So Christmas is just around the corner, and every shop has been pressurising us to buy, buy, buy for the last two months already! And so many of us fall for it! Must have… keep up with the Jones’s, blah, blah, blah! Well, what if you brought the spirit back into Christmas, and make it more meaningful for yourself, your pocket AND the planet? I have always taught my children that to show someone you care, it’s better to spend a couple of hours making them something, than going out and spending your hard-earned cash on a trinket or last minute store-bought stuff!
So here’s where it gets to be fun! Make a list of the people in your life you want to gift something to. Then think about what makes them tick, or what event, interest or happening in their life you can add to. Upcycle an old wooden artefact from a second-hand store, breathe new life into something old, create and make something that they will treasure. Over the years, our children have gifted us the most unique gifts which we have enjoyed – a gumboot rack, a painted canvas picture, a wooden garden stool for weeding….the list is endless! Hand-made treasures.
Let’s not forget the decorative bit of Christmas! Over the years, I have made many Christmas decorations, which are still in use and every year, we add new ones! A couple of years ago, I made hemp twine Christmas decorations to give away. Simply cut out Christmas shapes ( heart, circle etc) out of hard cardboard. Cover card with glue and begin to wind twine around until the cardboard is completely covered. A glue gun is handy to secure the end piece. Add a hanging handle and embellishments. Easy Peasy and very Eco-Savvy! In fact, these decorations can be composted when no longer needed!
This year, I have cut out some thick plastic shapes from my cat food (wow, that plastic is thick!) and coffee pouches to create recycled ornaments for the tree. I don’t get a “real” tree, as my old plastic one I bought 20-odd years ago, still works fine and has lasted quite well actually! Many people I know find it a hassle to get rid of the “real” pine tree once the festive season is over. I was put off getting a real one a long time ago when a sensitive friend told me she hated to go into homes with real ones, she could smell them dying! Anyway, I think trees should be allowed to grow and be our earth “lungs“, rather than being chopped down for a living room decoration!
Below is a wooden project, using salvaged wood from a wood workshop, and a decorative bit of aluminium from a can of “V” which I found on the roadside (boy, there are plenty of cans on roadsides!!). I collect cans when I go walking and bring them home to upcycle. They are easy to cut with heavy duty scissors and make great accessories to all sorts of projects! So go ahead, make your Christmas a hand-made one! The time spent in crowded stores with nauseating over-played Christmas songs can be better spent in the garage or garden shed, sewing machine or kitchen! Home-made jams, chutneys, salt-mixes or personalised body care gifts are fun to make and fun to receive!
Look at your resources on hand, what do you have a lot of? Try to think how you can make a gift from that. A grapefruit tree? Try making marmalade. I have a HUGE bay tree, so in the past, I have made little Bay Boxes and filled them with bay leaves. A gardening friend may love some hand painted herb signs. Someone with a sweet tooth will absolutely love some home-made candies or biscuits! Give yourself license to be creative and involved and see how much more fun Christmas becomes again, instead of being a stress factor! Go ahead! Have a fun-filled Making Christmas!
At a loss of what to make or where to start? Make Google work for you! There are thousands of ideas at your fingertips! Have a Merry Making Christmas everybody!