stuffing and glue guns are not my husband’s thing

This year, per the suggestion of my darlingest friend Christy which can be found here (I’ve been picking up free-lance stuff for the newspaper to help feed the children), we decided to do a partially homemade Christmas.

“We” is code for “Me.” I’m the mother, I’m the Christmas queen, and I decide how Christmas is going to happen.

The rules were simple. Draw your Christmas Angel name, read it SILENTLY, throw it in the fire and spend the rest of the month doing secretly sneaky nice things for them. Oh, and make a little gift will you? The night we drew names Rex had to draw four times before we finally convinced him to not read it out loud.

I would love to report that Jason was on board for this project but if I’m the Christmas queen then he is the Grinch’s first cousin twice removed. He’s not against Christmas or even cheap, just frequently cheerless and occasionally grumpy. He did not warm to my whole “make a gift” suggestion. I think his exact words were, “I’m not doing that.”

When your kids are 10 and under it goes without saying that every serious craft project needs, at the least, some serious adult supervision and at the most a band of elves. I think my ears are starting to get pointy; I feel like I’m on a steady diet of DIY holiday fruitcake.

Harrison has Rex’s name this year. Like every 10 year old on the planet he thinks he can do anything and that it will only take five minutes. He insisted that we make Rex a teddy bear. I really don’t want to tell him what to do–only assist–and so despite my reservations I couldn’t bring myself to shut him down. He watched at least three youtube tutorials.

But have you ever sewn a teddy bear? It’s not exactly a beginner project.

And that is how we ended up locked in the office for two hours on Sunday afternoon. I wasn’t really looking forward to it but the 27th time Harry asked me when we could work on Rex’s present I decided to bite the pin cushion and get it over with.

Five minutes into cutting out pattern pieces Harry asked how long it was going to take.

But I have to admit we had an absolute blast. He is now totally amazed at my sewing skills and cannot believe that we made those pieces come together into a bear. The best part: he told me four times, “I really love doing projects like this with you, Mom.” It was one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done as a mother and I can’t wait to finish up the bear this week (he is SO proud of it and I’m SO proud of him).

One down, two to go…




  1. I have my own grouch grinch at home and I can assure you he is worse than yours! I love your constant fountain of energy and tolerance. I can not wait to hear about what Rex will make!!!!

  2. I love homemade gifts, they are the best. It’s so wonderful to give and get things that you know somebody put thought and time into, makes Christmas so much sweeter, and how great that you get to have a special moment with your children in doing it. I love this story, thank you for sharing.