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Here are some examples of my handmade Christmas decorations.  Most of these are leftovers from gifts or gift attachments from years ago.  At this point I can’t remember which year they were made but they represent MANY decorations and gifts that have been made by hand over the years.  That is one of the fun things about Christmas for me–making gifts and baking food.  I don’t do as much now as I once did.


photo:Martha G, Brady

Here are a couple of gifts from the cross stitch years.  The one I made first is Dawn’s Christmas stocking.  It was the second stocking I made her.  The first one was becoming too juvenile so I made this one.  I think she was in high school which would make it in the late 1980’s and this was one of her favorite colors.  This one has survived to still hang on the mantle.



The other set of Christmas stockings I made were for Holly and Brandon around the time they were engaged.  Holly’s stocking was also too juvenile…and faced the wrong direction.  That year I was quilting, so that’s how their stockings were made.

photo: Martha G. Brady                            Holly and Brandon’s stockings


photo: Martha G. Brady                             quilt-look ornament


These two ornaments are a few of many that I have made over the years to give as gifts or gift attachments.  They have been a part of many of our Christmases.  Making gifts for others even though they may not have a high money value lets them know you are thinking of them and care for them at Christmas.  When I see them on my tree now, I remember how much I enjoyed making them at the time.  Life was much busier back then but I always enjoyed having a project to do with the skill I was doing at the time.  It usually involved fabric because I have lots of it!


photo: Martha G. Brady           cross-stitch ornament



Enjoy your Christmas.  Pass on to friends and family something that shows your love…but don’t allow the pressure of gift-giving to overburden you at the busiest time of the year.  If another time of year works better for you, do it then.

The purpose of giving gifts is to show your love to others in a meaningful way.  If it causes you to be so stressed at Christmas that you can’t enjoy the family you have with you, rearrange when you give some of the gifts.  Give them in January after the rush…or in the summer!

Do you think people will enjoy a gift any less at another time of year?  If giving a gift at another time of year will allow you to focus more on worship of Christ (priority #1) and spending quality time with your family, maybe even extended family, do what works best to reach the priorities that you have for your family.  This may even include friends or lonely people you can invite to join in (hospitality).

The wonderful thing about homemade gifts is that they can be done as part of family time.  True, the family may not enjoy making them as much as you do, but they may enjoy making the cards, wrapping gifts, or some other aspect of the project.  I especially liked it when another family member liked doing something that I hated in the process…especially if they were great at it!


What could be more fun than turning off the TV, playing Christmas music, fixing some delicious hot drinks and working on a group project together…oh yes, and talking and laughing together?  You may have to plan it ahead. I definitely don’t recommend surprising them with this plan when they may have been anticipating a Christmas Special!  You don’t want to doom a new tradition before it starts.

The evening may not all turn out perfectly, but it will be fun for all of you and you’ll be making memories together.  Is anything more valuable than that?

I can’t tell you how many of our family memories start with, “Remember the year that you tried to do X at Christmas?  That was pretty funny how ____ it ended up being.”  It is still a memory even though it didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to.  Years later we can laugh about it being the boring, flop, bad-tasting, etc. idea. You just have to be able to laugh with them about the flopped idea you had…or figure out a way to make it better the next time!  The important thing is that it was memorable and we were together doing it!