The fossilized gumdrop garland. The 30-year-old paper chain. The latkes. The cookies. The song.
It’s always the little things that make the holidays memorable, so we turned to our beloved group of hand dyers who bring so much color and joy to us all. We checked in with these creative women to find out their favorite holiday traditions.
Karida Collins, Neighborhood Fiber Co., Baltimore, Maryland
Karida writes: “Basically, I love Christmas music. Even after working mall retail jobs for more than 10 years, I still love it. I always wait until the day after Thanksgiving to start playing it, but at that point, it’s a Christmas music free-for-all. The song that most signifies the holiday season for me is ‘This Christmas’ by Donny Hathaway. As a family, our traditions are mostly food-related. I always make sweet potato pie from my grandmother’s recipe and my brother always makes her corn pudding. Despite the fact that she’s no longer with us, we still get to have Christmas dinner with her spirit.”
Megan Ingman, Lichen and Lace, Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada
Megan writes: “One of my favourite things about Christmas is the music—two of my most beloved holiday albums are Elvis’ Christmas Album by Elvis Presley and Christmas by Low. I also really love fruitcake. : ) ”
Alice O’Reilly, Backyard Fiberworks, Silver Spring, Maryland
Alice writes: “My holiday tradition? It’s a scratch and sniff book that I had when I was a kid. They still publish it!! So of course I bought one for my son ASAP. It’s probably horribly carcinogenic but nothing smells more like Christmas than The Sweet Smell of Christmas.”
Amy Lee Serradell, Canon Hand Dyes, Portland, Oregon
Amy Lee writes: “Well, my birthday is the week before Christmas. Every year on my birthday I treat myself to a few hours of morning knitting, then my family and I go window shopping on one of our favorite streets in Portland, and then do an early dinner, go home, build a fire, wrap Christmas gifts, and make hot cocoa.”
Brooke Sinnes, Sincere Sheep, Napa, California
Brooke writes: “One of my favorite family traditions is that we do both those ‘crackers’ or ‘poppers’ that have the paper crowns in them (which we wear) as well table gifts for each person. The table gifts are specific to each person and are generally pretty funny. It adds a festive, amusing note to the evening!”
Tina Whitmore, Freia Fine Handpaints, Emeryville, California
Tina writes: “Christmas to me is the yummy Glogg that my mum makes. The fruity smell is intoxicating, as is the drink, it has a heck of a kick, but makes everyone happy. Here’s a recipe I found that’s pretty much identical to my mum’s.”
What are your favorite holiday traditions? So fun to hear what recurs, year to year.