Christmas means…?

What Christmas means to each of us scrappers is of course just as different as it is for everyone else, but anyway I dare to predict, that “to bring joy” means alot at Christmas time for most of us. And alot of us uses our paper and talents to get that Christmas joy out there to our friends and families. But does it have to end there?

Type of project: Different gift accessories
Occasion: Christmas
Techniques used: Stamping, Coloring, Diecutting
Main Colour: White/Red/Green

I’ve chosen a different approach for my article today, because in november I came across a post on Facebook, that made my Christmas heart melt like softice in hot chocolate. I’ve all my working life been an addiction counselor/socialworker and I know, how very painful Christmas can be, when you’re homeless, have an addiction, are mentally or socially vulnerable etc. And then I stumbled over Jean Rasmussen – and you should meet her too!


Jean, tell us a bit about how you use papermaking for  more than”just” making sweet stuff for the ones, you love and know? 

– I enjoy spreading joy and spoiling others and I think, it is fantastic to use my hobby to do so. During corona isolation I made small boxes with candy and a positive note and hang one on every door in the stairwell of the building, I live in. I’ve also made Easter greetings for residents of nursing homes and blank cards for solidiers to write home on (Operation Write Home).

Last year we bought some Christmas gifts for the users of a local day shelter for homeless and socially vulnerable citizens and I made gifttags for all the presents.

– What made you choose to try to bring joy to the users of the day shelter?

I’ve always wanted to do good for those, who are having a hard time. I myself had a tough childhood – I didn’t have alot and have experienced this in my grown-up years too as chronically ill. I know, how little things can bring great joy and make you feel like you’re worth something, because someone sees you. It’s not about the value of the gift, but about the love and thought behind the gift.

The users of the shelter really miss the care and thought of others. Especially last year, when the shelter was prevented from hosting their Christmas event due to corona. We wanted to spread a little Christmas joy among someone, who really needed it. In that case a little gift from a stranger can make a big difference.

During last year we bought a lot of small gifts like a deodorant, a blanket, socks etc. – new stuff – not hand-me-downs. We wrapped them beautifully and I made gift tags for each present.
Afterwards we were told, that the receivers had been so happy with the gifts. One of the receivers had shared it on Facebook and posted a photo of the gift tag and wanted to say Thank you.

We saw, that the users of the day shelter indeed really noticed, that the gift tags were homemade and they were touched, that some strangers from “outside” had put such alot of work and care into a gift for them. And that made me want to do it againn and then do even more with the gifts this year.

-What did you then make to bring joy to the people in the day shelter this year, Jean?

This year I found the energy to make each gift a suitable box or similar from scrap paper and have decorated with stamp motifs, diecuts and so on. There has been put alot of love and hours in each gift.

 -How does it make you feel to bring joy to someone, where the idea isn’t to get anything in return?

Normally I enjoy to experience the receivers joy, but this time it was different, because we gave the gift to the social workers (because of the obligation of confidentiality) and they passed them on. At the same time this also reinforced the feeling, that we are not doing this to get something in return, but only to bring joy. I’m so looking forward to do this againn this year.


– Jean, do you have some good words of advice to others, who think about using their skills, papers and hours to bring joy out to someone, they don’t already know, but who could use a paper-hug? How do they get from thought to action?

I can warmly recommend others to use their creativity to spread joy to someone in need.  And I hope to inspire others to jump in on bringing joy….Perhaps Christmas cards for the residents on nursing homes,  – gifts for kids in womens shelters or homeless people or what ever there may be in their local area. Most of us probably have scrap paper enough and perhaps alot of dies and stamps, which we’ve not even used yet and would love to have an occation to use them for. Then it’s double the joy – to enjoy both the making and the giving.

We wrote the Day Shelter and asked, if they could use some Christmas gifts for the users and then the first block was laid. So write/call whom ever has your heart.

Thank you, Jean for the fantastic inspiration. A merry Christmas for you and yours, dear Jean!   

If you would like to follow Jeans makings and joy bringing, you can find her on Instagram: mopsejer

And on Facebook: Jean’s scrap kreationer

A wonderful december day to everyone – perhaps with a bit of paper-joy-bringing!
And I wish you all a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!