A Handmade Christmas: 2014

Three years ago we stopped buying our kids a bunch of stuff for Christmas and started a new tradition: a handmade Christmas.  We trade names within our family and make that one person a gift, and stuff stockings as normal.

I love this tradition, and I'm so thankful we started it.  It's a little more work, but so much more meaningful, I think.  This year was a little crazy.  We realized a few days before we were going to do our Christmas exchange that a few of the kids hadn't even started.  Oh, they had grand ideas, but.... no work had been done.  So the Saturday before Christmas we spent ALL DAY working on handmade gifts.  It was actually quite fun and secretive around here.

I drew Mark, for the third year in a row.  I love that man but I'm running out of ideas for what to do for him.  Three years ago I made him a memory jar- 365 memories, one to draw for each day of the year.  Last year I made him a photo collage for his case at work.  This year I was stumped.  So at the last minute I came up with my own idea and made this for him:

My gift to Mark: Dessert of the month

I just went through my recipe book and listed twelve of his favorite desserts and then plugged them into the months of the year with a promise to make them.  Easy peasy.  And he loves dessert so he's looking forward to it.

Mark drew Ella's name and made her a garden bench- with room for tools to hang on the back and a little side space for seed packets and gloves.  She loved it.


My sweet Ella drew my name and stitched this for me:


I'm going to iron it and hang on my bedroom wall.  I love it.  She also wrote out a verse for me in her lovely cursive and framed it.  Also going on my wall.  Sweet girl.

Ella stitched this for me

Isaac had Adelia's name, and wrote her a book.  It was a silly book about a girl named Adelia who dropped a Cheeto and it grew into a tree.  He fastened this whole box for his story to fit into and tucked a Cheeto bag at the back of the box.  Cheetos are her favorite thing.  So creative and fun!


Adelia's idea for her name draw (Audra), was to make a "dollhouse set".  Great idea, as Audra loves to play with her dollhouse and accessories.  Mark and Adelia put their heads together and came up with the idea of a camping set, complete with a tent, a little fire, and roasting marshmallows! Audra LOVES it.


I helped by way of sewing up some little sleeping bags for their set.  They turned out great.  Here are two of the six I made:

Sleeping bags for Audra's dollhouse dolls (gift from Adelia)

Audra made three little bookmarks for Isaias- with her amazing artistic skills, and he really appreciated them.


Isaias drew Isaac's name, and he and Mark worked on making him a shelf for his Lego minifigures.  You can't tell in this picture but there are little white Lego pieces embedded into the shelf, so he can just affix his minfigures on there.  Very cool. 


Isaias also made him a coloring book:


I also did other bits of sewing for stockings.  Ella was determined to make a dress for Adelia's Barbie, so we worked on that together, using this tutorial, and came up with one:

I helped Ella sew this dress for Adelia's doll.

I wanted to make dolly diapers for Audra's stocking, so I made some.  I loosely followed the instructions found here but drew my own pattern (using Audra's dolly) and instead of flannel, some white terry cloth I had.  They turned out really cute and were easy, too!

Cute dolly diapers for Audra's stocking!

So that wraps up our handmade Christmas!

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