Because I’m hiding away from the dreaded Second Wave, I’m watching a lot of programmes on the Home Channel, and I’m all fired up. Next year, friends and family will open their gifts and gasp: Did YOU make this? Yourself? Whether the gasps will be of horror or admiration remains to be seen.
How hard can it be? Knock up a batch of shortbread? Tick. Knock up a batch of Fir-tree shaped biscuits? Tick. Bash out a couple of fruit cakes mid-October, buy a bottle of brandy, and tenderly dose the cakes at weekly intervals. Tick. These I can do. Easy peasy.
Ditto making chutney when apricot and tomatoes are plentiful. Tick. Doable. Provided we aren’t plagued with load-shedding in 2021, hello Eskom, are you listening?
But there are other options: apparently all I need is bunch of willow branches, a stout pair of pliers, iron determination and I will weave a batch of wooden placemats, or maybe a small laundry hamper. The relentlessly enthusiastic English TV anchor made it look so simple. Now where am I going to source willow branches? Do willows even grow in this province, I wonder? Maybe Karree tree branches would work out? This is so exciting!
And then, I nearly forgot: Knitted items , and crochet whatsits. Why, I saw an adorable little crocheted snowflake in a craft magazine, only yesterday. Never mind that the South African Christmas season is blazingly hot, and not a snowflake in sight. Details, details! Don’t be a wet blanket! Of course, I’ll have to learn how to crochet, but that’s all on YouTube, isn’t it ? No problem.
Or I can raid my trove of wallpaper samples, ( note to self: start collecting wallpaper samples); cut out floral bits and bobs and make individual handsewn greetings cards; or decorate the cover of the handmade book that I’ve conjured up out of thick manilla paper, and magicked up a cover out of an old leather coat that I’ve cut up. Must say I have reservations about cutting up an old leather coat. Even if it is Pleather. Is this a good idea, I wonder? Again, the TV anchor was amazingly nonchalant about attacking an old leather jacket with an enormous pair of shears. Mind you, it was a nasty shade of green, so what the heck.
Really, the choice is dazzling, and I haven’t even got around to the knitted and sewn items. I mean, socks, scarves, beanies, dinky little purses. Positively overwhelming.
Oh! the agonies of choice! A greener, more thoughtful Christmas. Thoughtfully curated gifts, personally designed and laboriously made; no more raids on the Chinese plastic shop.
The only thing between me and a homespun Christmas in 2021 are the following: a glue gun, a craft cutting mat, a super-sharp craft knife, an awl, pliers, a steel ruler, paint, decorative trinkets, buttons, raffia, fabric strips, a collection of wallpaper samples, fabrics samples, buttons, sequins, dinky charms, a ton of glass and ceramic beads, oh …. and a lot more besides.
My word, I’m going to be busy in the New Year. Alternatively I could just go online on Black Friday and press the plastic. Takelot.com could see me around the end of November. Watch this space. And if you don’t want a home-made gift, I suggest you start planning your home removal right now! You have been warned.