The cure for awkward holiday gatherings? Creativity.

gildcollective-productphoto_077It’s that time of year again: Halloween hasn’t even happened yet (let alone Thanksgiving), but society is telling us we already need to have every last detail of our winter holiday plans set.

If you’re anything like me, the emails that you are getting from friends and family about plans happening OVER A MONTH AWAY are causing you nothing but stress. Seriously, how am I supposed to think past next week? I enjoy the holidays and all, but I am not someone that looks forward to them year round. The thought alone of spending too much money, eating too much junk, and being over-booked with plans can cause my already slightly higher than average anxiety levels to spike through the roof.

The greatest part about the holidays, though, is spending quality time with people that you love and get to see rarely.

The worst part about the holidays, though, is spending quality time with people that you don’t know very well and only see once a year or rarely see socially.

Think about it: Work gift exchanges. The day after Thanksgiving with the women in your significant other’s family. The get togethers with old friends that only gather when everyone is in town every year (or less). You like these people (I’m assuming), but you just don’t feel completely comfortable with them. You aren’t quite sure how to keep a natural conversation going. gildcollective-productphoto_096

These situations, and many more, are what I have in mind when I picture women gathering around our party boxes for the holidays. Crafting gives everyone a common purpose and can help conversation flow, making otherwise slightly awkward social gatherings engaging and fun.

Feeling inspired to take the season by storm? If you aren’t yet, you will be after you see our holiday projects, designed to add cheer to any gathering (even the awkward ones):

Eucalyptus Wreath gildcollective-productphoto_104

The eucalyptus wreath is a perfect project for the most beginner crafters. If you are particularly nervous to embarrass yourself in front of your coworkers or extended family, you have nothing to worry about with this project. And as a bonus, we also offer it with the option to personalize the letter for your family name!

Holiday Card Display String Art

Even the most bah-humbug of us love getting personal, love-filled holiday cards. This holiday card display string art is a bit more challenging than the eucalyptus wreath, but only enough to get you and your fellow crafters helping each other and laughing at your mishaps. The end result is a perfectly adorable display for those adorable “awww”-inducing cards that you’ll be getting over the next few months.

Holiday Countdown Wreathgildcollective-productphoto_127

As a kid, my favorite part leading up to Christmas was the Advent Calendar we opened every day to get a new piece of candy and count down one day closer to Christmas morning. This countdown calendar is ready to be filled with yummy treats, but I love the idea of mixing in intentional holiday activities to do as a family, or daily acts of kindness to remind you and yours of the spirit of the giving season.

Photo Calendar

This photo calendar of ours has been around for a few months, but it’s an absolutely perfect, personalized gift for the desk-bound love in your life. Plus, the photos you bring to the craft table to include in your calendar are the perfect conversation topic. Win-win.

Chalkboard Cheese Trayholiday005

We brought back our holiday favorite of 2015. The chalkboard cheese board is our most “beginner level” craft, and is also very quick to create. This makes a great option for a function with your work team, when you only have an hour-long lunch to celebrate holiday merriment.

If I haven’t convinced you that crafts are a cure-all for holiday stress, consider this bonus: You’ll come away from the experience with a handmade decor item perfect for gifting to someone you love. “Someone you love” can totally be yourself, by the way.

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