And so, the Silly Season is over for another year. Though I didn’t achieve perfection (by a long shot) in my Quest for an entirely Handmade Christmas, I was happy with my efforts.
I made the salads for our Xmas lunch. I supported local business by getting the chutneys and pickles at the markets. I wrapped my presents up in lovely rustic twine and brown paper. I bought handmade for some of my gifts.
It wasn’t easy though. Particularly the gift side – I’ve discovered not everybody can be catered for by the handmade or locavore movement.
Books, for example. You have to buy them, you can’t make them or get one from your friendly local author. You CAN, however, support authors by buying from independent bookshops. Or DVDs. Again, something you can’t hand make or buy local. But you CAN purchase them legitimately from a shop or online retailer, thus ensuring everyone involved in their production receives their cut of the profits. Piracy helps nobody.
So what did I learn? Well, I found that handmade gifts for the men in my family are extremely difficult. They just don’t want or need leather hip flask covers, stamped silver bottle opener keyrings or manscaping smelly things to splash on their chiseled jaws. They’re not into fashion, and wear no jewelry. Thus, sites like Etsy are a little of a lost cause for me when shopping for males. The one exception is t-shirts – there are some great, original artwork tees out there.
I also learned that you just can’t do everything and work full-time. I worked right up to Xmas Eve, and found that hand-making gift tags, co-coordinating a decorative colour theme for the dining room and trialing a tablescaping idea were not within my abilities. However, I found some lovely handmade-looking tags, bought crackers that matched the baubles on my tree and threw some pinecones in a wire basket for a centerpiece. And it worked out ok.
The loveliest part of the day was having the chance to bring out and use some of my vintage Pyrex. I used a divided casserole dish, an old amber glass pie dish and a large mixing bowl for the salads.