Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Christmas Tree Traditions and Making Crackers for the Christmas Tree

When we were younger one of our family's little traditions or should I say my father's was to have a little extra present on the tree for each of us.  I always used to be in the kitchen with mum when I was growing up clearing up after her and once she had got what she needed to be done done I would be allowed to do something myself. That is really where I learned to cook at the heels of my mother. I always helped her for Sunday dinners and also on Christmas Day when things got hectic. 

Being the Father he was (and I happen to think he wasn't perfect I saw him warts n all but as a father he was pretty special to me and to my brother) he knew how much work went into preparing everything and after dinner one year he went to the Christmas tree and procured three little presents for us all (including my brother) as a thank you.  I still have what he bought me and also what he bought my mum and the special little notes that were popped into the little boxes expressing his love and thanks year on year.  For that first Christmas tree present  Dad had bought us a small piece of jewellery each.  Mine was a single pearl and mum's was a watch that she had seen and quite liked but had never expected.  That was the first of many such thank you's.  It varied from year to year as to how much he could afford but there was always a little trinket of some sort but it was always the love and thought that went into it that meant the most.

I have carried on the tradition with my extended family.  But I wanted something different to do with them and I think I have found it so that the present is in full sight on the tree but hidden if you know what I mean.

Last Christmas I was blessed to receive from my OH a Big Shot paper cutting machine and I have slowly been adding new dies to my stash, having had a recent blow out on all things Christmas.  For many months I have not had any new crafting stuff and when I come across something I like or something that could be very useful if I can afford it at that time I have a little splurge.  I am lucky - I know I am but my crafting stuff is like my books always in constant use.

One of those little splurges has seen me buying the dies for a larger Christmas Cracker and a smaller one which I believe is tree sized and ideal for a little favour or Christmas Tree present.

So this year the Christmas Tree presents will be there for all to view.  They just won't know it at the time.  I thought that I would make them in metallic card in different colours the colour denoting the recipient's name.  I also have some little tiny box/carton plates and also a plate for pillow pockets which can have a little pressie added and then wrapped like a Christmas parcel.  There are all sorts of different ways that the templates can be used to make something very individual.

I have also got some poinsettia dies to build up flowers from paper and I thought something like this on the outside of the cracker would be festive and distinctive as well as making some paper decorations for the tree probably three D little wreaths and once they are finished sprayed with varnish to preserve them for use another year.  After all that hard work it would be sacrilege just to dump them!

I have also sent for some Debbie Shore of Crafters Companion festive fabric dies to have a play with as well.  If I don't get much mileage out of them this year I will next.

I thought that this might be a good project to do whilst I am off my feet.  Will have to see how things go.  Right had better get a wriggle on.  Catch you later.

Pattypan xx


  1. Patty
    Be careful with the Debbie Shore dies - I had the Christmas ones earlier in the year and tried putting them through my sizzix big shot and they bent my plates - sent for some new plates only used them with the Debbie Shore dies once and the new ones had started to bend again - if you watch Debbie Shore when she's on Hochanda she never puts them through a Sizzix (although she'll say that they will go through a sizzix) and if you watch the sizzix lady on Hochanda she says that you should only use sizzix dies on a Sizzix - I have had a conversation about these dies with Hochanda but they're not interested even though I have pointed out that they have 2 presenters contradicting each other - I have thought about getting trading standards involved .... anyway thought you'd want to know - would be really interested how you fair with these dies - good luck xxx

    1. Thanks for that Trudie. Funnily enough on their website it does say not to try and emboss with these particular die cutters. However if I have any problems I will also contact Trading Standards and quote the Tort Interference with Goods Act and that the item is not fit for the purpose it is being described as. But thank you for the warning. I have bought them for using fabric more than anything else so I do hope that they work. Hope you are keeping well and getting to craft on a regular basis now you are retired. Take care and thank you. Pattypan xx


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Meet the Moggies

  • Merlin (approx 18 months)
  • Squeak (approx 2 years)
  • Poppy (approx 16 years)
  • Tyson (approx 17 years)
  • Tinky (official name Clover approx 18 years)