Monday, December 19, 2011

A Christmas DIY

 With all the Christmas organisation going on around this house, it leaves a little extra time to let the mind wander to more interesting things. Things like creative projects and DIYS. What better a way to spend an evening than baking, crafting and creating with your loved ones? One night last week, Nick and I set to work making small Christmas gifts for our family and friends. We giggled and chatted whilst baking, taping and taste-tetsing!

Over time, I have quite the collection of glass baby food jars and wanted to put them to good use. We decided on a cute, packaged up jar of homemade Christmas shortbread. It was a small and simple gift that was low on cost and totally handmade.

I washed and scrubbed all the baby jars and dried them thoroughly. Then it was a matter of simply wrapping gold paper around the jar, taping, then adding a cut off doily tied with twine. I had cut out 'tag' shapes in card, written greetings on them and also attached these with some thread. Its as simple as that!

...Almost!  Nick, being the better chef out of the two of us, baked 25 small serves of shortbread. (He will share his recipe with us later on) We then placed around 7 pieces in each jar and covered with a small circle of cling-wrap. And there you have it! A Christmas DIY.
Baby jars + shortbread + gold paper = Sweet Christmas gifts.

Giving something handmade this Christmas has helped to quell my unease with the excess of materialism and consumerism surrounding us at this time of the year. Call me a party pooper, but I just cant help but think of how much wrapping paper, how many store-bought cards and how much packaging ends up in landfill come boxing day. I wander through the shops and see people bickering over prices and the quantity of products, I see tired, over-stimulated children nagging at their parents for the latest version of 'such and such' and the must-have brand of 'such and such'. It makes me feel deflated and if honest, quite nervous. I don't like thinking of incredible amounts of waste and flamboyance in purchasing. Don't get me wrong, I too enjoy giving. I get excited about the buzz that hits stores in the form of carols and decorations, but there is something about this excessive gift-giving that makes me incredibly uneasy. I think it partly comes from growing up in a household of not many "things". At times, money was stretched and material things were sacrificed, it bought me up with a conscientious mind of waste, want and need.

Giving handmade and using recycled resources makes me feel good, I often hold onto supplies and bits and bobs for this purpose entirely, so that I can re-use it to create and give. If you are creative minded and enjoy crafting, why not do the same this Christmas? Make your own decorations, create your own gifts. Buy less and give more, all it takes is a few resources and some time in 'the zone'.

Happy handmade Christmas!

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