I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with you families and loved ones. My Christmas covered two days in which time I was able to spend time not only with my immediate family but also the family of my youngest son’s best friend from elementary school. His friend briefly lived with us for a short time and to this day still calls me mom. It’s wonderful to see him and the father he turned into. His children are lovely and well-mannered, it’s a joy to see them most holidays.
The handmade gifts were a hit with everyone. The hopscotch mat was loved and I now have requests to make a couple more after seeing how much the children enjoyed it. You should have seen the dads, these big 6 foot plus guys hopping on it, it was hilarious. My oldest son asked me to make one he can use with bigger spaces to accommodate his size 14 feet. Never thought I’d be getting requests from adults wanting one for themselves..
My children refuse to not give me gifts, but are good at being careful with their money. I received two tools I can use in my furniture restoration and in crafts. My eldest son being out of work gifted me with the only commercial chocolate bar I like (Hershey Symphony as it doesn’t have that wax taste). I was okay with receiving this from him as it was more symbolic than pricey at a total cost of $2.
This was my favorite gift
It’s a bookmark made (with a bit of help from mom) by the little one in the pictures. There is a funny story behind the holiday hat she is wearing. I was with my son when he spotted this and thought he would like to purchase it for his dad but had no idea how to make it a special gift. I suggested he buy some of his father’s favorite coffee and fill the hat, which they did. But before packaging the gift up to ship to his father, who couldn’t be with us this year, my son snapped a couple of pictures of his daughter wearing the hat to send with the gift.
I celebrated my birthday Saturday, turning 51, and received from my son and his wife a very thoughtful gift. I received a thumb drive (which I can return when finished) containing the final season of Dexter to watch. Dexter was something they had gotten me into a few years ago, saving it on the DVR to watch with me when I would visit. This year they cut the cable and didn’t have it for me to watch by the time I visited. The grandchildren called me to wish me a happy birthday with one of my sons trying hard to get his daughter to wait until he was sure I would be awake as she wanted to be the first to call.
The handmade decorations grew the day before Christmas when my oldest granddaughter spent the night and did a bit of crafting with me. She knew what she wanted to make when she arrived, and exactly where these items would be hung. Here are a few pictures of what she made for, and with, me.
The mini pillow ornaments I stitched earlier in the year then allowed my granddaughter to help me stitch and fill them. The backing I used was from a red silky shirt with subtle oriental designs that a neighbor was tossing out and the filling I saved from a torn pillow which I washed in a pillow case.. Since my crocheted tree ended up decorated with my jewelry, instead of ornaments, I decided to hang these with a small piece of tape.
The first item the little one wanted to make was the star above. She immediately asked if I had paper so she could make a star. I handed her some Kraft paper I found in boxes left for me. This was the star she created and hung herself. She used multiple colors of crayons to give the look of it being lit with colored lights. And while I might have hung it in another spot, this was where she insisted it was going and hung it herself.
I painted a couple of pine cones to decorate in the bathroom, having no windows, therefore, no natural light, I can’t use plants in there. But the little one decided they had to be hung on the wall in the main room. I had a couple of extra pine cones and gave her one because she said I had to have one with white paint to look like snow. Attaching a simple piece of crochet thread with hot glue was enough to hang these with. I think next year I will add a wreath to the top as the thread disappears on the wall.
The youngest granddaughter was impressed by the pine cones, wanting to touch them repeatedly. She was so impressed with them I pulled out the last unpainted pine cone in the house and gave it to her. She took it home to paint :like nama’s”. Funny how the natural items are the ones the children are drawn to..
I had one final surprise for the oldest granddaughter. She was heartbroken when her favorite shirt from last winter was too small to wear this year. I pulled the shirt out of the yard sale pile this past summer and put it away. Then Monday I cut and reassembled it into a pillow for her, using more of the washed fill I saved.. It was so sweet seeing her reaction to being given back her favorite shirt.
Knowing the youngest grandchild was receiving tools to go with the tool bench I was asked to make for her, I thought a tool box was in order. Looking around the house I spotted a produce basket I was given by one of the vendors at the Farmers’ Market. I dug further and spotted some tissue paper saved from a gift opened at my house last year and decided to decoupage the paper to the basket. For added protection I hot glued a piece of an old white, fleece blanket in the bottom and presented it to her to hold the tools. She walked out of my house that night with the pine cone in one hand and the basket in another.
I had a couple of other surprises in store over Christmas. My neighbor now plows snow and gets to bring the truck home. He shows up in the middle of the night to set the plow down in front of my door and pull the snow away clearing it from the area for me, no more buried door.
The day after Christmas as I was getting dinner ready for guests I heard someone shoveling snow. It was the college student who lives above me. He was bored and thinking I was away for the holidays decided to shovel so it would be clear when I returned. Knowing he didn’t go home for the holidays I invited him to join us for dinner. He declined when our dinner happened to be at the same time as his wrestling practice, instead I made him a plate for later and sent it up when he got home. He took one look at the plate and informed me mashed potatoes were the “bomb”. :-) I’m glad a simple meal of homemade food, baked macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, carrots from the garden and homemade cinnamon applesauce made his day.