Cup of tea, check. Piece of cake, check. Latest craft project, check. To summarise, everything you need for a perfect afternoon or evening making something lovely. Bliss for your average craftaholic. Throw Christmas into the mix (substitute cake for mince pie), and you reach a whole new level of loveliness; gifts, cards, advent calendars, all perfect starting points to come up with reasons to be making, making, making. Even the humble gift-wrap can introduce some quirky reason to get out the ribbon, glue gun and a few carefully chosen buttons. Christmas and craft just go together.
Connecting with our inner child
Maybe this is at the heart of it. Because as a child, for the first few years of school at least, Christmas meant a whole load of classroom time spent making. There were Christmas cards for the family, sparkly-sticky decorations for the tree, souvenirs for the Christmas play (which were cunningly sold back to our parents at half time to raise funds…I still have no idea where my embroidered technicolour dream-coat ended up at half time of our primary school’s performance of Joseph. Who on earth buys something made by someone else’s child?!) If you were a child who liked making stuff, then Christmas was several weeks of fun, fun, fun. I think that is still in me, and partly why I have this unquenchable thirst for creating. At least that’s what I tell myself when I go a bit giddy at the sight of a small bottle of glitter.
When aspirations and reality don’t quite stack up
Of course, I do have this teeny-tiny tendency to dream up fantastical ideas that I lack the time or resource to actually make. The creative equivalent of having eyes bigger than my belly. I don’t think I’m alone. A friend of mine once admitted that she was slightly disappointed at finding her dream job after a drawn out period of unemployment, because it meant her Christmas Card making, which had taken over the entire dinning room since summer, would have to be put on the back-burner. And how many of us just have to buy that gorgeous bit of fabric, for some fabulous project we never quite get to, and so it gets added to the ever growing stash of loveliness. Ah, one day.
Plus there’s the children and grandchildren
A whole new generation to make with and for! I’m resisting the urge to make my daughter an advent calendar this year. I have this fabulous heirloom type vision in mind, but I think it will probably be something to save for a few years yet, partly because I lack the time, and partly because I think she will get more enjoyment out of it when she is a tad older. Same goes for the Christmas eve box, the heirloom quilt, the vintage-style teddy bear… (getting carried away again). I did manage to rustle up a ‘First Christmas’ stocking from her new-born baby-grows when she was just 7 weeks-old (and had already out-grown those tiny sleep suits, how did that happen?!) Something I am inordinately proud of given I was struggling to even clean my teeth on a regular basis at that time. And oh how I can’t wait to get into all the making and baking as each Christmas comes along over the new few years (time to get the glitter out again).
The season to be jolly
Yes, there is no doubt about it, Christmas is one of those really happy times if you enjoy making and creating. Having a hundred and one reasons to buy some of this year’s scrummy Christmas fabric, flicking on the fairy lights with a glass of sherry and some festive music on in the background (and yes, it may still be September but we have to start early if we are to get it all done), buying up those magazines stacked with festive ideas the minute the leaves start to turn, its all just so satisfyingly ‘right’ and good.
And on that note, its time to get the crochet hook out, I have unfinished (unstarted) business with a lovely little reindeer I’ve been meaning to make for quite some time…happy days.