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It's that time of year...the ? everyone hates 😁 — The Grow Network Community
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It's that time of year...the ? everyone hates 😁

RustBeltCowgirlRustBeltCowgirl North Coast OhioPosts: 780 ✭✭✭✭

Have you started making your Christmas presents yet??

I've got:

5 knitted dishcloths done plus 3 mug rugs.

Starting the various jams and infused cooking oils and vinegars.

What's on your list?



  • FergFerg Currently United States, Appalachia. Previously Great Lakes, GNYMA, Germany.Posts: 290 ✭✭✭

    Hahaha, yeah that's a funny question. Maybe I'll give some of my art to some people Ilike, but for the most part, I've totally boycotted the gimme givvey 'christmas' season. It used to be that, by June, I'd have my list and be ready to rock-n-roll on it. The last few years have been very interesting in the list making arena; I guess I'm now officially old and have only a handful of people I really like spending time with. What I'd love most is to spend time with them.

  • shllnzlshllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,508 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I used to give gifts of jewelry that I had made. That is a risky gift as women are VERY particular about jewelry.

    Nowadays I pick up gifts all year, put them in my gift location, and package them up as needed. I am hoping this method results in better gifts chosen when not under time stress.

    I do need to get back to making jewelry though...I will probably end up donating the results to fund raising efforts as I don't have as many female relatives anymore.

  • erikawintertonerikawinterton Posts: 98 ✭✭✭

    I have definitely left the Christmas season to fresh baked goods, lol. People seem to be more appreciative of something they can consume or regift vs. Something they have no use for, don't like, snd feel obliged to return.

    Plus I might be scared from the jellies my "cat lady" grandma used to give me. They always smelled like cat pee. 😬

  • gardneto76gardneto76 Posts: 310 ✭✭✭

    We will probably do like we did last year, a few small things for each person. Their larger gift was our time, an activity or event with us. We talked to the kids about it and they LOVED it. My daughter wanted to do jigsaw puzzles with me so we both bought several puzzles. We did them together then glued them together and kept them to hang up as a reminder of our time. She and her dad bought a kit to build together. Our 3 year old granddaughter was the hardest so we settled on Disney plus for a year of Disney movies together.

  • blevinandwombablevinandwomba Central PaPosts: 725 ✭✭✭✭

    Really? I start counting down the days til next Christmas on December 26...

    I usually give food gifts, mostly homemade but sometimes I throw in some locally made jams, etc. I make fruit cakes, cracker toffee, spiced nuts, sometimes homemade candies, cookies, or home dehydrated fruit. I'm probably going to do some homemade granola this year.

    If it's not food, it's probably something consumeable like locally made soaps. Occasionally I do a craft or sewing project, like embroidery and paper flowers.

  • ltwickeyltwickey Posts: 316 ✭✭✭

    Definitely giving jelly and other bounties from the Cortland apply harvest!! Will have my first grandbaby for Christmas this year!!! So, super excited for that!!!

  • kbmbillups1kbmbillups1 Posts: 498 ✭✭✭✭

    I usually make something for everyone for Christmas, but I haven't thought about it yet. It's just one more thing to add to everything else at this point. I did ask my kids what they wanted and neither of them could think of anything. I'm sure once they both get back to school (college) they'll think of something. Plus, my nieces and nephews are at the point now where a gift card is the best thing. This year I guess I should wait and see which stores are still around before buying them.

  • nicksamanda11nicksamanda11 Posts: 208 ✭✭✭

    I found out recently that christmas is a pagan holiday- people are actually participating in pagan ritualistic practices and worship when they "celebrate" christmas. I was shocked.

  • toreytorey Posts: 2,769 admin

    @nicksamanda11 There are a few religious holidays/events that were planned around events on the old calendars or pagan rituals. The reason for this was to combine Christianity with the old festivals to make assimilation into the new religion easier. Christmas falls very close to Yule. Yule celebrates the shortest day of the year and the return of the sun. Or the Roman festival of Saturnalia. Jesus seems to have been born during spring with all the baby lambs, not in the winter so December 25 was just an arbitrary day chosen to coincide with Saturnalia or Yule. This is a link that talks about the earliest recorded nativity scene celebrating the birth of Jesus in 336 AD. https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/christ-is-born Even within the church, there is dissension regarding the date. Orthodox Christians celebrate the birth of Christ on January 7

    What we celebrate today as Christmas seems to be a collection of traditions. Gift giving because of the gifts the 3 wise men brought or because of gifts an early saint left for children but gift giving was also part of the Saturnalia festival. Bringing in evergreen trees or boughs came from Germanic tradition. Lighting of a Yule log (or the substitution of a Yule log cake) is a Scandanavian tradition.

    Easter is celebrated on the first Friday past the first full moon following the spring equinox. Sounds quite pagan to me. All Saints Day is the day after Hallowe'en (All Hallows or Saints Eve) which coincides with the old pagan festival of Samhain.

    Please, no offence intended towards anyone with deep religious beliefs who don't agree with the above statements.

  • RustBeltCowgirlRustBeltCowgirl North Coast OhioPosts: 780 ✭✭✭✭

    @torey Not going to disagree with you. it really was a case of make it similar to what and when the "pagans" celebrated in order to slide them over into "christianity".

  • mcarryonmcarryon Posts: 32 ✭✭✭

    I am a sock knitter. My son's will get these. I make soap, candles, and jellies for everyone else.

  • RustBeltCowgirlRustBeltCowgirl North Coast OhioPosts: 780 ✭✭✭✭

    @mcarryon I knit socks, also. With the amount of time they take to do, I don't give them lightly. If I don't believe that they will take care of them, they don't get a pair.

  • blevinandwombablevinandwomba Central PaPosts: 725 ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2020

    @torey I more or less agree with you on Christmas- no one knows when Christ was born, or even what season( you can find commentary arguments for all the seasons) so the date picked was more or less abitrary. I see it as a celebration of the birth of Christ, so the time we celebrate it is irrelevent to me. I do have Christian friends who don't observe Christmas because of pagan associations, or only only certain aspects( such as singing Christmas carols, but not exchanging gifts)

    I'm going to have to disagree about Easter. The name itself does have pagan origins, as are traditions like easter eggs, but the timing isn't. Jesus Christ resurrected the Sunday after Passover. Passover is determined by the Jewish lunar calendar. Practices from European and Middle Eastern spring holidays got tacked on later. (Some Christians prefer to call it Resurrection Sunday, including my family. I do in theory, but tend to call it Easter out of habit.)

    As much as I love Christmas, I have questioned the celebration at times. However, I have no qualms about celebrating the resurrection of my Lord; I just don't do it with bunnies and painted eggs.

    edit: I think I oversimplified how the date is determined for Easter, but the point I'm trying to make is that it's based on the timing of Passover, not any pagan holidays that may coincide with it.

  • toreytorey Posts: 2,769 admin

    @blevinandwomba I will defer to your greater knowledge on this one. After all, the pagan holiday at this time is celebrated on the spring equinox, not the date of Easter on the calendar.


    RustBeltCowgirl I totally know how you feel, cause I feel the same way! I have started on crocheting some mug cozies!

  • annbeck62annbeck62 Posts: 391 ✭✭✭

    Nice that you bring this up now. I usually don't even start thinking about the holidays and gifts until after Thanksgiving and then it is too late for so many homemade items. I love the idea of making gifts to give. I wish I had a circle of friends &/or family that felt the same way. It would be so fun to have a homemade gift exchange party instead of a cookie exchange :)


    annbeck62 That would be fun!

  • I don't exchange gifts much anymore. My mom and sister both like books, so that's easy. My brother is a little harder, but good wool socks or a new blanket make him happy.

    I do like to mail cards to far away friends, though. Not nearly as many as in the past, but I think it's extra nice to get a card in the mail.

  • Annie KateAnnie Kate Eastern Ontario, CanadaPosts: 466 ✭✭✭✭

    Last year our adult and teen kids decided they didn't want to do gifts anymore. At first it felt sad, and then it was a giddy relief. We spent the money on outings instead. And I focused more on birthdays for gifts.

    If anyone suggests doing gifts again this year, I will be hard to convince!

  • KimWilsonKimWilson Posts: 198 ✭✭✭

    I paint in watercolor and will be doing a painting for this year's Christmas card. Regardless of the beginnings of this particular holiday, both my husband and I love the whole season. We actually just took down our favorite nativity set so that it will have special significance of celebration when we put it up again.

  • annebeloncikannebeloncik Posts: 61 ✭✭✭

    My brothers and I and our families draw names every year for exchanging gifts. About 15 years ago, when the first couple of grandkids were tiny, we (along with our mom) decided all gifts that Christmas were to be either handmade or secondhand, and that is still my favorite Christmas. I made socks and scarves and washcloths, my SIL gave me some used books she found at her favorite book shop, my brother made my husband some hooch! We had a blast! Now that most of our kids are old enough to really participate in gift-giving, I am going to suggest that we do that again, and maybe every year!

  • Michelle DMichelle D Posts: 297 ✭✭✭

    My family had a tradition of hand made candy for Christmas. I make toffee, peanut brittle, various flavors of fudge, and handmade chocolates. I change up the fudge flavors and the chocolate varieties every year. Our friends and family really look forward to them. Unfortunately, they are not things that you can make much in advance. I usually spend the second and third week of December working really hard on it to make enough. I don't eat much of it anymore but I still love making it.

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,771 admin
    edited October 2020

    I love celebrations. I have my own views on Christmas, of which some were expressed here (a mini discussion above that was respectful on all sides...thank you!). And, since this is not the topic of the thread, that's all I will say on the subject.

    I enjoy the time set aside to celebrate good things about family, food and good will toward others. I enjoy some of the songs, decorations that aren't over the top, and the colors & the excuses to be cozy. Gifts can be nice. I personally think it should be in January to break up the bleak & cold winter's monotony. Its close, but not quite the right time here. 🙃

    This brings me to a thought that I have been playing with...and I think that now I want it to possibly take place in JANUARY, not December.

    I think that I need to post it in a new thread. You will see it as an announcement. :)

  • Gail HGail H Posts: 359 ✭✭✭✭

    As I've mentioned , we have seven children and while we were not "over the top" about Christmas, it was kind of a lot sometimes. I did enjoy the fact that once we started homeschooling I didn't have to think about teacher gifts and class parties with gobs of sugar and food coloring.

    The most meaningful Christmas that I remember from when the kids were little actually started in the spring. We told the kids that we weren't doing "regular" Christmas that year and we wanted to give them a lot of time to adjust to the idea. We had each of the kids do special jobs (at least one per month) for the rest of the year to earn money for charity to be set aside in a special account of their own. Once the holiday season rolled around, each child got to go shopping on their own with Mom and Dad (a big deal when you're one of seven!). We shopped for each child's special charity and then delivered what he or she purchased. Even our youngest earned $14 for the year and bought some things for the animal shelter.

    Because everyone likes gifts, we did give homemade gifts that year. Starting in the spring gave us plenty of time to think of things. I remember making a cardboard shoe with colored laces for my daughter and writing an accompanying poem to help her conquer shoe-tying. One of my daughters made a big batch of waffles and put them in the freezer to give me a few easy breakfasts. It was a lot of fun, but we only did it one year. It seemed like it might be a bit forced to do the same thing other years.

    Last year we decided to forgo presents and go on a family outing together. It was nearly impossible to find a time and place that worked for everyone and Christmas morning felt a little sad. I am going to propose some of the ideas that people have shared here and see what the family thinks. Now that the kids are grown and some are married it would be overwhelming to give everyone gifts all the way around.

  • bcabrobinbcabrobin Posts: 228 ✭✭✭

    We do 12 gifts for each-I know that sounds like a lot but hear me out

    1) something to color - to give with gift #8, card, picture etc. kids also get a coloring book

    2) socks - goes with the theme each year

    3) Legos small set

    4) stickers type activity to make as a family (think Oriental Trade)

    5) something to read - book

    6) favorite snack food

    7) something that comes every month - Highlight for kids, teas or coffees for big kids

    8) favorite kind of cookie mix - to make together as a family - to share with others - each family member picks someone to give a box of cookies to, giving them some of each kind and the gift from #1.

    9) something new grandma made - new kind of soap, shampoo, lotion etc.

    10) passes to the zoo, animal park etc. - these will be used through the year to get together as a family.

    11) PJ's

    12) movie night kit - movies, popcorn, candy, drinks

    They open 1 gift a day starting on the 12th ending on Christmas Eve

    I buy gifts as I see something someone likes through the year and give them to them at Thanksgiving, each family can work them into their schedule opening as they can. I give it them cause if it gets bad we don't make it back together, I had to mail gifts 1 year, cost more to mail than the gifts cost. This is more work but everyone has fun

  • Granny MarieGranny Marie Posts: 48 ✭✭✭

    We get together for a family meal and games. Only a few presents for the younger grandkids. Everyone else is happy with cactus jelly and deer jerky. My best friend and I spend Black Friday making candy to take to work, neighbors, etc. There's always plenty left over for the kids.

  • herbantherapyherbantherapy Posts: 454 ✭✭✭✭

    This year everyone gets jam and gift cards. I doubt we will be gathering at this point with COVID still running the game so I expect to do a lot of shipping. In that case maybe I should do virtual gift cards and hoard the jam for the end of days! Lol

  • karenjanickikarenjanicki Posts: 612 ✭✭✭✭

    I got a butter churn for my birthday this year :). So for Christmas I want to get some nice mason jars and ribbons and home churn some butter. I want to make a variety of compound butters to give as gifts.

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