Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Now I've Gone and Done It.

Welcome to my blog.  Like many other things in my life, I have been planning this for a number of years and putting it off for just as long.  I have always been too busy, or not quite sure what form this space should take.

Enter this little movie called Julie and Julia.  I watched this on Netflix the other night and found myself completely inspired.  Not the kind of inspired where you sit back and go, "I wish I could do that."  This is more the, "I am gonna get off my ass and make a difference in my little corner" kinda inspiration.  There is a lot in this movie that captures the disconnect and angst that many young people feel today.  As one of them, this movie really spoke to me.

Like me, the heroine Julie, is a writer who is not writing.  And like me, she took a detour after college and never quite made it back to the main road.  She begins the movie working as a "government drone" for the City of New York.  She is nearing thirty and all of her college friends are successful.  One of them, a "writing" writer, publishes an article in which she basically calls Julie the biggest disappointment of their graduating class.  Julie is devastated and immediately starts searching for a way to begin writing again.  She decides to cook her way through Julia Child's famous cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  Julie aims to complete the book's entire 526 recipes in 365 days.  As you may have imagined, the blog was successful; it has now become a Hollywood Motion Picture. 

So, in the spirit of this uplifting movie, I will embark on my own crazy journey and I will live to write about it.  Am I going to cook my way through some famous book?  Not quite.  Instead, I am going to align this blog with two of my biggest passions, frugal living and crafting, and I am going to take (make) the first ever Makaha Mommy "Home Made Christmas" challenge!

In light of our stalled economy (and the fact that I am utterly broke), it doesn't seem right to spend thousands of dollars on consumer gifts this holiday season.  In addition to being better for your wallet, I believe that a Home Made Christmas is better for the soul.  How many times have you scrambled for weeks to make sure it is the "perfect Christmas," only to feel a sense of depression as soon as the presents have been opened?  How much did you really enjoy waiting in mile long lines to buy stuff that will probably end up in a landfill?

There is nothing like the sense of accomplishment one gets from watching a person open a gift that was made especially with them in mind.  The act of gift-giving itself is all about bonding with another person.  When the gift is store bought something is taken out of this connection.  A Home Made gift, however, shows love and appreciation on a different level.  Rather than saying, "Yeah, I care about you enough to plunk down my credit card," a Home Made gift says, "I care about you so much I gave up my evening, weekend, etc. to make this for you.

Unfortunately, for most, homemade gifts are often seen as cheap.  This is because many of them are made quickly and without attention to detail, so they end up looking, well, homemade.  That's where the Home Made thing comes in.  A Home Made gift does not look cheap or amateurish.  A Home Made gift that is made right looks like it came from a boutique, and was therefore, rather pricey.

This year I have vowed to make the majority of my presents by hand.  Of course some gifts will still be bought (like the underwear in the kids' stockings), but the goal is to take the impersonal aspect out of this most personal of holidays. Since, I like Julie, have a problem finishing things (even before I had two kids in diapers), I also am giving myself a set number of projects and a deadline by which to complete them.  Below are the "rules" that will guide this project.

Makaha Mommy Home Made Christmas Challenge:

20 gifts in 20 days-Starting December 5th

Looks (and functions) as well as, or better than what you would find in the store.

Relatively quick and easy to make.

Use upcycled Materials whenever possible.

Use no new wrapping paper. (leftover or secondhand doesn't count)

If any of you would like to join me, I would love any feedback or pictures you may want to share.  See you all again on Sunday.  I can't wait to get started!

1 comment:

Frater A.I.T. said...

Hello Linds,

Nice to see you writing! I'll be sure to spread the word around. Hope you keep at it-Chris