It all began with a simple statement to my husband – “I really feel like the Holy Spirit is challenging to start working in January to make December 2011 a ‘Mostly Homemade Christmas'”. He didn’t say much and my four children seemed COMPLETELY unimpressed! But I started sorting through my cross stitch supplies, my craft idea books, etc. and soon had a list going for gift ideas. I was thrilled to discover that there were already a couple of cross-stitch items just waiting for frames that will be perfect gifts for some of the people in my life! It started with a plan for cross stitch projects for my two sisters and my parents. Then hubby saw the cross stitch pattern books I had laying around and pointed out ones that he thought my brothers-in-law would like. Then I found the perfect plastic canvas project for my niece and nephews. I was off and running!

Despite the fact that he hadn’t said much when I made my “big announcement”, hubby has been wonderful about setting money aside to buy the supplies we need to stay on top of the project ideas. The eight plastic canvas projects (did I mention my girls saw what I was planning and asked to have one too? Making an extra just in case!) were the first things to get my attention. I shouldn’t say that I am doing eight plastic canvas project. I’m doing the same one eight times so I kind of slip in to “assembly line” mode once I get the pattern down for a particular piece.

I was working on these projects one night while watching television with my eldest daughter, who is 19 years old, and she asked me to teach her. I did, and she took to it like she’d been doing it all her life! She laid claim to one particular piece of the project and is flying! Her sisters and her brother all asked to help as well. The my two younger girls and my son asked if we could make a trip to Hobby Lobby so they could get an idea of prices on supplies for some projects they had in mind. While there, they came up with a number of OTHER ideas. Somewhere in all of that, my three girls divided up the extended family “groups” – two sisters and their families plus my parents – and chose projects that would be done for them. The girls are of the opinion that all three gifts come from the three girls, they just each gave special attention to one of the projects.

My girls and I have spent numerous hours in front of movies and television shows working on our various projects. I’ve even heard them making statements like “For Mostly Homemade Christmas . . .” once or twice. And I’ve loved hearing them talk excitedly about how much fun it is going to be, watching our loved ones open these gifts in 11 months.

I know my family well enough to know that they are going to love the gifts. For as long as I can remember, my family has gone a little nuts for handmade, personal items. And it’s been such a joy to hear my children talk about what they want to GIVE for Christmas rather than what they want to GET.

I wish I could post lots of pictures for everyone to see but you will all have to wait – I have family members that do occasionally check out my blogs and I would hate to give anything away before the big day! As of right now, I can say that I have a cross-stitch item done for hubby, one of the brothers-in-law, my mother, and the gifts for niece/nephews/my kids are nearly at the point where I can start assembling the pieces into the finished project!

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