Thursday, November 29, 2012

Elving for a handmade holiday

Without going into too much detail, I'll just say that there is a fair amount of elving going on around here.  My sewing machine and knitting needles are getting more attention lately than they have in ages.  I like to make a handmade gift or two each year for my daughters and my niece and nephew.  I also put together a small photo album of the girls from throughout the year for the grandparents.  We buy a few thoughtfully purchased gifts, and choose not to exchange gifts with many of the adults in our family.  This allows us to focus on the togetherness of sharing time with family with minimal pressure to BUY (for us or them). Some years we've chosen to donate to Heifer International in someone else's name as a gift to them and to a family in need who can receive a flock of chicks, geese, or ducks for a $20 donation (or other animals and training to help develop self-reliance for a variety of donation prices).

We've given little gifts like colorfully decorated jars of herbs de provence or little glazed pottery dishes some years.  We are trying to combine the traditions of our given families with our own intentional choices to increase joy and connection and decrease stress and pressure :) 

In our immediate family we share gifts and celebrate the turning of the seasons on Winter Solstice and then celebrate Christmas with extended family.    

 Camille likes to take over my knitting from time to time.  We're working on the Cowgirl Butterfly Astronaut Vest for Ayla.
One can hardly bring three little people into a craft store for yarn this time of year without picking up some little wooden ornaments and glitter glue :)

Besides crafty business, we have gotten together with friends, taken an orienteering class at Aldo Leopold Nature Center, visited Olbrich Botanical Gardens, ...
 chocolate rocks

 beauty in all seasons

...and played Mushroom Age, a time travel adventure.  I love seeing my girls engaged, heads pressed together, discussing, learning, and laughing.

Have you and your family chosen a unique way to celebrate the winter holidays (or summer, for you southern hemisphere folks)?  Do you develop new traditions, hold on to the ones you grew up with, or a combination of the two?

1 comment:

  1. I'm pushing for change, but my son and his grandmother (my mom) are holding on tight to old traditions. I'd like to start celebrating on the 21st and do something special every day until the New Year. Maybe bake cookies and take a tray to a different neighbor each day.

    You guys make such beautiful things with your hands!


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