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Guest Book Review – Home Made Christmas, Tessa Evelegh

Posted Nov 09 2010 11:55pm

Reviewed by My Sister, Mrs Worthington, from 2 Teens a Dog & Me

Home Made Christmas by Tessa Evelegh

Price £ 14.99

CICO Books

Home-made Christmas contains 35 easy-to-make projects, from tree decorations to table settings, advent calendars to wreaths for the door. Making Christmas decorations is hugely popular and adds a wonderfully personal touch to the holiday period. You will find most of the projects in this book require only the most basic skills, so everyone can have a go with guaranteed success! All projects come with full-colour step-by-step instructions and helpful techniques. Use them, adapt them, develop your own. Because when it comes down to it, the best of home-made is that it is an expression of yourself.

Oh the excitement!

My sister had been given a Christmas book to review. Given that I am already planning and in midst of making Christmas decorations as part of Betty’s Christmas swap she felt I would be a much better person to review said book. I truly was excited.

I love the DIY aspect of Christmas, the annual addition to the tree of one well thought of decoration, the annual gathering of the wreath making society (now in its 15th year), the aromas as you make your dried oranges or Christmas cake, planning the colour scheme for Christmas. I’m guessing you are now getting the drift: I truly love the whole creative part.

The book cover looked promising but there the promise ended. I would say that I am probably advanced in the art of making stuff for Christmas but I was truly baffled by whom was the target audience for this book? Novices or master crafts folk? The introduction was brief and repetitive of the sleeve. There was no basic information on why to use such and such thickness of wire or so and so type of leaf, and no instruction on the number of different types of pliers available either.

Fundamentally for me it missed out even the simplest of things like how to dry your own oranges preferring instead for to you purchase a packet of dried ones instead. In fact much of the book seemed to be an assembly line of pulling things together from various shops with very little in the way of doing it yourself.

Then there were the colour schemes in the book. Since when did pastels, pale blue and pink become the colours of Christmas?

Then there were the 35 easy to make projects themselves. Messy and spiky, commented one friend. Irrelevant and ill thought out said another, guess she was referring to the Christmas bunting of blue and pink. Poor was the general consensus.

I think the project that took the biscuit (Christmas shaped of course) was the dog. Since when was a knitted poodle a symbol of Christmas? Sorry did I miss something here? Was baby Jesus in his stable surrounded by three wise men (in pastels) a number of sheep, lowing cattle and a bleedin yappy poodle?

Don’t get me started on the Coke can decorations. The food gifts of chocolate truffles and pepper mint creams are standard fare in any cookery book so I can’t event give it brownie points here either.

Before I had read the blurb about the author I had proclaimed the book the self-indulgent-have-friends-in-publishing type. Lo and behold on the back cover my suspicions were confirmed.

Seriously if you wanted to do some Christmas projects then you would be better spending your time googling or join me for a united wreathe making night.

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