I’m a Christmas freak. (I know you’re thinking I’m a freak anyway, but it’s mostly just at Christmas.) There will be a gray day in early November that makes me think of snow and logs blazing on the fire. That’s the day I drag out my supplies and start making ornaments and cards. Popular advice has it that you should start in summer to prepare, but it’s more than just preparing for a day to me. It’s a feeling. And I can’t seem to capture that feeling in the sticky heat of summer.
If I intend to make cards, I do them first. Sometimes I only make a few, for special friends and family. I buy blank card forms and decorate according to my mood, stencilling, painting, or adding paste-ons, etc. It takes some time, so be prepared for that. I spread my supplies all around me, pick this piece of paper and that bit of ribbon, while I listen to William Ackerman play New England Morning and sip hot chocolate. Before you know it, they’re done. If I need inspiration, there are a number of books in the library on card making, including The Paper Card Book by Lisa Kerr and Papercrafts for Christmas by Judy Balchin.
I may or may not get to the ornaments the same day as the cards, but once I start, I am at it every spare moment right up until Christmas. When I am ready to make the ornaments, I work the same way. I gather all my materials, put them close at hand, and begin imagining what this would look like with that or what that might look like as a particular thing. (One thing I can do in summer or any other time is shop for odd items, like small brass bells that, with google eyes and chenille horns, can be made into reindeer, or cedar balls, that with pasted-on beads and ribbon, can be made into miniature Christmas globes. There’s Christmas potential in a lot of everyday things.) Anything I’ve gathered through the year comes out and I start looking for where it will fit. Hours and days fly by and sometimes I cut it a little close to Christmas getting done, but that’s just part of the fun.
I can’t imagine anyone who wouldn’t enjoy making things, if only for the chance to sit quietly, all senses engaged. But I think some are not confident in their ability (though I am convinced we all have it). If you need a little help getting started or you are looking for ideas, try some of our craft books. This list should get you going and you may never want to stop!
Christmas Comfort & Joy from Better Homes and Gardens
The Christmas Table by Diane Morgan
Country Christmas by Emma Holley
Merry Things to Make by Diane Cherkerzian
Christmas All Through the House by Carol Dahlstrom
Victorian Christmas Crafts by Barbara Bruno
Creative Christmas by Kathryn Shoemaker
Christmas Crafts for Everyone by Evelyn Coskey
Christmas Crafts by Carolyn Meyer