Wednesday, November 19, 2014

One of My Better Ideas

Christmas was always a fairly simple, easygoing holiday before I had children. I worked in various hospitals from Florida to New York depending on where we were living, and because hospitals never close, I worked on Christmas for 15 years. By the time we were celebrating our second Christmas with Oldest Son and Youngest Son came along in 1993, it was slowly dawning on me that Christmas was becoming more complex and complicated. I did love orchestrating it for my young sons, but there's no denying that it took quite a bit of time and some late nights. I could see what the problem was but didn't have any good solutions.

I was browsing in the fabric store after that Christmas and chanced upon some Christmas fabric for $1.00/yard. I couldn't resist this incredible bargain, so even though I didn't have specific plans for it, I bought a bunch. On the way home it came to me - I would sew gift bags. Wrapping presents is one of the holiday-related chores that I don't enjoy one bit, and by spending some low-stress sewing time throughout the year, wrapping gifts would be as simple as popping them in a bag and tying the ribbons.

I don't remember how many I sewed that first year, but they were such a success that I've been sewing bags every year since 1994. I enjoy choosing fabric and along the way I branched out into birthday bags.

 I've amassed quite a stash of bags, but that way I almost always have the right size for any gift. When my sons are both settled on their own, I envision divvying up the bag stash and gifting the boys with their own bag collections.

Fabric for a few more bags!
I don't have good ideas every day, but this is one of my better ones and has worked wonderfully for me!


  1. This is a fantastic idea! I love how the bags have a history and lots of memories with the fabric :)

  2. Your family must look forward to Christmas and enjoy the suspense of who will get which bag. They would bring back memories, be fun to see year after year, and help keep the mystery of Christmas alive.

  3. What a great idea!

  4. That is the best! And the recipient gets a bag that they can then again use! I knew you were wicked smart! ;-)

  5. Great idea! I actually kind of enjoy wrapping, having done it as a Christmas break job for a couple years. And I sympathize with that working-on-the-holiday thing. We have almost always celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas on an alternate day because Smokey couldn't turn down triple time.

  6. those look like awesome (knitting) project bags... yay for handmade and practical, too!

  7. I am reminded of Furoshiki - Japanese wrapping cloths - except that your bags are even more personal! Great idea.

  8. $1/yard IS too good to pass up.

    I experienced a similar breaking point when my children were young. For Christmas one year, I asked my mom to sew me a bunch of Christmas drawstring bags to use for wrapping. We are happily using them still. It's such a great idea!


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