This is a week when we truly live up to the idea of a handmade, handcrafted education. I’ve tossed our regular activities out the window and instituted a crafting week. We are listening to books on tape, making our lists and checking them twice, and filling our home with delightful secrets. Secrecy is the spirit of the week so, just as everyone knocks before entering a room, I’ll be unable to share pictures of the wonderful things the kids and I are working on.
Here are our supplies. Or, rather, some of them. The corner of our dining room is quite heaped with bags and stacks of creative materials. And the embroidery floss situation is getting out of control in some areas.
“Nobody is bored when he is trying to make something that is beautiful or to discover something that is true.” William Inge
I am getting both more done and less done than I’d hoped, which is always the way of it with lists. But at least I am no longer skating along a thin ice over the icy cold waters of panic. To be a good mama and a happy person, I really needed to have a time dedicated to making this idea of a completely handmade Christmas work. I can feel the panic ebbing. Ahhh. We won’t get everything done this week, but we may get enough done that we’ll still feel comfortable doing our annual Christmas cookie fund raising.
Each year for the past three years we’ve sold deluxe cookie platters and used the money to buy livestock and farm equipment for third world families. It is a magnificently simple idea – we donate our time, others get easy holiday baking, and we alter a big problem just a little bit. But baking 1800 cookies does eat at our evenings and weekends in early winter. I’ll write about this in a bit more detail soon, but in the meantime I encourage you to muse about what your family could do to raise a little money for other families this year. You don’t have to set your sights high – we had no idea that we’d be capping our orders at 60 platters. We started out just wanting to raise enough for a piglet or three.
And, in similar vein, Mama to Mama is an excellent new idea. “The simple act of creating something with intention and heart – for someone in need, can have a beautiful effect on the lives of others. We can, indeed, do something to create a more just and peaceful world…all with the simple, mindful and crafty work of our hands.” Their first project involves something so simple it’s amazing. Power to change the world really does rest in our hands.