Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Homemade Christmas

This past fall when a good friend introduced me to the Advent Conspiracy I was inspired! What if I spent less this Christmas on things like gifts and decor? What if I took the money I saved and gave it away? What if everyone did this, what kind of difference could we make in this world?

My husband and I decided that the way we would "conspire" this year was to give only homemade gifts. I broke out the old sewing machine, and after a lesson on how to thread it from a friend, I was off. From a few simple ideas stole from craft blogs our house was transformed into Santa's workshop. I loved putting new fabrics together in interesting ways. The sound of my machine humming along while a Jane Austen book played in the background made me peaceful. I was well on my way to finishing over 30 homemade gifts for the season.

While all of this was going on, my family was getting in on the act. I had a vision of a white paper Christmas. Instead of buying new decorations to add to my haul, we purchased one ream of white copy paper. From this humble beginning our Winter Wonderland would emerge. Hundreds of paper strips became the paper chain that now covers my celling. My husband discovered his gift for cutting out delicate and exquisite snowflakes. Lastly a dozen origami cranes flew in to give new life to my old fake green wreath.

I was feeling pretty Martha Stewart about the whole thing, and had even mailed off two boxes of gifts when I left to pick my kids up from school on Tuesday. While driving 55 on the highway a pick up truck pulled out in front of me without warning. I smashed into him at near full speed in my almost new car. My car didn't make it, but thanks to the grace of God I did. I have no broken bones, just tons of soft tissue damage in my neck, back, arms and legs. This damage makes it difficult for me to sit for any length of time (this blog has been done in many starts and stops) without my hands falling asleep or my neck deciding it is time to quit.

Now my sewing machine sits on the dining room table with my last project still hanging from the needle. It, along with about 5 other projects will remain unfinished for now. My dear husband is working his tail off to keep up the house, cook the meals (he does a lot of that anyway), and keep up at work. He does this all with out one word of complaint, and a smile upon his face. The kids help out as much as they can as I sit and stretch and try to heal.

I am the kind of person who feels the need to create. I paint, sew, and write, not so much for others, but more for myself. Long ago I realised that it was the simple fact that we are crated in the image of God, the Great Creator, that gives us all the innate ability to create. The creative process is for me a form of worship. The connection I feel with my Lord when I am expressing myself is beyond description. But now in this season of healing I will have to learn how to simply "be still" and know Him.

So, my Martha Christmas will have to wait. There are dear friends and family members who gifts will arrive sometime in January. I refuse to go out and spend in a desperate attempt to get something in the mail. After all , I am part of a conspiracy and that is not to be taken lightly!

Soft Spice Bars (one of the many ways my husband is spoiling me)
3/4 cup butter melted
1 cup plus 1 tbls. sugar divided
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp. salt

In mixer or mixing bowl combine butter 1 cup sugar and molasses. Beat in egg until smooth.
Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and salt. Stir into molasses mixture.
Spread into a well greased 15x10x1 baking pan (reg sized cookie sheet works great)
Sprinkle with remaining 1 tbls. sugar
Bake at 375 for 10-12 min. or until lightly browned. Do not over bake.
Cool and cut into bars.


  1. Conspiracies always have contingency plans...yours is to heal and do it later! God bless you as you 'just be' and watch Him be more to you than ever before!