It is less than two weeks before Christmas!! It is so hard to believe that it has crept up so quickly. With the way life is at the moment and with not going out and socialising (or shopping) it has been hard to keep up with time.
I have to admit that my heart really isn’t into Christmas this year. There will just be the two of us at home this year, so I think that aside from the ‘essential’ presents, it will be a small and quiet Christmas. I am focusing more on handmade gifts and getting something that is asked for. I have a few presents that need to be made, drawstring bags for storing tree decorations being one. I made these bags around ten years ago to store my tree decorations in and they have been great for keeping all the decorations in one place. My daughter asked me to make her some for Christmas, so I have taken out my original bags and drawn up new improved designs for the bags. I also thought they would make a great pattern so will be taking notes and photos while making the three bags and get it into pattern form in the New year. I also planned on sewing up an appliqued play mat for my grandson as well as a panelled duvet cover and pillow cases for Alyssa. I definitely think that I need to start having some days at the sewing machine.
As I am writing this, I am thinking back on past Christmases. It is the time when we were busy with Christmas themed workshops and enjoying the workshops for the treats, laughter and gathering together to share in a common love, crafting and learning new skills. It is hard not having that this Christmas, not being together and crafting. It was a time that we could all relax, have some fun and create in the middle of such a hectic period with the run up to Christmas.
For many of us, it will be a very different Christmas. We may not have the numbers gathering around on Christmas Day for the meal and celebrations, but hopefully, we can enjoy the day regardless of the restrictions and keep safe. I think it will be a quiet day for many of us, but hopefully, we can enjoy the day in whatever way we have planned.
This year has been different for small businesses and having to close during the run up to Christmas has been especially difficult for many businesses and shops. It is usually the time when the local businesses do well. People would be out buying their Christmas presents locally and supporting our local businesses and shops. It has now become the norm to buy everything online as we are not able to get into the shops in one way or another. Many of the local shops have had to look at other ways to bring in the income to keep themselves going and riding out the storm that COVID and the government restrictions have caused. We had to look at creating a website where I could sell online and if we hadn’t of done this, then we would not have been able to keep going and ride out this storm. Being able to offer an online service has been great for us and I want to thank everyone that has supported us and been with us as we have expanded and created new products. It has certainly kept us busy over the last nine months.
In mentioning the website, did you know that we offer gift vouchers? Such a great Christmas gift for the person who loves to craft and you are unsure on what to buy for them. With our gift cards, you are able to spend the money on anything in the online shop. You don’t need to spend your voucher all in one go either, the website keeps track of your balance so you can come back as often as you like.
We are still posting out for Christmas, so if you are looking for something to gift, then have a look at what we have to offer. Our craft kits are very popular and make great presents to give, either as a kit or as a finished item. We have some lovely Christmas themed needlework kits that would be lovely to stitch over the Christmas period and to display year after year.
Alyssa has her birthday 3 days before Christmas, which has always been a strange time to celebrate her birthday and we always kept her birthday and Christmas separate. We had made the tradition of going out for her birthday meal and it was always a lovely way to relax before Christmas and enjoy abit of celebration and a delicious meal out. I know that this year, we will not be going out as an extended family to celebrate her birthday with a meal out. It had become a tradition to go to Cosmos Restaurant in Victoria Square, Belfast, which was lovely as we got to see the wonderful Christmas display that Victoria Square always put on. The atmosphere was incredible and so festive with late night shoppers and meal goers. It certainly gave everything a festive buzz and a great start for our Christmas celebrations as a family. It will definitely be a meal out when everything is safe to do so. It is a shame as she turns eighteen this year which marks a special milestone. It is so hard to believe that she is eighteen years old! We will be doing something special at home together.
The weather is certainly dropping and looking more like winter weather. We woke up this morning to a heavy frost and thick mist. The frost just doesn’t seem to lift at all during the day and the temperatures stay near zero. It is the time to stay warm inside and do some crafting. I am finding it hard to get going in the mornings.
It is also around the time that I start to think about knitting winter woollies, jumpers, mitts and shawls. I enjoy knitting from wool that I have spun up on the spinning wheel. Actually, in the past week, I have been spending a few hours each day at the spinning wheel. I find it so relaxing and therapeutic. I have built up a small pile of handspun yarn, all hand dyed and ready to be made into that special lacy shawls or snood, a pair of mitts for the cold days that are ahead of us.
I am planning on putting up some skeins of the handspun yarn which are ideal for knitting into shawls and mitts for the freezing days. A special, one off skein of beautifully dyed natural fibre would make an ideal Christmas present for the person that knits or crochets. They can be assured that the wool they use to make a shawl or mitts is completed unique and one of a kind. There really isn’t anything more special than knowing you have made something and know that it is the only one out there. Being hand dyed and hand spun means that it is not mass-produced. So, do keep an eye out.
If you are still looking for those last-minute Christmas gifts, then please remember to support the small local businesses. Your purchases mean so much to us. We actually do a wee happy dance every time we get a sale. Finally, I want to wish everyone a safe and relaxing Christmas and I hope you all get to enjoy the day, in whatever way you are spending it.