for the past few christmas' i've been making gifts for close family instead of the conventional buying of gifts. i don't know, it makes it feel more like giving; taking the time to think of what each person would be charmed by, then spending time in the creation.
plus there's the added benefit of not worrying about returns, "i already have that", or spending lots of $. i know, completely selfish on my part, but giving gifts is not about me buying you something you want just because it's what this holiday has turned into. it's about giving you something from my heart as a way of saying "i care about you and am glad you're a part of my life and i'm choosing to show you this in a material way".
so, this year i needle felted a bird ornament for my mother; she collects them and it makes her happy as this is her favorite time of year.
for my brother i'm giving him a fiber wall piece that i had made earlier in the year when inspiration struck. it has a gold embroidered skeleton on it; charming, i know.
i painted a field of mushrooms with a sky blue cloudscape on brown paper framed in an antique glass frame for my sister. for her two children i crafted a 2-d spongebob out of paper for my nephew (who has an overwhelming obsession with all things spongebob), knitted a blanket and sewed three decorative pillows for my nieces' dollhouse, thankfully they're only 4 and five years of age.
the only member of my family that i break the handmade code for is my father. he received a 12 pack of beer. he's really bad about getting gifts, something along the line of "what do i need that for?" and "if i need something i'll go out and buy it for myself". ah, the joys of family.