A FEW OF MY HOLIDAY FAVORITES
by Sonja Stone
Giving and receiving gifts is a joyful way to celebrate love and friendship. As a kid, the gifts were the most important part of my Christmas season. My family moved around a lot, but Santa always found us–even on Guam, where we had no chimney. Every year he dutifully stuffed our stockings and littered presents around the tree.
Get in the spirit with a holiday jingle! Nothing says wintertime like Dean Martin’s Marshmallow World. If you’re looking for something a little less mainstream, check out The Five Strings version of Amazing Grace (featuring Alex Boye´).
It’s perfectly acceptable to spend days in the kitchen during the holiday season–crafting sugary works of art takes time! The gingerbread church shown below (from a Good Housekeeping magazine from the 80s) is lit from the inside with a plug-in candelabra. The stained glass windows–made with crushed and melted jolly ranchers–glow throughout the night.
|Gingerbread church with stained-glass windows
We were pretty strict parents, so when my kids were little, my handmade coupon books were always the favorite gift of the season. I made the books with craft paper and ribbon, and hung them on the tree to be opened Christmas morning. Coupons included things like, have waffles for dinner (instead of what I cooked), enjoy popcorn and a movie on the couch, stay up a half-hour past bedtime, get out of one chore, etc. Every year without fail, my daughter would spend her coupons by the end of January; my son was another story. His coupons were cherished all year, spent carefully and only after much deliberation.
I’m not super-crafty (unless the craft is made with sugar), so I keep it simple. A few years ago I bought a book called Fa la la la Felt, by Amanda Carestio and Kathy Sheldon. I’ve had so much fun making little ornaments and tiny stuffed owls–this is truly a great gift for a beginner. The best part is that I can stitch away while rewatching six seasons of Downton Abbey with my son!
|My holiday bunny