Contributor post by Amy of BeadsAndThreadsbyAmy
Any holiday is the best excuse to gather the family and show how much we care. Independence Day was always a big celebration in my mother’s family. Generations have served in the Army, Air Force, and Marines, and it was always important to our family that their service be honored through our celebrations. Our entire extended family would gather in a little town called Louviers, CO. A large BBQ and back yard games would ensue. What makes Holidays special for our CIJ families? Read on. Feel free to share your holiday memories in the comments section. If you see something you like, just click on the pictures to shop our Etsy CIJ team!
For us it will be the Chinese New Year (CNY).
It is a big thing in our family, very much like Christmas to many Western countries except that it usually falls on either end of January or beginning of February. Every year has a different date according to the Chinese calendar.
We’re from Indonesia, but my family root is Chinese and my parents are ‘big’ on Chinese New Year.
It is the time to gather together as a big family and enjoying the CNY dinner.
Food is usually in abundance around this time, especially sweet treats like Pineapple tarts. Sweet treats symbolise sweet beginning to a new year.
The CNY dinner menu usually includes fish, tofu, noodle. They symbolise good fortune and long life. We usually wear anything red and the children will usually get red pockets from their parents and grandparents.
This red dolly felt hairclip organiser in my shop is inspired by the CNY:
I have a Christmas birthday and my parents would always get me a Christmas ornament and put it on my cake with my candles. Sometimes it was cats (I went through a cat phase), other times it was space capsules and moon landers. It morphed into a car for my 16th, a ballet shoe for a big recital…..
I still get an ornament each year, something to symbolize an event that happened.
This inspired most of my ornaments, but definitely this set of “his and hers” first Christmas stockings. Miniature stockings are hand cut from a up cycled felted sweater and sweet vintage pearly, white buttons are seen on the edge.
My favorite holiday is the day of birth. On this day, it’s nice to get the gifts. The best gift for a girl is a doll.
One of my preferred holidays is Mother’s Day.
My sons really love me and usually show me their love in different ways, but It’s so sweet having a particular attention on that day!
This year they were both away but they called me on the phone and on skype too.
When they want to be particularly tender with me, they don’t call me “mom” but “mamy” and I’m…..touched!
I created this decor just thinking it as a perfect gift not only on Mother’s Day, but to show every day love and thankfulness to every mom in any moment of the year.
My favorite holiday is Christmas when family from far away come home to celebrate. Let’s face it, during the month of December we run around completing our energy. To replenish my energy after Christmas, what do I do? Go down to the beach to find sea glass. Although, finding sea glass is now hard to find at the Jersey shore, it’s not impossible. The best part during this “after Christmas” visit to the beach is to see all the Christmas trees along the beach. Bradley Beach, NJ uses the trees to recycle and build up the dunes. It’s so cool, to imagine all the memories these trees provided to families. It’s a cold little visit but so worth it. My energy is renewed and maybe a few pieces of sea glass in my pocket!
Within my family we celebrate Christmas the most – usually everyone has time off work so everyone can get together.
My store has lots of handmade ceramic tablewares which are ideal for making a celebration special – what better than to share food presented in a unique piece of tableware made with love.
The Christmas Tree Skirt is a big tradition in my family. I use the one my Grandmother made for me soon after I got married. I put it under our tree every year. My mother uses the one her mother made her soon after she married. My sisters also put out the tree skirts that were hand made for them by our Grandmother. It is a special time when I pull out that skirt and remember my Grandmother.
I thought it was a wonderful tradition to get started in any family. I hope that my customers are picking out a special handmade tree skirt from my shop and use it year after year.
Here is a sample of my home made felt tree skirts.
Mother’s Day is near and dear to my heart. Of course, because I’m a mother and I can feel the love my daughters have for me. And to me it’s a day to celebrate being a mother myself and what a great gift my children are. And lately though it’s bitter sweet since I am often so far away from my own mother that I can’t visit her on this day. And with her declining health and advancing age, I count each new Mother’s Day she celebrates as a gift. I was able to see her a year ago and captured her prize-winning roses in photo. I’ve turned some of them into greeting cards and overtime I look at them and relive so many sunny Mother’s Days I spend with my own mom.
In our family while I was growing up almost any holiday turned into a big deal with large family get togethers and tons of great foods, fun, games and laughter. Our family is much smaller now, but the part that always means something to me no matter what is just – family. That bond that is there regardless of the holiday you are celebrating. I was so afriad I would not be here to celebrate more holidays with family when I was diagnosed with lung cancer at 44 years old. I lost my father to this disease, – it has been many years, but I thought much on the fact that those holidays, birthdays, Easter or any holiday – many families do not have very much laughter or are feeling lost, hopeless, lonely, or grieving. I wanted to provide a message of hope, and messages of inspiration – as a survivor I feel a need to pass that on. I also know that sometimes just having something to remember and honor those who lost this fight can be a special thing, and a healing thing. So I make things and hope that they bring a bit of happiness and hope – and healing. I want awareness to spread.
A parting thought…
We’re thinking of you this special holiday,
Sending our wishes for joy and happiness,
Hoping all good things will come your way:
Satisfaction, comfort, peace, success!
By Joanna Fuchs