Is it that time of year again already?

It’s crazy how it just seemed like yesterday I was dragging out the Christmas Tree to dispose of it. Now all of a sudden I’m starting to see stores starting to put up their Christmas and Holiday wares. I even heard rumor that a few households had already put up their Christmas Tree. I’m with Charlie Brown on this one that we have completely commercialized a perfectly good Holiday. Now I’m not here to debate which if any “Holiday” you celebrate or don’t celebrate… or even how you celebrate said holiday. But if you do, then this might be the time to start preparing. I think there is something we all can do to still get our Holiday fix and maybe, just maybe make it a little less about the commercialization (unless you own a foreign manufacturing plant that exploits underpaid workers). Now the entire Internet is full of ideas, but here is a couple things I’ve done or found that other people have done to create decorations either for your house or as gifts for the Holidays.

The first is a recent video released by Sterling Davis who is a fellow North Carolina resident. I was able to meet Sterling at Woodworking in America this year. He builds a replica Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer of one he built for his Mother when he was in High School (a few years ago).

[yt4wp-video video_id=”UNR-9TfgXy0″]
The next is a Christmas Wreath idea that my wife asked me to make the frame for. I used some some pine 1×2 stock and then cut 22 1/2 degree miters to make an octagon and then glued and screwed with pocket holes.
Then Kelly stapled some of the clipping off of our Christmas Tree to make a fresh Christmas Wreath. This made a beautiful wreath that could be reused and customized each and every year (or each season for that matter).
Christmas ornaments are another decoration that can easily be made and also past down from generation to generation. We have become a society where everything is bought new and then discarded to make room for the next new hotness. Alan Stratton at As Wood Turns and Carl Jacobson at the Woodshop TV put on a Christmas Ornament Woodturning Challenge every year. This is not only a great way to make a family heirloom but also put a personal touch to the holidays. Here is this years Challenge video which also contains the link to this years playlist. There is still plenty of time to join in on the fun!
This is the first year that I participated in the challenge and hopefully over time I can add some of my own creations to our Christmas Tree.
Here is a video of a Christmas Tree decoration that Steve Carmichael made last year. Steve is an amazing woodworker that has a bunch of great project ideas. I was also able to meet Steve this year at WIA (Woodworking in America). This is a fun looking project that I would also like to make sometime.
I could go on for days about different online resources and ideas available. They don’t all have to be woodworking related either (even if I kind of gravitate that way). I guess what I’m trying to say is that in a global world of manufacturing and commercialization (if this is even a word), go out and make something to decorate your house or to give as a gift for someone special to you this year. Even if it is just one small thing you will be surprised what a difference it makes. Hey and if your totally against the idea of making something yourself… go buy something hand made from someone in your local area. Not only does this help out small businesses but still gives you a meaningful item that wasn’t formed of plastic by mindless robots or assembled in a country that still uses child labor. Most communities have holiday fairs or craft shows which is a great place to find or sell gifts and decorations. I hope this gives you some ideas or incentive to go be creative. I’d love to hear what are your plans for Christmas decorations and gifts this year?

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