This was my favorite gift of the season–a garland of hand cut snow flakes. It came carefully wrapped in many, many layers of paper by my oldest child. I unwrapped it to loud exhortations of "Be careful! Mama, be careful. It's very delicate!"And, it is, very delicate and beautiful.
He assured me that he had made each one himself. He methodically walked me through each snowflake, discussing how he made it–how each snowflake was unique. It warmed my heart tremendously, reminding me how much I value the handmade. That he made the effort, that he thought of me with each cut, imbues the gift with such meaning, such tenderness.
I hand-make gifts for people all the time. I rarely have handmade gifts given to me. This made it all the more meaningful to me. Charlie's snowflakes remind me, in today's culture of consumption, the continued importance of making gifts. I know we all get busy and that its hard to find the time. But, that's just the point, isn't it? If you can take the time in your life to hand-make a thoughtful gift for someone, then doesn't it add that much more value and meaning?
As Charlie's snowflakes glisten in the sunlight before my eyes, I think I've come up with a new resolution. My New Year's resolution isn't going to be about dropping weight, or getting in shape, or always getting the things on my to-do list done, it's going to make gifts instead of buy them . . . For one year, I won't buy a gift. Ack! I'm getting scared as I write this. But I'm going to do it. If I learned anything from making Allie's advent gifts - beautiful and thoughtful gifts don't need to take a long time to make (though blogging about them does ;). I think this will require some planning, lots of effort, and might make for some belated gifts, but why not!? Will you join me? I'll share them with you as I do them so you might have a good resource for quick and beautiful handmade gifts as well.
Happy New Year to one and all!