It is more important than ever to be environmentally aware this Christmas season and to chose sustainable options as much as possible.
The Christmas tree is at the centre of the decor this time of the year so opting for a real tree, grown in Ireland will benefit the planet as the carbon footprint is minimal. It also it makes your home feel pretty special with the beautiful pine scent wafting around the house. There are some exquisite Christmas decorations available handmade in glass, wood, ceramic, paper and felt. You can also source some quirky vintages ones in antique shops.
Buying locally-made gifts allows you to get some beautiful, unique and quality pieces that will be cherished and appreciated by the person receiving them. Buying handcrafted gifts is both environmentally sound and economically worthwhile. Gift wrapping and packaging doesn’t have to cost the earth either and can be kept simple. In Handmade Design Studio, we provide with handmade reusable fabric pouches. Kraft or recycled paper added to with some colourful ribbons is another greener alternative.
Supporting makers, artists and designers together with local independent shopks means helping to build a diverse thriving locally-based business community. Keep your town or village alive as well as the planet!
Christmas really starts the moment you dust off the box of decorations, tinsel and lights stashed away since last year. There’s the moment of anticipation and rediscovery that is so much part of the excitement of the festive season.
To decorate the Christmas tree, you first put the fairy lights on the branches working from top to bottom, then add all the colourful glass or ceramic baubles, the handmade wooden or straw decorations, the lovely little felted booties. Finish with a star or Angel at the very top of the tree.
Getting one special Christmas decoration every year to build a collection adding a new one year on year creates a family collection that makes for new memories of Christmas to cherish.
The Christmas tree evokes memories of simple childhood pleasures and excitements. I am reminded of the moment the box of decorations was taken down from the attic: feeling joy reopening it and exploring its hidden treasures, pulling out the glittery garlands, the old fairy lights and the delicate glass baubles that picked up and reflected so many colours. Passed on from earlier generations, some of our family’s Christmas decorations were intricately woven paper and ribbon creations, or hand-painted snowmen, robins and elves: sturdy time travellers from Christmases long ago.
Making your own Christmas decorations means being in the moment while having fun stitching, painting or découpaging! The craft as well as the decorations passes from one generation to the next. Christmas is said to be ‘all about the children’ but the ‘Down Memory Lane’ tree pays tribute to the older generation.
You might have an idea for a Christmas present for a loved one or you might have got a nudge recently or maybe you have run out of ideas altogether! Sometimes, it can be quite daunting to select the perfect gift so here are some suggestions:
For the Nature lovers: ‘Robin’, one of the ceramic wall plaques by Silverbranch, a butterfly brooch by Artysmarty or a grapefruit-scented soya candle by Candella.
For the foodies: A cereal patterned bowl by KaroArt, a beech breadboard by Caulfield Country Board or a ‘food of love’ bowl by Sarah McKenna.
For the artists: A chalk paint mini project pack by Annie Sloan, a box of mini-soaps by Baressential or a felt heart brooch by Niki Collier.
For the bookworms: ‘Room recipes for style and colour’ by Annie & Felix Sloan, ‘Romantic Irish home’ by Robert O’Byrne or a vintage beaded bookmark from My Grandmother’s Closet.
For the fashionistas: An elegant felt hat by Nikki Collier, a silver and crystal pair of earrings by Bláithín Ennis or a limited edition clutch purse by JoanyG.
For the little ones: Organic baby bandana bib by Little Green Do, a pretty tooth fairy by Guadalupe Creations or ‘Aibítir’ first reader in Irish by René Mullin.
For the art lovers: ‘Mother Love’, a gilded fine art print by David Hill, ‘Great Tit’, a limited edition watercolour print by Terence O’Connell or ’Lakelands’, an acrylic painting by Anne-Marie Kearns.
For the home-birds: A warm wool blanket by Donegal Studio, a unique hand-painted piece of furniture or A ‘home tweet home’ pebble art picture by OonaghKdesigns.
WISHING YOU A LOVELY AND PEACEFUL CHRISTMAS