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Monday, 5 January 2015
A fun, easy project with so many perks... 
make your own Christmas Eve pillowcases for the whole family!
We celebrate Christmas each year with my family by gathering together at someone else's house.
Really, it is ideal!  Every year we rent a place with room enough for everyone and lots of outdoor activity potential (depending on snow!). Sharing the costs makes it very affordable, and it makes it a real holiday for each of us~ no one has to clean their house or do all the cooking or hosting. And as we are spread throughout Ontario, we choose a central location.
This year we changed it up and went to a gorgeous log cabin in the woods. I use 'cabin' loosely, it was a beautiful A-frame home in the country, set in a stand of silver and yellow birches. There was plenty of room for the ten of us that came together (Rowan is the only child) and many happy hours were spent in the kitchen, playing crokinole and ping pong, reading and catching up.  The owners even left us a little Christmas tree which we decorated with bits and pieces each of us brought along.
It was the first Christmas in 20 years (at least) that I did not have a Christmas Eve service to lead, which was both disconcerting and a welcome change.  For our little family of three, this is the one holiday we can count on in the year and we make the most of the time away and together.

But I am supposed to be talking about pillowcases!
Every year, Rowan and I make gifts for the family.
This year we made everyone a pillowcase to open and use on Christmas Eve (and hopefully in the years to come!).
I introduced Rowan to the sweet joy that is fabric shopping (woot!) and we had fun mixing and matching our choices to suit the personalities of our family.  As if that wasn't bonus enough, Rowan, at 9, was able to operate the sewing machine independently by the time we made it through 10 pillowcases. She learned a lot about the machine, seaming and she even steam pressed all of her work. {And she is chomping at the bit to do more sewing! woot! woot!}.
 
We used several tutorials we dug up on Pinterest ~ I highly recommend the 'burrito' method of stacking and turning your cuffs and edgings! {Bad blogger that I am, I deleted my pins when the project was done so you'll have to do your own search on this one!}
Everyone was delighted with their Christmas Eve gift, and no one more so than Rowan who felt the deep satisfaction of making and giving her handwork to others.

I'm going to chalk this one up in 'win' column ~ not for all the sweet sugarplum dreams we may have promoted, but for the benefits of sharing time and effort with my daughter, watching her grow in skill and independence, and experiencing the real joy of Christmas to be found in the giving.

What family traditions have you started? Please share in the comments, I'd love to know! ♥♥

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