I've been reading through Victorian Family Celebrations, by Sarah Ban Breathnach, as the year unfolds. (Thanks for the great gift, Molly!) I was interested to learn a new meaning of "Christmas in July." The book explains that for many Victorian families, "Christmas in July" meant that it was time to begin preparations for homemade Christmas gifts. Since most gifts during that time were handmade, they took some planning, preparation and time.
"Observing Christmas in July was the custom of resourceful Victorian mothers who starting thinking about Christmas long before Thanksgiving." pg. 144
This must be why I've been having an urge to get my handmade Christmas list in order! When making homemade gifts, I like to plan ahead so that I don't end up spending the weeks before Christmas "slaving away." I find waiting until the last minute makes me anxious, stressed and grumpy, thus robbing the initial joy I take in making gifts.
"...God loves a cheerful giver..." 2 Cor. 9:7
Here are some of my gift ideas and projects that I've either started, or plan on starting soon.
- Embroidered Handprints
- Photo Tea Bags
- Prairie bonnets with a My First Little House book
- Fingerless gloves
- Springerle cookies using my new cookie mold
- Mani/Pedi Scrub
- Elf-embroidered flour-sack dish towels
- PJs for Jack and Anne
- Fabric Rocket for Jack
- Fabric placemats and napkins
Anne has also been working on items:
- She has been painted wooden items like these birdhouses and these wooden cars (for Jack)
- She also made these bark-covered tin can pencil holders.
If you want to join the homemade Christmas making, you can also check out some of my posts from last Christmas.
If you're not the "handmade" kind of giver, but appreciate handmade things, try browsing through Etsy. In the next few months, I'll also be putting some new gift items in my shop. If you have gift item in mind, that's not in my shop, I'm up for taking custom orders. Feel free to drop me an email or leave a comment.
Woo! That is some list I've got going up there. But it's nice to get it all down somewhere. I'd better start knitting, sewing, crafting.
"Creative handiwork is a gift that brings joy and satisfaction to both children and adults, whether they are the givers or receivers. You need not be an experienced craftsperson to create something lovely--just willing to invest the time and energy." pg. 144