Just when you think a Christmas can never be topped our family manages to top the previous year. Now when I say top the previous year I do not mean with buying more stuff or getting more "stuff". I mean each year our Christmases get better as we grow stronger as a family and as homesteaders. It is usually around Christmas time when we get that gift that will help us be even better homesteaders or the one that helped us learn a new skill that we realize just how far we have come.
If someone would have said to me 10 years ago that my husband would be making a bed for our son I probably would have laughed them right out of my "Exectutive Office" and said that would happen about as likely as I would ever be a "house wife". Oh to think how far we have come because my husband did make that bed for our son and I am not only a house wife but a very happy homesteading wife that happens to stay home.
This year we really put even more effort than ever before into providing the majority the gifts we would be giving by making them. I did get a few things that were not made but will certainly make me much more efficient as a homesteader and Jonathan got a cell phone that does nothing for homesteading except to give Momma, me, piece of mind.
Ronnie got a new rifle and a few shirts that were not home made too. They were things that he needed but also wanted. As for the rest of the gifts we put our heads and hands to work.
I made a large batch of laundry soap and put it into quart jars for some of my family members with cute little toppers tied on with twine. I know some of you are saying......What? Laundry soap for Christmas?........Yes, laundry soap for Christmas. I look at it this way. If I can give you some great working, good smelling effective laundry soap then they can use the money they would have used to buy the laundry soap to buy something else they want or need. Not only that but it is a great way to get people hooked on homemade laundry soap.
As I mentioned before, we made Jonathan a new bed for Christmas and I am surprised how nice it actually turned out for two people that have never done such a thing before. I made him a new blanket to go on it and he will eventually get new curtains to match also. He was very happy with his new bed that went into place on Christmas eve.
Jonathan's bed was made from plans that were in a Backwoods Home magazine issue 126 (November/Dec 2010). It is an amazingly simple plan that requires absolutely no nails or screws and not even a box spring. It's an old fashioned rope bed. Now I will admit that I did not make the mattress from hay and ticking. I went and bought the mattress. I tried to video tape the putting together of the bed in the different stages so you can see just how simple the design of this bed is. The video can be viewed here - Jonathan's bed assembly video There are 8 video clips in all relating to the assembly of the bed.
In between working on the bed with Ronnie I made a quilt for my youngest granddaughter, night shirts for all the grandkids, pillows for the grandkids, venison jerky for the grown kids.
In between working on the grandkids and kids gifts I stitched away on Ronnie's new quilt for our cabin. The last time we went to our property we drug blankets and pillows with us. I figured I would make him a blanket and pillow to just leave there. We won't really need them most of the year but every now and then it sure does get cold enough for not just a blanket but a thick quilt. Quilts aren't just warm they give you that feeling of home no matter where you are. Just ask my 5 year old granddaughter, Ari, that takes her's everywhere she sleeps the night.
And then of course there were the knitted gifts. I knitted an afghan for my sister, and knitted several hats for friends. But I have one special little friend that I went to the extra length of carding, spinning and knitting. I knew she would appreciate it - and she did.
It is the moment when someone realizes just how special they are to you that you would put your time and effort into a gift like that for them that makes it all worth it.