Adventures in Merry Memory Making

Merry Memories, Oh My Handmade, Lettering by Shauna Lynn

“Merry” lettering by Shauna Lynn for OMHG

“I sometimes think we expect too much of Christmas Day. We try to crowd into it the long arrears of kindliness and humanity of the whole year. As for me, I like to take my Christmas a little at a time, all through the year. And thus I drift along into the holidays – let them overtake me unexpectedly – waking up some fine morning and suddenly saying to myself: ‘Why, this is Christmas Day!’” ~ ‪Ray Stannard Baker‬

Happy belated holiday wishes lovely friends, I hope your celebrations were filled with love, laughter, and so very much merry memory making!

Our family has been quietly resting up in our little pink Lunenburg house since winter set in with piles of snow and a lay off for Chris, making plans for the future and special memories together. After a difficult year we all needed to retreat,  let go of expectations have a simple, sweet season of birthdays, giving thanks and cherishing the people we love both off and online. There were no big parties or gifts or heaps of visitors but for our family there was handmade gifts, baking together, sledding adventures, crafting, and lazy morning reading in a big heap in bed. We left the phones off, computers closed, and our worries packed away to focus on giving our girls magical memories of home and handmade goodness. In the evenings, after the girls were in bed, for the last month I have pulled out all my art supplies to craft up little packages of love for the OMHG friends who have supported and strengthened me this year.

Being so honest publicly about the tough parts of this year along with the awesome opened up new depths of community and friendship-I have been humbled by the trust of everyone who shared their own unique stories with me in emails, letters, phone calls or in our amazing forums. In the forums and our chats we have welcomed babies, swapped gifts, had video parties and skill shares, sent each other letters, planned collaborations, launched projects and made life changing friendships. Thank you all for giving me the best and biggest gift anyone could wish for, this incredible community! If I could sprinkle fairy dust on everyone and grant just one wish for 2014 it would be that we have more time for making merry together all year round. If anything, this year has taught me that a loving community can make spirits bright even when our hearts are heaviest.

After this long break I am so excited to be getting back to regular posting and business here on January 2nd when we kick off our Project 2014 theme, (click here to learn more and submit). I’ve also got some big announcements early next month like updates on our letterpress collaboration and details on how to get involved in our 2014 Maker’s Retreat on Cortes Island October 17-22 in beautiful BC that is REALLY HAPPENING!

Before we leave 2013 behind with all its ups and downs and look forward to focusing on businessy goodness in the new year lets wrap up this one with a bow by sharing our celebration stories in the comments. Pop in below to tell us about how you made merry memories this year. How did you celebrate? Did you visit friends and family or have a quiet season? What was perfect about your holiday and what do you hope to do differently next year?

As for me, I am hoping to fill my days with “kindliness and humanity” and take my Christmas a little at a time throughout the year by spreading merriment here and at home!



  1. Sara DiMantova says:

    This is beautiful 🙂 Glad you had tiny family time + merry birthdays Jessika!

    My family celebrated this year like we do almost everything, with lots of eating! Our other tradition is puzzles, whether just my small immediate family, or a house full of the extended and friends, we always have at least one (usually 2 or 3) massive holiday-themed puzzle going. My mom glues + frames each one and sets them out each year so we can say, hey! remember this? <3

  2. Kerry Burki says:

    Happy Holidays, Jessika! It sounds like you have truly enjoyed the season! I am sorry to hear you had a difficult year but am happy to hear that family and friends have made it special.
    I was go go go and finally slowed down last week and really enjoyed time with my family and friends. Just before the holidays I learned that my friend and roommate from college was killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan. I had already planned on making “slow down” my motto for the new year but the news of my friend definitely made that sink in even more. I have shared hugs, laughter and tears this holiday season and love my family and friends so much. Knowing how blessed I am has really made this season extra special.
    I am sending you some super duper big hugs and look forward to being a part of your community more in 2014. XOXO!

    • Hi beautiful! I am so very sorry to hear about the sudden loss of your friend and am sending big hugs out through the wires to you, I’m here if you need to chat any time 🙂 It is wonderful how you took that sadness and made merry memories with tears and all loving mixed together by slowing down to be with your family and friends. I hope 2014 brings us more time for visits and community building together!

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