21 November 2013


Welcome to the November 2013 Natural Living Blog Carnival: Homemade Holidays.
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Natural Living Blog Carnival hosted by Happy Mothering and The Pistachio Project through the Green Moms Network. This month, our members are talking about how homemade gifts can make your holidays more cost-effective and special! Check out all of the posts to get homemade gift ideas for everyone on your list.

We used to have a wonderful independent bookshop in our local town.  Every year around this time I would make a visit to the shop with a list of names and spend a couple of hours choosing books.  My children were more than happy to spend the time in the children's bit of the shop reading and playing with the toys.  My Christmas present shopping was very easy and as some of them had to be posted, also ideal.  I didn't need to take a list of titles with me as this shop never failed to inspire me.  Two years ago, in the summer, it closed.  That Christmas (2011) I was lost, like I fish out of water I floundered, and suddenly present buying was much harder I needed ideas and then I needed to find the time to make the purchases.  It felt like it took forever, it felt like a chore, in short I hated it.

Around this time I had started to read a few blogs, some of which were showcasing presents that they had made I didn't have time to start making presents at that point but the seed was sown.  In late August of the following year I started to make a list and come up with ideas of what and for whom I could make presents.  It was an ambitious list, hindsight being a wonderful thing.  The last present I was still making, when part of it had been wrapped and given!  I knitted several pairs of socks, sewed bags and dolls clothes, knitted scarves, a dress, dolly clothes, mittens, flowers for hair slides, bowls for felting it was too much in such a short time.  The socks were the slowest bit, made even slower because I was making a pair for my husband and didn't knit any of the pairs in front of him, it coincided with a lull in his work so he was at home most days...But what it did do, which was one of the reasons I had decided to make presents, is reduce the bill.

So for Christmas this year I have decided to try making presents again.  I have started earlier, in July, have less on the list and quicker to make items all of them knitted or sown.  On the list this year are lots of knitted slippers, two baby cardigans, a shawl, wristwarmers, felted bowls and sewing cloaks, a nightie and a bag.  I am progressing well this year and hope that I am not still making presents as I am giving them like last year!

Visit Happy Mothering and The Pistachio Project to learn more about participating in next month’s Natural Living Blog Carnival!
Please take some time to enjoy the posts our other carnival participants have contributed:


  1. Congrats on getting back to making homemade gifts!

  2. I LOVE the idea of making gifts for the holidays! I'm also a knitter. :) I've started designing knitting patterns for my shop too. The slippers you are making that are a pink almost ombre like are so pretty! I sometimes have a hard time finding the time to knit with one kiddo. I can't imagine how you do it with FOUR little ones. Go you! :) I love the princess hat and cape you made too. My little on uses a play silk for wearing as a cap, but I think I'm going to make a hat to match as she's been playing with a very similar style hat at a local store each time we visit. :)
    Love your blog.

  3. Wonderful - I hope to make a few handmade presents this year.

  4. We are making handmade gifts too! I wish I knew how to knit. I tend to do more body care stuff instead.

  5. Homemade gifts are great and they definitely do lower that Christmas bill!

  6. Seems like a very good idea starting the gift making in July. I intend to make some handmade gifts as well. But will keep in mind starting up earlier next year. I never learned how to knit though, but maybe one day... I didn't know how to sew either a few years ago

  7. Wow! You are doing well! I'm planning to make some beauty stuff as gifts this year - mostly because I just can't keep up with crochet/knitting enough as I'm struggling a little with it (I don't know, it's just a bit 'bleurgh' for me atm, I cast on, I knit for a bit, I frog - aside from a cushion cover I'm crocheting, slowly, I just can't seem to get into anything).

  8. Happy present making! I remember you knitting socks on the way down to the rellies last year!!

    San xx


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