For a couple of years, I’ve wanted to make a bit of a change to our family’s Christmas celebrations – this year I’m finally doing it. Read on to find out why we’re planning a handmade Christmas and what that looks like for us…
Why we’re making a change
Usually, from about the middle of November, our lives start to go into overdrive with so much going on across everyone’s lives that I get exhausted just thinking about it.
There are all the usual Christmas school and work commitments, the fun Christmas days out, the gift choosing and shopping, the wrapping, the visiting, the Secret Santas and all kinds of planning for the big day itself.
No wonder people (including me) can feel a bit stressed over the festive season!
I’d started to make small changes over the last three or four years but last Christmas I went a bit over the top as we had such an awful year, losing my Dad, coming way too close to losing Master Frugal and finding out about some pretty big life changes early in December. I definitely overcompensated with everything from gifts to activities, thinking that a perfect Christmas was what we needed to end the year on a high.
The problem was that, although we had a lovely run-up to Christmas and the day itself was really nice, I was exhausted and didn’t enjoy it as much as I could have done.
So this year, I’ve had a good think about what I really want and decided that we’re all going to slow down. I’m going to spend more time doing the things I enjoy doing and less time doing the things I’m doing just because I feel like I should.
That idea took root in my head in September when I started to think about Christmas and I started to think about the things that I love doing at Christmas – one of which is Christmas crafting and cooking. From there, the idea of slowing down Christmas kind of morphed into a handmade Christmas.
My handmade Christmas plans
On principle, I don’t have too many specific plans for my little handmade Christmas – mainly because the whole idea was to slow down and not put pressure on myself. I do have some ideas though…
- Christmas decorations – I’d like a real tree that’s not as odd-looking as our tree last year was and I’d like it to be decorated with lots of handmade ornaments that I plan to make either with the kids or on my own. The kids weren’t overly impressed with the tree last year as it was very odd looking so I suspect that I may have to compromise here and get the fake tree out of the garage again and decorate that with my homemade decorations.
- Christmas baking – I’m going to have fun in the kitchen more this year and make all sorts of goodies – the kind of things I always see on Pinterest and really want to make but always decide that I don’t really have time to make and even if I did, it’ll never look as good as it’s supposed to. I’m not going to worry about the end result but if they turn out OK then I’ll happily share with my friends and family over a Christmas cuppa.
- Advent Calendars – We’ve had a bit of an alternative advent calendar for a few years now which basically has an envelope each day with a family activity for each day but this year, I think we’ll struggle to get the time and/or willingness to do an activity every day as the kids are a bit older now. Instead, I’m planning on making them an advent calendar each and maybe one day a week, I’ll pop in a family activity that I know we’ll all enjoy.
- Homemade Gifts – I definitely plan on making more homemade gifts this year although, I’ll be honest, we don’t actually have that many people who we buy for anymore. I feel like I’ll be making this fantastic Nutella Fudge just for us though as it’s genuinely AMAZING.
- Christmas activities – This one isn’t really related to a handmade Christmas but it’s definitely something I need to go in order to have a more enjoyable Christmas! Basically, I’m not going to over-plan our time as I have in the past and I’m going to learn to say no more as last year I did go out more than I wanted to. I love spending time with friends but I’m not really an out-out kind of person so I’m just going to make myself say no to the things I don’t really want to do.
As you can see, I’m hoping for a simple Christmas with lots of time for family and friends and less time doing things just because they’re expected.
Another thing, I want to do which isn’t really handmade Christmas related is to take more photos! I want to get my camera out more and enjoy my photography again. My photos aren’t anything special and I’ve been saying forever that I want to try and get better but for me, it’s just a love of taking the photo so whether it’s getting out and about with my camera or just taking photos in the house, I’m definitely going to do more.
What handmade Christmas is NOT going to look like for us!
Yes, I want to make Christmas less commercial for us and yes, I want to handmake more of our Christmas ‘stuff’ but what I definitely don’t plan on doing is handmaking all the kids Christmas gifts. I feel like they’d leave home if I did. 😉 So even though I may throw a few handmade gifts in the mix, they’ll still be getting their usual mix of presents and experiences.
Also, I have a trip booked in to take Miss Frugal and her best friend to New York the week before Christmas and I fully intend to immerse myself in all things Christmas while we’re there. So we’ll absolutely be immersing ourself in all things
Can you tell I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on our lives lately? 🙂
Don’t miss out on future posts like this – receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address here and hitting subscribe. You can also follow me on Twitter or BlogLovin and I’d love to see you over on my Facebook page and on Instagram. If you’re interested, you can find out more about me here. 😉
Pin ‘Why we’re having a handmade Christmas – and what that really means to us!’ for later: