When I was growing up, my mother would always give someone a handmade gift. For a long time, I thought maybe we didn’t have money. All my friends bought their things from the store. But as time went on, I realized how much my mother enjoyed creating things. She could have easily gone out and purchased a gift, but instead she made beautiful things and gave them away. Who knows, maybe it was a money thing. Either way, she instilled it in me. She passed away this year, and I am so glad I still have some of the things she made.
The thing she liked to give the most were antique plates with calligraphy on them. She would find a lovely piece of antique blue and white china (for a baby boy) or pretty pinks and white (for a baby girl). On that plate would be the baby’s name, date of birth, time of birth, weight, name of parents, etc. She did this for weddings to. The wedding plates were always dinner plates and the baby plates always seemed to be a bit smaller. Over the years, she made me a “hope chest” and filled it with things I would need someday when I got out on my own. She made me storage boxes and jewelry boxes which she tole painted. Eventually, just about everything in the house was homemade. I still have a couple of the brown paper gingerbread men she spent all night cutting out and hanging from all the ceilings. About 75 Gingerbread men!
I say all this, because it taught me to appreciate the thought behind the gift. To this day, my most precious material possessions are the things she made, and the things my kids make me in school. Nothing beats it. Not a new designer handbag, not tickets to a show, not the latest clothes.
This year, everyone on my list is getting a piece of my handmade jewelry for Christmas (the gals, anyway!)