Wednesday, November 24, 2010

the grinch of craft


Image: Three girls making a "sandman" at the beach, by Ozzie Sweet. State Library and Archives of Florida, 1964.

I have a confession to make: I hate Christmas craft.

I was at Spotlight (a large craft chain store) the other day, and there were pile and piles of (mostly very ugly) Christmas fabric. And women were snapping it up! What the hell are they making with all this fabric? Tablecloths? Wall hangings? I am honestly unable to fathom what all that fabric is going to make. And why are they spending all this time and money making something that will sit in the cupboard for 11 months of the year?

Then there's all the snowmen and Santa Clauses and elves and snowflakes to make, to sit on the mantlepiece or the dinner table and then take up more storage space for the rest of the year. Why are they bothering?

Perhaps the reason that none of this stuff resonates with me is because it's all geared towards the Northern hemisphere. Snowflakes, reindeer, holly, candles, sleighs and fir trees don't have much relevance to an Australian Christmas. The other source of imagery is Christianity, and I'm not a Christian.

I'm not saying that I scowl every time I see a Christmas tree. In fact, we have a tradition of watching Christmas movies all through December, and I put out my little Christmas decorations. I love Christmas! I just don't understand why you would want to spend your precious crafting time making things that have such limited use and limited relevance.

4 comments:

Crystal said...

I can completely understand your sentiment. I do love chrismtas crafting, but not because of the 'usefulness' of the items. It's because of tradition. Decorating for Christmas is a month long party at my house and it started when I lived at home with my parents. The decorations for both of our christmas trees are entirely hand made and we add to it each year, picking and choosing with ornaments should go on the tree. So, maybe for some people, it's as simple as making them feel warm and close to their families by doing a shared activity. I mean a good deal of ornaments on my tree were knit by my mom and dad and I know their tree has many knit and beaded by me. Its a group family thing! :D

Jessica McLeod said...

That's really cool Crystal! Shared craft is awesome. It sounds like you are making lovely stuff that will last (and is probably small enough to be stored without a problem!)

David Ano said...

As some someone who lives in the Northern hemisphere ... I STILL agree with you.

Crystal said...

I do have to agree with you about it all being small stuff now that I come to think of it. I think the largest thing in size was a tree skirt one year, and that folds up small!