A few years ago, I found an interesting article by Lynette Jensen in a quilting magazine. Lynette is a well-know quilter and author of many wonderful books. She shared her idea to send one of her college age children a box filled with beautiful Christmas handmades and treats she had made. Stating it was always good to receive care packages from home, she had filled every inch of the box with homemade delights - a quilted table runner, a festive tree skirt, homemade candy and cookies, and all sorts of other good things with which to decorate a dorm room for the holidays.
After reading the article, I decided to make my own versions of Christmas in a Box. One year I stenciled gold stars on papier mache' boxes and made matching patchwork wreaths and table runners. I added festive paper plates that fit different themes and I made a few ornaments to add to the collection. My handmade offerings were not quilted and the contents of my Christmas boxes were not as grand as Lynette's seemed to be, but they were homemade and heartfelt. I offered some of the boxes as gifts to loved ones and sold the others at local craft shows. This year I arranged Christmas in a Box for my mother who is partial to Cardinals.
I found a beautiful box at JoAnn Fabrics yesterday and was sure it would be perfect for my mom this year. The box is decorated with Cardinals and is large enough to store Christmas decorations after the holidays. I start collecting things before Thankgiving since I've made a tradition of visiting a couple weeks before Christmas to help Mom get out her little tree and lights. I put on Christmas music while we decorate inside her house and bake cookies. Most of the time, she sits and watches while I do a little decorating and baking, but that's fine. She loves having her home ready for Christmas and we have a nice visit in the process.
Mom's box contains a Songbird Calender, 2 decorative kitchen towels, a box of instant hot chocoate, a bag of marshmallows, 2 boxes of Christmas cards, a box of Christmas lights, paper plates and napkins with Snowmen and Cardinals on them, a box of candy canes, gingerbread cookies, and a handmade patchwork wreath. I'll add a Christmas tablelcoth and an apron as soon as I've finished making them. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.