Baa-me Kniits

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Handmade Christmas Challenge

I have been meaning to redo our Advent Calendar for a number of years. We have a card which was sent one year by a friend which has little windows that you open and there is a Christmas picture behind the flap. Its nice and the kids like it but I have been trying to teach them more about what the message of Christmas really is.

Claire over at Craft Schmaft has a lovely idea for an advent calendar, I really liked the simplicity of it and the way it shared the 'spirit' of Christmas and got the children involved in the sharing. This is my variation on her Calendar....

I have been fighting the commercialism of Christmas for a number of years, I get very disheartened by the mad frenzy that I see at the shops and in the community and amongst our children. Its all about Me, Me, Me and 'The I Wants'......not a pretty picture!

So in an effort to get back to the Real Christmas this year we have downsized and I am doing a Handmade Christmas. I can proudly say that I have made all my presents except for my husbands ( I can't make work overalls! ) and some of the boys presents. Sorry I love the learning experience the boys get from Lego and through books and I just can't make them.... Plus my eldest wanted a Lab Coat and safety glasses for doing Science experiments and research, I can sew but not that well :-)

Here is our little tree, grown locally by a neighbour and recyclable for years to come. One of the messages on the tree is to donate our old tree to charity along with all the bought decorations that have been cluttering up my cupboard for too many years. This year we are going to keep it simple and the boys are going to put a nature decoration on the tree everyday.....

Cute isn't it.... Each tag has a December date on it leading up to Christmas Day and there is a simple message of something fun to do or something sharing to do....

Remember that red Ric-Rac that I made a while ago?? I have used it to brighten up this dress which I really liked but felt that it just needed a bit of colour. This is a photo of Cullen and I at the Botanical Gardens in Cairns, a tropical paradise which we visited recently while we were waiting for 'Tulah' to arrive at the airport.

Hope you are having a great weekend,


  1. Completely agree about the commercialism of Christmas Jenni. I was at the shop yesterday and was really annoyed by all the buying and rudeness going on there.(Did the lady in front of me really need 12 blocks of chocolate?) People were porbably buying things they didnt need ( I NEEDED those undies OK!) and it was like a feeding frenzy . I came home as soon as I could get out of there.

    I love that you're sharing the intent and meaning of Christmas with your boys by deeds and actions. It's all about spending time together and being grateful for the things we have because most of us already have so much.

    I'm trying to do a lot of handmade, upcycled and recycled gifts this year. It's hard when Mr. P's family dont appreciate it, but tough. They're going to have to learn to like it. Or not.

    The dress looks fab!

  2. Wonderful way to spend your Christmas month doing lots of things together. And I do love your little tree, how exciting it will be to take a photo of it and your boys each year and watch them all grow together.

    That ric rac looks perfect on your dress as well!

  3. Together is what is is all about. :)

  4. A Woman after my own heart - I thoroughly agree about the commercial aspect too. Good for you passing on your ideals to your family too. I`m trying to do the same with my grandaughter but I`m afraid sometimes my ideals are scoffed at as being too old-fashioned!Doesn`t stop me carrying on with my crusade though!
    Lovely pic of you and your boy and your dress is so pretty too.

  5. Love your tree! And the message you're sending to the kids, brilliant. xxx

  6. You and Rachel - what a lovely way to use your tree, your ric-rac, your influence on the kids. It's interesting to me that many of the blogs you and I both read talk about the meaning of Christmas, but hardly anybody ever actually mentions Christ himself. I wonder if that's because we're being careful of everyone's personal concepts of him. To me, Christmas is astonishing - that Christ loved us (loves us) and was willing to be born on earth with all the limitations and pains and sorrows and joys - into a desert (which would discourage me) and a time when there was not even running water - knowing the sacrifice he would have to make - and did it for love. Just for love.

    When I conduct the music in church, I try to tie Easter and Christmas together - so that we see how precious that baby was, and we never forget the life he would lead or the tremendous price he would pay. His poor mother. I would want my sons to follow in his footsteps, but it's hard to want to see them hurt and disappointed and ill treated by others. I don't know how i'd stand it.

    If people would only see that it's not the things you buy that will bless their children - but the gifts of heart and discipline and spirit - the gifts we give our children when we teach them that they are NOT the center of the universe - that their talents and powers are given to them for the purpose of SERVING, not being served - that they take joy in the great beauty God has given us for free - to reverence these things, be astonished by them - to love and to give - no money can buy these things.

  7. Good luck with the hand making gifts. I am making everything that I'm gifting too... but Santa's workshop appears to be very commercial so the kids can get their mass-produced fix from him.
    Loving the red ric rac - looks fabo! (which is a good thing... not sure where fabo has come from in my brain... probably the uber daggy part!!!)

  8. Ahh, what a lovely photo of you and your son! You both look so warm and friendly and happy. It's funny because I was just reflecting on how Lego and books are my exceptions to the handmade rule this year. Lego is such a nostalgic present and seems so essential and I was questioning why, and feeling surprised by my lack of awareness of where it's made and how. I will
    have to look into it, I hope it's all good!
    Beautiful ideas here, love the simplicity you are striving for. It's really hard to steer clear of the rampant commercialism when Xmas lights are flashing 24/7 and emotional buttons are being pushed by savvy advertisers, so thanks for your examples of alternative and more altruistic celebrations, xxoo

  9. Hello Jenni! I'm late on commenting because I didn't realise this was a different post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I loved reading this post, I love your re-usable xmas tree! It is totally cute and being a greenie tree-hugger I hate that millions of trees are cut down just for tradition.... so I really like yours! I decorate my pot plant "marge" with christmas coloured ribbons but won't get around to that for weeks yet!!!
    It seems that so many people are anti commercialism, yet, why do all of these people support it by buying all these little christmas trays to put their mince pies on from the $2 shop and buy crappy tacky christmas stockings etc etc? It makes me a bit mad as the commercial industry cannot run without us supporting it, so good on you for doing something different and inspiring us all to make changes too!
    Lovely pic of you with your boy, it;s a keeper!

  10. What a lovely, lovely post. Your tree is going to be fantastic! I have kept my twigs that I sprayed white last year and am sticking them in a jug of sand as my "alternative" Christmas tree. Know what you mean about lego..... my son loved it when he was little and I think it is one of the best toys ever.

  11. I love your solution to christmas as I too think it's way too commercial and dislike the frenzy. Mostly I don't like how the shops get ready for it in Sept-Oct ...yuck!

    I too think Lego and books are brilliant, my son has always loved them. I have never seen a little person sit and play building for hours like he has.. what's not to love, keeps me sane ;D

    Love your tree, very cute and the tags.


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