From the Old World to the New, the northern hemisphere to the south, Christmas is one festival that is still much celebrated in many parts of the world, and an integral part of the year-end holiday season. Whether you follow old world Eastern European traditions, celebrate your yule Nordic style or in a more colourful Latin American style (did you know the poinsettia came from Mexico, where it’s called the flor de noche buena?), even the most secular among us do pay some heed to Christmas customs and rituals, especially those from childhood.
Inevitably, if there are small children around, there is almost certainly a tree, perhaps stockings. Even here in the southern hemisphere, where temperatures around Christmas can be high, the goodies, decorations and food still carry a strong northern hemisphere influence.
If you are after Christmas craft ideas, and if you like making your own everything, from Christmas crackers to advent calendars, decorations and gingerbread, Martha Stewart seldom disappoints. For food ideas, try Nigella Lawson (her Ham in Coca Cola seems unorthodox, but trust her on this) or Donna Hay for quick, simple recipes that work.
In terms of things crafty – and I know we’re in the southern hemisphere – who doesn’t love a snowflake? Emily from the Loopy Stitch has provided a free crochet pattern for her Sunny Snowflake, complete with step-by-step pictures, as has Lucy from Attic 24. Work from the premise that no two snowflakes are alike and make a mixed jumble to hang on a tree, string into a garland, use as gift tags and just because.
Source: The Loopy Stitch
Then, once you’re well and truly hooked, you can work your way through Caitlin Sainio’s 100 Snowflakes to Crochet.
Our favourite Norwegian knitters Arne and Carlos have designed 24 Christmas balls that can be knitted as part of the countdown. This link takes you to a Julekuler designer that you can use to personalise your own Christmas ornaments.
MillaMia have a free PDF download of all seven ornaments you can make using odds and ends of yarn, perfect for seasonal decorations or as a special gift topper.
If you like granny squares and stars, here’s a pattern for one you can use to make a sweet garland.
Source: The Royal Sisters Blog
And lovers of African flower motifs have to try this stunning creation by Daniela Herbetz.
Source: Daniela Herbetz
Finally, just imagine the pleasure on the faces of little kids when they encounter these adorable mini softies by designer Rebecca Danger, including an elf, a snowman and assorted monsters. They are perfect for a Christmas tree, or as a little companion throughout the festive season.