Fa la la la where's the eggnog?

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O tennenbaum

I was going to post some shots of our tree this year but then I realized that it looks pretty much the same as last year's tree (minus the shelves which fell after the earthquake resulting in plaster repair) so there you go.

We not going over the top for presents this year as we're reigning in our Christmas spending because:

a) the economic times have put stress on small businesses, of which we are one
b) we're hoarding what we have so we can ride this economic downturn.
c) hookers and blow
d) answers A and B

It dovetails nicely with my theory that we focus too much on material excess anyway, but now at least I have a solid reason to back it up and not seem like a tightwad.

We're changing things up this Christmas by going 99% local and/or handmade. I'm hoping that our inability to get fancy with presents is offset by the fact that an inordinate amount of love and thought has gone into each gift. I'm not going to get into the details of it all considering my immediate family reads my website, but we are rolling up our shirtsleeves and playing the part of Santa's workshop elves. It's been a bit of a dream to not have to go into a mall and shop. I can share what the boys are receiving: I've been making Ewan a teddy bear out of leftover fabric I had stored away in my office; each of the boys will receive arm warmers made from yarn they chose themselves; I burned Liam a disc of Dropkick Murphys tracks from my iTunes collection; each of them will get a couple of games, provided by Nintendo, for the Wii; we're also looking at getting sturdy, but inexpensive bunkbeds for the boys off of Craigslist as Ewan has outgrown his toddler bed.

I've compiled a list of local, handmade items that I am drooling over, some of which may be (or already is) under our tree. All are local and handmade. None of these people are paying me (or even know I'm making this list). Mamalogues Buying Local and Handmade Gift Guide 2008:
Rosevine Design has incredibly unusual bead jewelry; I'm particularly enamored with this bracelet. (I love turquoise anything; it's timeless):


This necklace by Amie King is out of my price range but I love to stare at it anyway. I'm loving pretty much everything on her Etsy site; her website is here.

Great painting from local artist Ambirnicole:

I love shirts from local artist Rizzo's Tees, specifically THIS ONE:

One of the best gifts I was ever given was a certificate to get a family portrait done. Raquita does some of the best I've seen.

I adore this pendant from Holly McCaig:

handmade4.jpgShe's also a fabulous photographer (she's responsible for my headshot) and she's also a paper artist. I've been aggravating her to design wall decals and wall paper and fabric. She offers freebies on her site from time to time as well and because I like to use scrapbooking materials to hand-make Christmas cards and gift tags, her stuff is perfect.

I love this onesie from Rhoadwork because this so accurately describes what the boys look like whenever Chris picks out their clothes:

handmade3.jpgI like these handpainted magnets from Heather Haymart.

I ever were to have a daughter the very first thing I would buy her is a tutu. I am so serious.

Courtney Watson once brought samples of her TwIsTeD bracelets (she repurposes found materials into jewelry) to a meetup one evening and I still wear mine several times a week. They would make great stocking stuffers:

handmade5.jpgI love this bag from Pink Lady Designs. Ewan could carry his packrat stuff in it:

handmade6.jpgLocally made soaps and other body works.

OMG these are the most adorable little baby hats I've ever seen. This is not boding well for my ovaries:

handmade8.jpgI am in some serious love with this local artist's knitted garments. This is beautiful:

handmade7.jpgI am purposefully not looking at ANYTHING from Rebecca Weis' shop right now because then I'd have to put her entire shop on this list.

A Modern Home will make a customized silhouette of your pet.

Sarah Wyman's work would look great on your walls, my walls, all of our walls.

**Also, 2 chix Maternity is offering readers of this website a 20% discount through December 31st. Enter the code MAMALOGUES20 at checkout.


Thanks Dana! I absolutely adore that baby hat, too... babies on the brain!

The jewelry is amazing. I love Holly's stuff.

I must get that t-shirt from my sweetie - he could so use that ability today.

Yay for local! Keeping your money local is what allows us (local shops) to, in turn, spend money locally. A right proper circle, it is. Thanks for doing a part in spreading the word.

Dana - Love the shop local philosophy - I hope it catches on and STICKS! Great picks, too, will be shopping at more than one of these sites. Thanks so much, Nancy.

It NEVER hurts to post pictures of Christmas trees. I've posted mine this year, even though it barely changes.

Also, we only give a few gifts to the kids each year. Santa brings ONE gift for each kid, unwrapped, that are left on or near a special Christmas stool each of the kids has.

Then Dianne and I give them a couple of gifts. Last year was BIG for our normal Christmas. We gave each of them a Nintendo DS...and nothing else.

Dianne also MAKES most of their gifts, which have been amazing. She made wooden "paper" dolls, homemade dolls, cases for their stuff, etc.

Our Christmas focus is totally not on gift giving....though I AM toying with the idea of buying some of those cool bracelets Courtney makes! They are kind of like those cool Indian bangles, of which all the women in my family (3!) have from my trips.

It seems like a lot more people are going the locally made route this year. Our gallery's show for the month is all inexpensive items geared toward holiday gift giving and sales have been brisk despite the economy. The one bright side to the current economic situation that it's forcing people to return to a more traditional holiday celebration.

Yay! Thanks for the post about my tee site. All shirts warehoused in my South St. Louis basement. Peace to all.

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