We asked our authors to share their silly season survival, gifting and market tips with us. Here are some of our favourite answers:
How do you stay sane during the silly season?
Monique Day-Wilde, crafty artist: “Not sure that I do, but I make a conscious effort to chill and not get too hung up on expectations.”
Carla Visser, multi-talented multi-crafter: “I focus on all the beautiful decorations, gift ideas, Christmas carols, festive spirits, fairy lights….can you tell that I LOVE the season?”
Hazel Blomkamp, embroiderer extraordinaire: “I travel more than enough during the year so I stay at home, definitely don’t take my life in my hands by going on any roads, pay lots of attention to my gorgeous dogs, enjoy the company of whichever family and friends are with me, rise late in the morning and drink lots of red wine (or is that the other way around?).
Katrien van Zyl, queen of cakes: “I bake (a lot) ha ha!”
Sandy Griffiths, the doyenne of pewter: “I am sane during the silly season; it is the other 11 months that I battle with!”
Will your gifts be handmade?
Carla: “Yes, some of my gifts will be handmade but I make sure that they are all personalised!”
Hazel: “Um, probably not. Not really into too much gift giving because we all have too much rubbish in our lives anyway. So, to the extent that I do give gifts they will probably be consumable (from delicatessens and bottle stores) and they will be last minute purchases.”
Katrien: “Handmade baked goods and shop-bought items, a bit of both.”
Sandy: “Most of the gifts I give out are handmade, I am always working on things and have many little rocks, pendants, candles and notebooks hidden in my cupboard waiting to find a good home. My family love to journal, so they make perfect victims. When I do my Santa Shoe boxes I always included a personalised notebook.”
Which gift markets would you recommend?
Monique: “There are so many at this time of the year – we have a great market in Betty’s Bay which runs from mid-December till after Christmas.”
Carla: “I personally recommend the Christmas market closest to you, because you are supporting local crafters and often you find the most innovative creations and bargain at these smaller, less familiar markets.”
Hazel: “Gift markets? How does anyone who is obsessively busy creating their own stuff find the time or have the inclination to visit markets? Not me.”
Katrien: “I love the Stellenberg Christmas Market and Kamers vol Geskenke.”
Sandy: “Most of the markets are good, they have become competitive and well administered, the organisers are looking for quality stock. Trawl your local markets and support local artists.”