Homemade Does Not Always Add Happiness

We just love looking at homemade Christmas decorations. None of the things that we make fun of are kids’ crafts because kid stuff is almost always cute, fun, or some form of adorable. If it strikes out on those tests we use the Socratic Triple Filter: Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? when looking at kids’ craft projects. The kind part always stops us in our tracks. Adults can just take their lumps for their crafty fails, but kids get a pass.

The donor gets props for not making this:

I’m sorry, but how are you supposed to do your business knowing that poor reindeer is just stuck there watching? It’s enough to give me performance problems, if you know what I mean. Plus, you just know that the rug is going to need a thorough cleaning if you have a little boy in the house. This kit is a terrible idea. Your house is decorated for Christmas even if you skip the toilet. If you’re a sadist, then just stick The Elf on the Shelf in there and know that you’re going to hell!

Might as well keep on the reindeer train:

This Rudolph was just dying to get his picture taken and be in our blog:

Please don’t make fun of me!!

We’re always happy to make a craft project’s dreams come true. I think Rudolph was made from parts of a palm tree; there is some palm fiber stuff on the back of his antlers, ears? I don’t really hate him, and he has such an anxious expression in his eyes that he gets a Christmas miracle—no snarky commentary. The more I look at him, the more I feel like smiling, so good job, Rudolph!

Sorry, but these crocheted trees aren’t going to get a pass:

They are sooooo busy, that it almost hurts to take stock of them. At least the green one only has individual snowflakes plus what I’m assuming is fake snow up the side, lights, pearls, and presents on it. The poor red tree has all that, minus the pearls, plus rocking horses, dolls, bears, stockings, and candy canes. I hope you noticed the battery packs hanging from the bottoms of the tree—yes, Virginia, they light up!

I think that this cookie cutter angel might benefit from a little subtraction:

The crochet work is rather nice; I can see snowflake stitches in her wings. If they had just not used the pearls at her neck, as buttons, and in her hair, plus just used a flower at her waist, but no ribbon, she might not set my teeth on edge. Well, I guess they needed to make her totally differently. I don’t know if you can see the gingerbread person cookie cutter inside the crochet; I’m not sure it’s necessary as the whole shebang is starched within an inch of its life. It’s always hard to know when to say when; but after a lifetime of crafting fails, I’ve decided that less is more.

I kind of have a soft spot for glass chimney Santas:

However, they need their hats! The maker did a pretty good job with the beard, but Santa has an angry mouth—maybe he needs a cookie. I am glad that this isn’t sitting on the lamp; that always scares the stuff out of me thinking about a flame near all that flammable felt and yarn. Did I ever tell you that I worked off and on one summer in a burn unit as a student nurse? It left quite an impression on me and a firm ambition to never find myself in that situation.

Kathy and I are pretty unshakable in our conviction that few things are improved by fabric yo-yos:

But, shockingly, this Santa’s yo-yo hair and beard are kind of charming. I’m not sure the gold beads are absolutely necessary, but as we noticed above, it’s hard to say “enough” when you’re on a crafting roll. We saw this, looked at each other, and one of us said “I don’t hate this!”. Wait until you see what else we didn’t hate; I’m not sure who we are anymore!

Predictably, we did not like this:

This kind of plastic cup calls out for a kid’s drawing made for Grandma and Grandpa at Christmas. Plastic canvas had to be plan Z after a ton of failures with A through Y. Plastic canvas is so attractive, said no one, ever.

Except us! I can’t believe I’m typing this, but:

we both thought this plastic canvas “lantern” was really well-done and attractive. I almost choked saying those words together, but hey, it’s true. You hardly ever see plastic canvas projects with black yarn, and that might be the key here. The red poinsettia contrasts so nicely with the black, and so does the red and white trim. This might be a first—we like a plastic canvas craft project at a thrift store. Mark this on your calendars because it won’t happen again for another ten years.

One last thing. I have made my dad these molasses sugar cookies for 25 plus years. My grandmother made them for my dad ever since he was a kid; they were his favorites. When she got to be in her late 80s, she sent me the recipe and told me that I needed to step up if she couldn’t make them any more, which I did. I always made Dad a big batch for Christmas, so it was hard knowing I wouldn’t be baking them for him any more. I thought I would add the recipe to this post, so that maybe someone out there might start a tradition of their own.

Grandma’s Molasses Sugar Cookies

¾ c of shortening
1 c sugar
¼ c molasses
1 egg
2 tsp baking soda
2 c shifted flour
½ tsp cloves, ginger, salt
1 tsp cinnamon

Melt shortening in pan over low heat, or in the microwave.  Let cool a little so you don’t cook the egg.  Add sugar, molasses and egg, beat well.

Sift flour and add soda, salt, and spices. 

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.  You might have to use your hand to get things combined.


Preheat oven to 375F and grease a cookie sheet.

Form 1 inch balls and roll them in sugar, place on the cookie sheet.  Don’t make these cookies too large—they just don’t bake right.

Bake 8–10 mins DO NOT OVERBAKE.  They might not look done, but when you take them out they will set up.  I usually leave them on the cookie sheet for about a minute.

Cool on racks

We have just one more Christmas post, but have we ever got some doozies to share. Hope you are all hanging in there with the Christmas expectations, supply chain issues, Covid, and the flu! At least we can celebrate together, which is the real reason for the season.

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2 Responses to Homemade Does Not Always Add Happiness

  1. You, two have too much fun…this is abysmal way to spend a holiday—stitching these ugly things. You are right the lantern does give a light of hope. Funs stuff! Sandi

    • kathy & deb says:

      Thanks Sandi!! We have been followed around stores by other shoppers because we are “having so much fun!” I can’t believe that people make these ugly things and think they are so beautiful! Happy Holidays. Hugs, Deb

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