Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Handmade Christmas

I have made a pledge to have a handmade Christmas. Will you join me?

My intention is to make, and buy handmade, where ever possible. In particular I want to support Australian crafters and independent businesses. I love the idea of Christmas. Of traditions, sharing, giving and gathering as a family. But too often all the 'stuff' leaves me with an empty feeling. The plastic toys inside the crackers which will be cleared in to the bin along with the expensive wrapping paper. The 'stocking fillers' which will amuse the little ones for a few days until they are lost or broken and then find their way to landfill too. The toy baskets stuffed with all the new gifts, but no real appreciation for them. Instead I want my money to support the talented crafters whose blogs I follow. I want less, with more meaning.

Vintage Tram Roll Menu Tea towel designed and hand screen printed by Nic of Yardage Design. 

Instead of wandering the aisles of chain stores, I am clicking on the shop links on my favourite blogs. Instead of browsing markets filled with items made in China, I am browsing Madeit.com. There are so many talented makers, I don't think it will be very difficult to swap store brought for handmade. Handmade doesn't have to mean daggy hand painted door stops (unless that's your kind of thing.) Handmade can mean beautiful, original, unique, well crafted. It can mean supporting independent designers, stay at home mothers, self taught artisans, sewers, print makers, jewellers and ceramic artists.

Doilie clutches handmade by Margeaux of Red Tree Designs.

I am being realistic about this pledge. I know there will be no escaping the purchase of such things as books for Grandpa, band shirts for the uncles and Lego for a certain toddler. I'm sure you will have a few of those inescapable purchases too. But given that we all probably spend more money on gifts at Christmas time than at any other time of the year, I think this is a great time to support the makers that form such a big part of our blogging community. If you don't have the time to make it yourself, why not buy it handmade rather than store brought? Why not think about buying less gifts, but better quality items? Like Jodie, I embrace this saying regarding gifts for my children, "Something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read." More gifts doesn't mean you love them more. Thoughtful gifts last and hold their meaning.

Hot water bottle and knitted cozy designed and knitted on a hand powered knitting machine by Mellie Lang.

So, will you join me? Have I encouraged you to make and buy more handmade gifts this Christmas? I'm sure I'll be preaching to the choir for many of my readers, who already strive for a handmade Christmas. Perhaps you could leave a comment about the ways you celebrate with handmade in December? Or the ways you'd like to make your Christmas more crafty this year? I have a plan to help, which I will unveil soon. I'll just say, it includes the talented crafters whose work I have included in this post.

22 comments:

  1. oh yay Christina, good for you! We have done the four 'somethings' for gifts for the kids for a number of years now. And we did full handmade last year, it was wonderful. we exchanged homemade jams and chutneys and chocolates, and it truly brought the whole day back to simply sharing time and togetherness. beautiful stuff. already pledged! :)sarah

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  2. I love the idea of handmade and homemade. Must start shopping or making soon!

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  3. oh! i just came across this http://justbaustralia.com.au/be-creative/creative-100-really-great-gifts-to-make-20651/ off to read through it properly! maybe i should blog all the gifts i made last year? :)s

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  4. I was just saying to Corey I should have a look online for a few things. We have already bought a few presents but I have plans to make a couple of things as well and hopefully buy a few things off madeit and etsy. How cool is that hot water bottle! Love it.

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  5. Completely agree... I did however make a big book depository order last night... books are a fav in our home! Thanks for the inspiration! xxx Terrariums are great gifts... hard to post though! xx

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  6. I do my best to give handmade but with four grown up sons, it is sometimes hard as they have very definite ideas about what they want! Their girlfriends, wives and grandparents will definitely get handmade this year. I adore the hot water bottle cover.

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  7. I think a handmade Christmas means so much more than a commercial one. We have never been big on going over board with buying for our children..we usually give 2-3 small presents and make Christmas about spending time with loved ones.
    I have always tried to make gifts where possible but that is getting increasingly harder with our 18 and almost 20 year old sons.
    x

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  8. Handmade is the way to go for me with a bit of thrifty repurposing too!

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  9. i agree, im even doing a handmade birthday party , im off to the local piniata making lady instead of the store bought ones.

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  10. Yes I'm trying to make and buy handmade as well.
    And thrift too to add to the gift recipients collections.
    Also buying locally produced value-added foods to include in gifts- boiled lollies, chocolates, jams and chutneys.
    x

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  11. if i don't make or buy handmade gifts for all at christmas my next priority is for it to be locally made. i love jodie's saying too and must remember this one for future use. i look forward to seeing what you unveil.

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  12. Wholehearted agreement from me! PS your madeit link doesn't go to the madeit site I think you think it might ;)

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  13. Beautiful idea. I always think my handmade Christmas has to mean handmade by ME. And then I can't keep up and it all goes pear shaped. But buying handmade is a great middle ground. xxx

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  14. Am definately trying to make/buy only handmade this year also! Thanks so much for the beautiful links and nudge to really give it a decent go. Wishing you the loveliest of Wednesdays.
    Steph :) x
    thisbrownwren.blogspot.com

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  15. I've been knitting all year just for this fact. Also I make photo books and calendars of my photos for family-it's a great gift!!

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  16. I love this! I am to making things Handmade this year for Christmas. Lots of ornaments and a little crochet. Gifts like these give so much more meaning, at least to me it does, than the ones you buy in a store.....a new follower, Shari

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  17. I totally agree with a handmade Christmas... there are so many gorgeous handmade things out there :)

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  18. I love this and TOTALLY agree. I am buying some gifts this year, but making many of them myself. What I am buying are coming from local shops, filled with items made by individual people (I'm lucky Portland has a great community to support this). Thanks for this post and I hope it encourages many others to follow in your path!

    - Shannon @ moveeatcreate.wordpress.com

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  19. Absolutely, there is so much out there if we just look locally, it's usually better quality and many products are made by Mums working from home!

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  20. That is my goal for this year as well! I have seen and briefly posted about Plaid Friday, taking the place of black friday. So far I haven't bought anything from a store other than etsy!

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  21. Excellent idea! I'm trying to instigate a new rule for presents in my family...handmade or secondhand. I may be the only one following that rule but you have to start somewhere!

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I heart comments! Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. :)

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