Whatever the quality, the best gifts are often the ones that are made by the giver. They seem to carry something of that person: their creativity, their sense of style, their time.
Or their time-keeping skills: I have a memory of one Christmas eve/morning painting the walls of a doll house that looked – even through bleary eyes – amazingly like the house we lived in. “Why, oh why?” I remember asking myself, “Why didn’t we do this a month ago, or even last night?” I like to think that I’m a bit more organised now and won’t be disturbing Santa with my projects strewn about the place.
In saying that, with lots going on in my home (more on that later), there won’t be many handmade gifts – by me anyway – under our tree.
But can I count these as handmade? Our photo calendars that we give every Christmas to those who want to look at us each month of the year (yes, grandparents and godmothers): I take most of the pictures myself, and negotiating the photo software is a crafting skill that I have to work on every November.
For all those who have their handmade treasures already stashed, I salute you! For those who have the ideas but not the time, I salute you too! But I caution you: do it now or next week and save Christmas eve for a fire and something nice to drink, and don’t be disturbing Santa.