Holidays: fine feasts + knitted gifts.

One really fun handmade Christmas gift this year were these little bonnets from Purl SoHo’s Last Minute Knitted Gifts.

They were the perfect first hat project from me as they are really a ‘T’ shaped mini-blanket.

Another fun project was homemade gingerbread… my first attempt. I tried my hand at Martha’s recipe, which although quite sticky and challenging to roll out and cut results in a remarkably tender and delicious cookie.

The impetus to make gingerbread was from not having enough ornaments to cover our tree.

They looked great–but just for a few days. Sadly, after that the weight of the cookie pulled the hole through and I was left with cookies sitting on (rather than hanging from) branches.

I finally finished my first blanket for myself! It’s a red Christmas / Chinese New Year / Valentine’s blanket… it’s hard to see, but there is a cross pattern across the whole thing.

It took me about a year to finish and I still needed the pattern up until the last row. The blanket is the perfect length to cover you up from your waist to your toes while you’re seated, working or chatting away.

Last year I’d given my sis-in-law a teapot so this year I thought it would be fun to knit her a custom cozy… here is the finished project on my teapot, which is a lot smaller than hers… I’m hoping it looks a little nicer when it fits a little better.
I got so crazy about it wanting to fit perfectly that I actually found a china shop in Central that had the teapot… I convinced the VERY reluctant salesladies to let me try my cozy on the teapot…

So I hope after all that trouble that it actually fits!

Before we left for New Zealand, we had a few Hong Kong friends over for a Christmas dinner… I was trying to think of the perfect menu… I was debating roasts and turkeys, etc… and then the Mr. came up with the brilliant idea of a Mexican Christmas…  which was also great as two of the guests were vegetarians.

Homemade guacamole, enchiladas and fresh out of the oven chocolat chip cookies. Enchiladas are an awesome make-ahead alternative to the ever-present lasagna.

We spent actual Christmas day at our dear friends new home in Queenstown. They really outdid themselves with a studded ham and a turkey, which really made it feel like Christmas even though it was 80 degrees outside!

It was a really nice group… all Hong Kongers who just happened to be in New Zealand for Christmas! Can you tell how sunny it was?!

I had knit a hat for each of the two girls… but for some reason the eldest just never wanted to put hers on… so here we have darling little Manny modeling both colors!

And here I am with Kitty and our cracker crowns.

Christmas crackers are a British tradition I plan on adopting… and I’m going to make sure to only get / make crackers with hats included!

Hats make everything more festive, don’t you think?

In closing, I’ll leave you with our Christmas view: the Remarkables.

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9 responses to “Holidays: fine feasts + knitted gifts.

  1. Hello and Happy New Year!

    I noticed your absence – although truthfully I was doing some traveling of my own, and went off the grid for a bit! Your red blanket is beautiful, as are the images from New Zealand. Thanks for blogging and blessings with your resolutions; I’m sure you’ll figure out how to dovetail them successfully!

  2. Natasha, we miss you here dearly. Your pictures capture our girls so beautifully, a sign of a good eye or perhaps a good friend. Hope you are enjoying being “home” despite the pollution. Sounds ghastly.

  3. Natasha, what a lovely Christmas and you are so thoughtful making all of those homemade gifts. Looks like a magical holiday season!

  4. Hi Hkhousewife,
    Thanks you for your post, Modern Christmas celebrations, decorations, traditions, and customs have very little to do with the birth of Jesus. Before Christanity, people celebrated the soltice with parties, food and drink and much merry making. For centuries the Catholic Church observed the Feast of the Nativity, but this was a minor aspect of the much more wide spread Winter soltice celebrations that took place throughtout Christian Europe.
    The Puritans eventually outlawed “Christmas” in England and the American colonies and the protestant churches rarely observed Christmas at all untill the 1800’s.
    So it has always been a time for feasting and celebration but it was hardly a primarily religious event.
    Why do we think it should be any different today?
    I am a Christian, a Roman catholic, and I celebrate Christ’s birth by going to Mass and practicing acts of charity.Why should I be bothered if my friend and neighbors do otherwise?
    We all celebrate and enjoy the holidays in our own ways and thats fine by me!
    All the Best

  5. The scenery around Queenstown is truly beautiful: how lovely that you were able to be there at Christmastime. (You must have been near to my home on your way there!) Every good wish to you for the New Year.
    [Valerie, NZ]

  6. Love all your photos here — handmade items, all lovely — and so breathtaking there in NZ!
    Glad to see that blanket finished, because it’s so pretty, and well do I know how burdensome a tricky pattern can be.

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