Preparing for the Season

After Halloween every year, time seems to speed up. One factor that causes this is the shortening of days – the amount of daylight is less, and days can feel shorter when cold or rainy weather shuts us indoors. When those clocks shift, as they did last week, evening comes far too quickly, and those of us working full time jobs start feeling guilty for simply coming home to sup, then put the kids to bed, with no daylight left to play outside, or fit in a later-night barbeque with friends, like we do in the summer. On top of all of this, holidays and social obligations begin to abound later in the year, and with this, a sense of urgency for putting together hostess and holiday gifts.

I’ve always been exceedingly frugal when it comes to spending. In college and grad school, $20 was my limit for single-item spending, be it for clothes, entertainment, or a holiday turkey. It’s been hard to let go of such frugality as I approach the end of my fourth decade of life, but even back then, things sort of fell apart this time of year. With the holiday panic upon me, and a long list of people to put together gifts for, I’d easily spend well beyond my usual means, dipping into my savings account, or keeping a credit card balance into the New Year.

Home-made giftsThis all changed when I started getting better at making holiday gifts, and having little ones to increase the sentimentality of gifts, helped a lot too. For the last two years, Stroller Hikes has hosted a holiday craft workshop at Sports Basement or our house, and it’s been a pleasure folding other Stroller Hikes families into the good, messy fun of making gifts for others. The first year, most of our holiday cookies got consumed by their bakers, rather than passed along as gifts, but last year we had fun whipping up reusable produce and sandwich bags, salt scrubs, felt coasters, magnets and ornaments, plantable seeded flowers, and wine glass charms (photo above of some of our samples). This year, we’ll work on cooking kits (for oatmeal cookies, multi-bean soup, or peppermint hot cocoa, for instance). I’m still setting up dates, but look towards early December for an afternoon/evening.

Last year, it was a relief to take advantage of our craft day to have the kids whip up all of the gifts for their teachers, some of my work colleagues, and some friends and relatives. Everyone enjoyed what we had produced, and we even had extras to use, ourselves!g craft event. This week, I’ll send a poll out to see what days/times work best for folks. The event will be open to the public, so anyone can come, but please RSVP once that date is established (in a couple of weeks), so we get enough supplies for everyone. We’ll suggest a small donation to pay for the supplies, for all attendees that plan to make gifts to bring home. More details to come, as we get this nailed down.

Looking forward to getting crafty with you!

-Debbie (President and Founder), Max (6), Holly (2), and Andrew

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