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Homemade For The Holidays?!

Homemade For The Holidays?!

As the holiday season quickly approaches, I wonder why this time of year makes me want to try all of those homemade crafts, decorations, gifts, and foods that seem to make the holidays that much more festive, creative and warm. I mean, who wouldn’t want try making those adorable turkey place settings for Thanksgiving dinner, or how about that delicious stuffing that has 3 different sausages and 5 different nuts in it? Then I remember the gingerbread ornament incident.

Many years ago my friend and I were at a holiday craft fair when we saw these very cute gingerbread ornaments. They were in many shapes, looked just like gingerbread cookies with some type of sealant around them to protect them. We looked at each other and thought, “we can make that.” So we set up a date, got the ingredients, and got ready to become mini “Martha Stewarts” for the afternoon. (Secretly I thought, well this has got to work out, after all, my friend is a graphic artist!)

We felt so ready to tackle what seemed to be an easy craft that would result in such a cute, homemade gift. Well, it didn’t quite turn out that way. First, the ornaments didn’t cook right, then the shellac we were using to make them permanent was messy and wouldn’t go on right, turning the whole project into one giant mess. Sure, we got a few to look like they were made by 5 year olds, (no offense to 5 year olds), but the rest of them found their way into the garbage.

This project fiasco took place many years ago, but my friend and I still joke about it when we’re out and about and see something cute by saying, “Oh, we can make that!” Fortunately, we know better now and are very careful as to what we attempt and what we buy. The holidays still appeal to me as a time to try the homemade route. I will admit that I’m more the baker than the crafter so I try to experiment with holiday recipes. In fact, this year I was thinking of taking on the task of making those Polish cookies that my Grandmother used to make, we called them twisters, but their real names are khruchiki. But first, I’m going to make a pumpkin pie from a real pumpkin, not that canned stuff, and maybe I’ll even try making the crust, something I usually buy from the store.

How about you? Are you a “I can make that” type of person? And are you successful? Share your holiday expertise in the comments below!

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  • CC 228 says:

    Meringue snowflake ornaments..the super stiff recipe as followed would not form until the 3rd try… 24 egg and a can of tartar later, I piped them on to the wax paper and they snapped when I removed them, I would not be defeated.. so I glued the pieces, they snapped when removed, use a silpat, more glue, I WILL not be defeated by these snowflakes… it works, they are glittered and blissfully I go to bed with a sense of winning….jump out of bed to view my beautiful handmade snowflakes only to find my long haired cat used them as her bed, she has glued glittered snowflakes stuck to her, I pull, I cut, I brush the cat, I now have a pile of broken, glittered, hairy and with a guttural scream smash the pile with my fists and into the trash my winter wonderland goes… I did save one, glued it to my Mothers present hair and all and asked she not renew my craft magazine subscription next year….

  • Monica says:

    I’m pretty crafty and a reasonably good cook. I only try making things, where I already have the basic materials/ingredients on hand. This year people are getting blackberry jelly, soy candles, home made caramel and peppermint patties. I lost the use of one hand through a stroke, so I don’t do as many handcrafted projects, but I did manage to make some wound wire angels

  • Edumom says:

    I try not to fall for “I can make that” now that the kids are grown and gone and I can no longer pull them into my failing craft projects and then pass my work off as theirs…well it’s not perfect, but you know, the kids made it…adorable!

  • carol says:

    Rain, my thoughts exactly.

  • Rain23 says:

    After 50 years I’ve finally figured out “Heck, I could make that.” really means “Sure, I could make that… It just won’t LOOK like that one, and it’ll take twice as much time and money.” One of the benefits of age is you start knowing in which areas you tend to wildly overestimate your own abilities, and crafting is one of mine, much like “Sure, I can climb that.”

  • Lolli Loops says:

    I make handmade earrings and just recently posted some on my FB business page that are holiday inspired!! I may not be the best but I love doing this so relaxing!!

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