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A Little House Christmas

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 A Little House Christmas
Group:The Hundred Acre Wood
Swap Coordinator:thehappyhoneybee (contact)
Swap categories: Themed  Books  Handmade 
Number of people in swap:28
Location:International
Type:Type 3: Package or craft
Last day to signup/drop:October 25, 2010
Date items must be sent by:December 6, 2010
Number of swap partners:1
Description:

“Every Christmas is better than the Christmas before,” Laura thought. “I guess it must be because I’m growing up.”

~ By the Shores of Silver Lake

Even in times of hardship, Christmas was always a special time for Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family. Every year Ma hung up the girls’ stockings by the fireplace so that Santa Claus could fill them with small treats. Though the Ingalls’ holiday celebrations were much simpler than the traditions we observe today, each little house they lived in was filled with joy and gratitude for their many blessings.

In this spirit of giving, you are invited to send a special Christmas stocking to your partner filled with small gifts inspired by the Little House books. Your stocking should be at least 12 inches long, and can be sewn at home, clean vintage or thrifted, or even a nice boughten one. The stocking should include at least 5 items, and in the true tradition of the Ingalls family, the items should be handmade or relatively inexpensive.

The items might include:

  • tea
  • cozy knitted wool mittens or scarf
  • handmade soap or candles
  • Christmas candy
  • paper garland
  • your recipe for gingerbread
  • a soft rag doll
  • a pretty, thrifted china shepherdess
  • a copy of a special book
  • paper dolls
  • a small jar of homemade jam
  • an embroidered handkerchief

You could even sew an ornament, make papercrafts, create a hand-drawn illustration, or find other presents inspired by the Little House books! Your creativity is encouraged in this swap, and more ideas can be found below.

The stocking is sender’s choice, but please do make sure you aren’t sending something your partner has specifically expressed he or she prefers not to receive. If possible, so we keep with the pioneer theme, it's nice to try to choose materials that are organic in nature--i.e., cotton or wool over acrylic, wood or tin over plastic, etc.

Don’t forget to check country mail restrictions for the destination your stocking is traveling to as well. Lastly, please enclose a seasonal card or letter with wishes for the holiday, and if you wish, a note explaining what the Little House books mean to you.

You will have 6 weeks to put together your package…and you’ll receive your own beautiful stocking just in time to celebrate Christmas in your own little house. Please join in on the fun!

Discussion

SpewKnitter 09/20/2010 #

YES! This was my favorite book series growing up! I'm IN! :D

HollyHox 09/20/2010 #

Never had those books here but I love this idea so much so will research it =D

Ari 09/20/2010 #

I don't know if I'll be able to get organized enough to do this swap, but it's a great idea! I hope people will post their swaps to the new Flickr group, too-- I'd love to see what everyone comes up with. :)

thehappyhoneybee 09/20/2010 #

Hooray! So glad you've joined @SpewKnitter .

The books are truly wonderful. Laura started writing them when she was in her sixties, drawing upon her own experience as a little girl when her family helped the westward expansion of the United States. It's a really fascinating day to day look at that period in U.S. history, but beyond the incredibly detailed descriptions of life on a farm and pioneer living, the books are simply just wonderful stories of growing up, being independent and free, and finding happiness in unexpected places. I loved them as a little girl, and I love them as an adult. My favorite book is probably Farmer Boy, which is about her husband as a little boy, although I love and re-read them all repeatedly.

HoneyBunny 09/21/2010 #

Wonderful idea, I just love it!

waldenpond2 09/21/2010 #

Your favorite book is Farmer Boy.... hmmm.... that gives me some ideas... hmmmm.... ;)

I love all the good eating in all of the books but particularly so in Farmer Boy. Taffy stuck in the teeth? Yes, please! Cream curling up the edges of apple filling in the bird's nest pudding? Mmm!

Looking forward to this swap! My FAVORITE idea ever!

BigHillGoddess 09/23/2010 #

This is a beautiful idea-so meaningful!

I love the Little House books and when we homeschooled, we did an entire year themed around the books, then went on to Laura's later writings for the paper in Mansfield.

I am always in awe of how much progress and how many changes in the country she witnessed. (electricity, phones, the western railway, automobiles, airplanes... just so much.

Farmer Boy is wonderful, but I have an especial fondness for The Long Winter. When I first read the series, I didn't like it, but the more I read it, the more I appreciated it.

thehappyhoneybee 09/23/2010 #

@BigHillGoddess That's so funny--The Long Winter is probably my second favorite book in the series! It really is so humbling to read about the hardships the town endured, and it's also inspiring to see ingenuity and kindness in the middle of such extreme circumstances.

And @waldenpond2 the food is a big, big part of why Farmer Boy is my favorite! I love that chapter when the parents go out of town and all the kids churn ice cream and eat cake and icy cold slices of watermelon for all their suppers.

Moineau 09/24/2010 #

How fun... And just the excuse I needed to re-read (for the umpteenth time) Farmer Boy which I have on my grown-up book shelves... @thehappyhoneybee "But Mother, we did not eat ALL the sugar" ;)

sassyreader 09/26/2010 #

Another fabulous and imaginative swap! I am just watching right now until closer to time so i can do other swaps ( i always hit my 20!) Going to start getting the stocking together now :-)

waldenpond2 09/26/2010 #

@Moineau .. "But, DH, I did not eat ALL the snackable sweet treats in the house and leave none for you -- there is 1/8 of an ice cream bar left for you in the freezer!"

@thehappyhoneybee oh did I need yet another reason to tell my mom why ice cream for dinner was a good idea? She did not like the Little House series for a while there...

Ohboyohboyohboy, can't wait for this swap!

thehappyhoneybee 09/29/2010 #

You guys are amazing...I love this comment thread so much! Yay for Laura lovers everywhere.

Lilypink 09/30/2010 #

I love these books so much - I think they were probably responsible for inspiring my wish to travel across the US! I'm just glad it's become slightly easier to do so now!! What a lovely swap idea :-)

LavenderLizard 10/ 1/2010 #

SQUEAL!!! I am so excited about this one. I've always loved the Little House Christmases...

hollycm6 10/ 1/2010 #

@hollyhox you have to read them. They are Sooo sweet.

leahsimone 10/ 2/2010 #

These are my all-time favorite books, and although I'm Jewish and don't celebrate Christmas I am SO SO tempted to join...will think on it...

SpewKnitter 10/ 3/2010 #

Okay, I hope my swappee lives where it's cold, because I just came up with a FABULOUS IDEA! :D Oh this is SO much fun!

thehappyhoneybee 10/ 3/2010 #

Oh @Leahsimone ...so sad for your dilemma! :( I'm sure we'll have other Little House swaps in the future, though they'll probably be simpler ones.

I hope everyone snaps photos before mailing so to upload them to our group Flickr list--I can't wait to see what everyone sends! I just got back from a flea market with a some vintage goodies for my stocking, so I'm on a bit of a Little House high at the moment. :D

thehappyhoneybee 10/ 3/2010 #

I mean, I was so excited, my last comment didn't even make sense... :x

DeidreArt 10/ 4/2010 #

I have the whole box set, my grandfather bought for me once after we visited one of the actual house Laura and her family lived in, as an adult. I haven't read them in a while, but have oh so many ideas for this. Currently rereading a lot of my Madeliene L'engel so maybe a Little House rereading is up next?

thehappyhoneybee 10/ 5/2010 #

Friends! Our lovely little swap has been mentioned in the outside world. Have a look at this Beyond Little House post about our Christmas exchange. How wonderful!

Big thanks to new Swap-Bot member @laurajeanrose for pointing this out to me. Laura has asked to join our group, but unfortunately she's brand new to the site...so if any of you would like to help her out by doing a 1:1 swap with her to help her build her ratings up in time to join this Little House Christmas swap, she might appreciate it.

TheCraftyLibrarian 10/ 6/2010 #

This looks so cool! I haven't read the books in a LONG time, but will do some research so that I can join in!

laurajeanrose 10/ 8/2010 #

Thanks @thehappyhoneybee I sure would love to do a 1:1 swap. Still learning the ropes here, but learning fast and having fun!

hollycm6 10/15/2010 #

@leahsimone I think you should join anyway! Open your stocking for Hanukkah!!

hollycm6 10/15/2010 #

My partner might get something knitted. And please... be kind. I have never knitted before and it's kind of funny looking. But love went into it!

booklover 10/19/2010 #

I am really looking forward to this swap. I love love love Little House books and Laura Ingalls Wilder and am already having fun determining what I might include in the stocking I send.

thehappyhoneybee 10/22/2010 #

I'm so glad we have so many Laura lovers in this group! Yay.

GalMolly 10/26/2010 #

I am really excited about this swap! I already have ideas swirling around for my partner! Maybe if she likes to sew, a needle book, some embroidery floss, thread, ahhh love it!!

thehappyhoneybee 10/26/2010 #

Yay @GalMolly !

Sorry about those duplicate swap messages, everyone--looks like that Swap-bot system glitch still hasn't been fixed.

nicolea75 10/29/2010 #

I was just invited to join this group and I'm saddened to see that I didn't make the deadline to join this swap. LIW is my absolute favorite author and I would have loved participating in this swap. I hope you all have fun and I look forward to upcoming swaps concerning LIW! Thank you for the invite @thehappyhoneybee ! :)

hollycm6 11/17/2010 #

Oh my gosh, I just made the best thing to go in the stocking. :) So excited to be working on it!

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