Advent Calendar: Day 9 – Christmas Craft


Christmas Craft or Christmas Shopping, that is the question. The prompt for today is: There’s a movement towards making items for Christmas gifts or even for Christmas decorating. Have you ever made something by hand related to Christmas? What was the item, how was it made and what did you do with the finished product? What about other family members – was or is there anyone who excels at hand-crafted items and giving them as gifts during Christmas?

Xmas cross stitch

I need to straighten up that right hand picture!

On reflection it seems our family was fairly crafty, though necessarily every year. This was possibly an inheritance from my mother and her side of the family, as my Aunty Mary was also an enthusiastic crafter.

Family craft activities by three generations: my mother, me and my daughters.

Family craft activities by three generations: my mother, me and my daughters.

Like many families ours would decorate our tree with craft made by the children at school. Unfortunately they’re not really all that durable and over the years have become completely tatty and had to be retired. Now it’s the turn of the grandchildren, as in the weeks between school ending and Christmas we usually tackle at least one craft activity for the parents, with a painting on canvas blocks done by each child being the chief activity.

Santa Xmas craft

As our own children got in the mid-late primary school years we’d engage in craft activities at home. In my mind they’ve become the “Year of…”. One year it was the Year of Fymo when several families of neighbourhood kids would be on the family room floor creating havoc and craft with Fymo: beads, wreaths, and ornaments.

I based this Jubilee swap craft on the Xmas ones we used to do - and which were all given away.

I based this Jubilee swap craft on the Xmas ones we used to do – and which were all given away.

Then there was the Year of Cross-stitching when we created small decorations with Christmas themed cross-stitch. When travelling in Europe at Christmas-time 1989 we amused ourselves each evening making up these with an Aussie theme (koalas with gifts etc), and then gifting them to the Bed and Breakfast owners we especially liked. I unearthed a blank frame last year and completed it for the French-based blogger I’d been allocated in the Faith, Hope and Charity Jubilee Swap.

Or the Year of Applique, when I stitched appliqued T-shirts or aprons in a variety of patterns to celebrate Australia’s bicentenary as well as Christmas shirts for daughters, nieces and nephews.

Kermit and Xmas_edited-1Or the year I made photo albums for our daughters of events in their lives to that point. And then topped them up a couple of years later – but mixed up the gift tags so they had to swap to the right daughter <smile>.

One Christmas craft which gets turned out each year is the Kermit with Christmas Stocking that I made probably twenty plus years ago. If it wasn’t for our tropical insects it would be able to contain lollies and treats but instead it’s largely ornamental.

I guess there have probably been other Christmas craft activities that have faded from memory but each one giving pleasure in the activity at the time.  Quite apart from crafty activities there’s always the opportunity to make food-goodies for gifts which has happened occasionally, but not recently. They often included white chocolate or rum balls made by the kids for their grandparents or aunts.

In many ways I don’t think craft or food gifts are about saving money, because they have a cost in themselves. What they are about is the gift of the crafter’s love, time and ability (or just aspiration!) which is what Christmas sharing is about.

And as always, the cat has the last word when it comes to Christmas decorations, as you can tell from his pugnacious expression.

What do you mean I have to get off?

What do you mean I have to get off?

This post is part of the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories (ACCM) which allows you to share your family’s holiday history twenty-four different ways during December! Learn more at http://adventcalendar.geneabloggers.com. You can see the posts others have submitted on the Advent Calendar Pinterest site.

5 thoughts on “Advent Calendar: Day 9 – Christmas Craft

  1. Impressive! I wish I shared your skills. My best effort? Probably the calendars that I created with my own photos and hand made paper. They would not have won any prizes, but my family liked them.

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  2. A lovely post, reminding us how we can spend time and love in creating presents. So many of your examples rang a bell, as I too was a great cross stitcher of cards and tree decorations. .

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    • hi Susan, Thanks for your kind words. I do think it’s the time and love that are the key points. Cross-stitching is fun and not so very hard, but not helped by increasingly aged eyes 😉 Happy Christmas.

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  3. Pingback: Monday Memories – Are you crafty? | Family history across the seas

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