your children when you did this and how did they respond?
If you want to go into detail or discuss the crafts that you've been doing outside of the context of the OP, please take this discussion to the Arts and Crafts forum.

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No, I haven't. But
to any of you who have. I was just happy to make some homemade gifts (and I was a lot more ambitious than ended up being realistic with a 21 month old).
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I'd also recommend the book The Creative Family by Amanda Soule. She has lots of ideas about crafting with and for kids. She also has a blog called soulemama which you can track through for great ideas and resources

Love this blog! The book is on my Amazon wish list.

Anyway, my daughter is nearly three and I'm just now kind of coming to terms that she just has very little interest in hand made toys. I don't know why, I don't know what it is that turns her off (or makes her like the mass produced, often plastic stuff) but I wish I did. I'm HOPING as she gets older, I can keep moving her towards those kinds of things and away from the plastic but the plastic seems to be winning and also piling up.

I'm really glad you asked this question and I hope you get a lot of feedback. I was thinking of asking something very similar.
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