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of christmas past

This may be cheating, but I'm a bit of a procrastinator when it comes to holiday crafting. I thought you might enjoy a few posts from last year's Christmas, because if I wait to show you what I'm working on this year, you'll likely see it the first week in January.

One week 'til Christmas. Plenty of time to:

Make a patchwork stocking. OR

Make some Christmas tags with leftover fabric scraps. OR

Make some pajamas for your little ones to wear Christmas morning.

This week I'm trying to be full of Christmas cheer, instead of Christmas stress, which is not nearly as fun. It's a busy week, and I would hate to have my children remember their mom harried and snappy during Christmas time. I'm still figuring out how to get everything done and stay calm and cheerful at the same time, can you relate? If you've figured it out, will you please fill me in on your secret?

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Reader Comments (21)

I can totally relate, writing Christmas cards now -- yikes. I love that you posted back to these wonderful ideas, and the importance of Christmas cheer. Wishing you and your family a happy holiday!

12.18.2009 | Unregistered CommenterRachel Jones

Love those stockings! And, what is the garland hanging behind them? Pom-poms? The holidays can come with a lot of stress. I simplify where I can. For me, that means no holiday cards and I don't bake for everybody I know, just the neighbors.

12.18.2009 | Unregistered CommenterJoy

I am also interested in the garland hanging on your mantle. Are those felted balls? Pom Poms? Curious minds want to know!

12.18.2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

I'm not sure what the secret is, but this year, I was amped to get stuff up by the first. Didn't know what was up, but when I went in for an emergency appendectomy on December 7, I was sure thankful for whatever caused me to get on the ball. It's been the best low stress Christmas for awhile. I can't stand the anxiety of hurrying and missing the fun because of stress. I think what did it was starting to track in November. I began slowing thinking of Christmas and by the time the last week of November rolled around I was shifting gears. What about a sticky note on your calendar at the first of November next year. A gentle reminder? Sorry this is a long post! :D

12.18.2009 | Unregistered CommenterMelissaPete

Soetimes you have to let something slide. Maybe you can wrap the gifts in not so perfect paper. Or maybe you don't bake every single kind of cookie. It's ok, the kids wil remember the fun you all had.

12.19.2009 | Unregistered Commentercndi

look forward to seeing what you're cooking up this year.

and yes, trying to balance the stress + the cheer is a challenge. i try (as you seem to) to be mindful of the way my son sees the holiday. sometimes that's all it takes to give me the attitude adjustment i need. i want him to have happy, warm memories of christmas + the holiday season, instead of remembering what an emotional wreck his mother was.

12.19.2009 | Unregistered Commenterjane

Yes, it's hard to balance the work of making a memory and meeting the needs of the moment. I'm realizing that just playing with a little creature is sometimes more important than working on the things I want to accomplish. The other thing is that I'm much more pleasant to be around when I get a good night's sleep and don't stay up late trying to get it all done. My solution is totally pedestrian - early planning but that doesn't always work out as I planned. :)

Warm wishes,

Greyhaven Pines

12.19.2009 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

Every holiday as long as I can remember and still, my Mom gets major harried and stressed. I see that in myself often since we are usually heading a couple hours south to see family and it's always seeming like a to-do to get things happening. I so don't want for my children to relate stress with the holidays! Trying to keep things simple this year - we'll see how I do!

12.19.2009 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl

That is so funny! I just commented on your old tutorial about the stockings letting you know that I had just finished making ours (with a twist). Then I saw this post on my reader! I love how the stockings turned out!! Thanks for such a great tutorial and post!

12.19.2009 | Unregistered CommenterKama

The felted ball garland is something I picked up at Crate & Barrel last Christmas. I haven't seen it there since.. which is a pity! I would probably buy a few more this year..

12.19.2009 | Registered CommenterBrooke

ohhhh those stocking are totally doable in the next 4 days ...thanx for the inspiration!!

12.19.2009 | Unregistered CommenterABby

We're going skiing tomorrow immediately following the Christmas pageant at church, and returning the night of the 23rd. I've had to work like a madwoman to get ready, but I'll get to relax and enjoy the days before Christmas with my family, without any making/shopping/baking/wrapping to do. It's the first year we've done this and I hope we can repeat it!

12.19.2009 | Unregistered CommenterLecia

I love all these ideas. Especially the jammies--so cute. If only I could sew....
I relate to that stressed feeling. I have let it rob me of my joy or too many years. This year I have let go of a lot of things and that has brought tremendous relief. I have decided that the things that I will do are the things that will make special memories for my children and our family. So the packaging for the cookies we make for our friends isn't the cutest ever, but the paper bag stockings and glitter ornaments we made for the kid's friends are something we will remember for always.
I think this is the most enjoyable Christmas season I've had in a long time. We just can't do it all, and that is OK!
As always, thank you for your wonderful inspiration. Merry Christmas!

12.20.2009 | Unregistered Commentergreta

lovely ideas...i, too, am trying to avoid stressing over the holidays. i've been super busy with work all nov + dec, and have not yet started sewing the gifts i've planned for my own kiddies! i still plan on making them, but hope to do so in a non-harried and happy way, remembering why i want to sew them gifts in the first place!

good luck to you, and happy holidays!

"This week I'm trying to be full of Christmas cheer, instead of Christmas stress, which is not nearly as fun."

Well, that has to be the quote of the year! I too am a holiday crafting procrastinator. Add the stomach flu that made the rounds in our house last week, and, well, I'm really behind. But, I've cut a few things and tried to focus on the key things I think will give my son the most enjoyment.

I'm determined next year to plan more realistically and start sooner!

A virtual cheers to not letting the stress take over!

p.s. Love the embroidered names on the stockings. Understated and very sweet.

12.21.2009 | Unregistered Commenterthe milliner

Breathe. I take some alone time, usually while sipping some coffee to start the day and make a realistic list. The quiet moment calms me and allows me to approach the hectic day ahead with mindfulness.

12.21.2009 | Unregistered CommenterKitty

Great point about what the children will remember someday! I've been trying to keep that in mind myself the last few days.

Merry Christmas!

12.21.2009 | Unregistered Commenterabbie

I totally know the feeling.

While this is my babes first Christmas and he won't remember if his mama was crazy stressed, I don't want to be. I don't want that to be our first Christmas together.

Just a few more days. Let's make them excellent.

12.22.2009 | Unregistered CommenterDanielle

I love the tag, so simple and beautiful! I also love your ribbon selection :)

These are ALL things I remember growing up. my mom is not too crafty but Christmas is different!

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