Handmade Holidays Memories from Kelly Wilkinson, author of Weekend Handmade

A Guest Post by Kelly Wilkinson


For me, the telltale smell of Christmas isn’t gingerbread or eggnog--but the smell of a hot glue gun. 

We were one of those annoyingly Currier & Ives families who actually made our holiday gifts and invited people over to sing carols around the piano and, get this–-reenact the story of Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem. I kid you not. My dad always played the tax collector and sometimes doubled as the donkey.  I know, I know: I can practically HEAR your eyeballs rolling. You can’t get much more wholesome, which is probably why my sisters and I each cultivated a pretty healthy streak of snark.

Naturally, these traditions became unbearably embarrassing once we entered middle school and beyond. But now, there is nothing I love more than an old-fashioned sing-a-long, led by my insanely musical mother.  Another holiday tradition that I still cherish is crafting up homemade presents for my family. 

This year, my husband and I are travelling back to Virginia and the renovated barn I grew up in for the holidays. And while I’ll try to have all my presents made by the time we ship out, I’m sure that my down-to-the-wire personality means that you’ll find me in my Christmas pajamas, tucked into a cozy corner of the barn, soldering or sewing or wrapping. 
And in all truthfulness, there’s nowhere else I’d prefer to be. 

Above, left: Kelly expectantly hanging her stockings in 1979; above, right: The Wilkinsons, wishing you a Merry christmas sometime in the early 1980s.

Inspired to craft your own holiday presents? Check out Kelly's book Weekend Handmade for plenty of fresh, simple, and fun ideas.