|no. 1 elf daughter, d2, busy baking|
|chocolate satin cookie people for gifting with caroling|
i've done the huge, over-blown, toyland-under-the-tree types of christmas, where i sit back on christmas eve nights, basking in the glow of the lights, surveying my christmas handiwork, and think to myself, "i did this! i make the magic." admittedly, it has been enjoyable. but i am left wanting. i am over that type of christmas, ready to move on to something deeper, more meaningful, more memory-based.
it's not that Christ has ever been missing from our Christmases. we're very religious around here and do a lot of religious events and activities through out the season. giving to others in need has long been a part of our celebrations, too. it's more about the pressure to be so many places and the christmas morning gift fest, with all the accompanying stress and expense beforehand, that leaves me wanting. maybe i'm just an idealist. but where is the simple, heartfelt christmas of the ingalls family? you know, little house on the prairie, where children get a set of red knit mittens and a few bits of candy, maybe a rag doll, in their stocking and are overjoyed about it. they were just happy to get a day to spend with the family, an evening with cousins spent eating few special dishes.
|s1 did all the lights in the front yard himself|
i have to admit, though, that watching the kids give to each other is greatly satisfying. they earn their own money and buy the gifts themselves. i'm amazed at how excited they get over the things they do for each other. and sometimes at the expense they go to for their siblings, too. so although we might not need the extra trinkets around the house, it is gratifying to see them truly give of themselves.
|endlessly stuffing cards|
|cute detail shot courtesy of s1|
in short, like in all other aspects of life, there needs to be balance.
i also realized my children's christmases are numbered and i'd better stay involved while i have the chance. making christmas about family time and togetherness happens now, while they are young and here. the older ones have already gotten that ingrained in their systems. i better make sure the younger ones do, too. it's going to require some exertion and careful planning from me for a few more years, and then it will all be gone.
so i backed off the quilts. i never did fix all the sloppy decorating. that can wait until next year. but i did start doing more of our normal holiday activities with the children and found a few extra "giving" activities to do. that means the quilts aren't going to be done. but christmas has been rescued, so it's okay. i still have quilts in various stages of completion that i'm going to gift them.
and i decided that next time i want to hand make any christmas gifts, it's all got to be done by thanksgiving. this leaves the season open to being together and making those memories we enjoy so much.
that said, last night, i got an unexpected chance to work on my sewing. the baby got sick, so i had to stay home from the extended family christmas party and watch her. i got about two hours of sewing done before she started throwing up, refocusing my attention elsewhere.
i'm using the same blue solid from s2's "bandwidth" quilt for the background fabric on this one. the prints are a variety of graphic blue, green, orange, and grey prints. i included a few of the prints he liked from his brother's quilt, too, so the two quilts will coordinate but not exactly match each other.
i have to say, this was really, really fun to put together! all the improv cutting and sewing is very cool. i'm not working from scraps, like the pattern in the book is designed for, so i've modified the methods a bit. i'll share them later when there's time.
it's the last weekend before Christmas. here's my final installation on the making Christmas list:
d1 - "plus a diamond" needs handbinding
s1 - wonky stacked coins blocks begun
d2 - "taite" worked on handbinding
s2 - "bandwidth" top completed, sandwiched, basted
d3 - "twirly" needs handbinding
d4 - flowered pillow sham some flower centers blanket stitched
d5 - "paris daydreams" sandwiched and basted
penny patch qal - a flimsy, on hold until all children's quilts done
the final link party for making Christmas is with Janine at rainbow hare.