Friday, November 14, 2008

Handmade with Love

As kids, every year when Christmas would roll around we'd get really excited. My sister, brother and I would sharpen our pencils and make out our Christmas Lists for Santa. We'd have the Toys R Us Big Book of Toys and the JCPenny's catalog as reference materials and sales flyers with hastily circled items that had caught our fancies.

The three of us would work really hard on our letters. We wanted every word, every picture, every plea to Santa to be perfect. The more perfect the letter, the better chance we'd get everything on our list.

Once completed, we'd signed our names and our mother would "mail" them off to Santa Claus. The remaining days until Christmas were spent sitting by our freshly decorated tree, staring at our stockings and whispering about all the new, cool toys we were going to get, especially b/c as far as Mom knew, we had been angels this year.

When Christmas would come, we would devour the presents under the tree while our parents excitedly took pictures. In our minds we were mentally ticking off our lists and making sure we got everything we asked for.

Of course, we didn't get everything we'd hoped for and as we tore open our gifts from our Grandma C. we found ourselves frowning as we examined homemade gifts. Unhappily, we unwrapped handmade ornaments of yellow stars, or dolls that looked like Cabbage Patch dolls, but weren't. The quilts made with odd patches had been a disappointment.

We would quickly put those gifts aside, and feverishly look for better presents under the tree. We never noticed the looks our parents exchanged as Grandma C's gifts were tossed aside in favor of talking robots that had flashy lights and Barbie dolls that had pink shoes.

Looking back now, I realize what selfish, ungrateful brats we were for not favoring the gifts made with love and especially made just for us, but adoring the toys that required batteries and tended to break in less than a month.

Looking back now, we never thought those quilts, ornaments and dolls would still be in existence while the much desired toys at the time are long gone and forgotten.

Looking back, I wish I could have meant those thank you letters to my Grandmother, not just written them hastily before rushing back to play with my favorite toys.

Now I realize the error of youthful thinking and every night as I slip under the oddly colored patch quilt on my bed, I think of the love my Grandmother put into making this quilt. I also think about the homemade, handmade gifts I've made for my daughter and hope that she'll realize that gifts made with love are the most precious of them all.

This weeks blog blast is in part to Klutz books and the Parents Bloggers Network.


Denyse said...

Recently I've been making more and more of the gifts we give for a couple of reasons. The first being that I have more time than money on my hands these days and the second being the blessing I get from doing it. When I'm making a gift, I think about the recipient with each stitch I make or bead I string. I use that time to pray for them and reflect on what they mean to me. A little hokey, but hey, I'm known for being mushy and sentimental =)

quitecontrary1977 said...

See, no one in my family was crafty so we didn't get homenade presents. All the girls at school had moms who could sew and paint so they got cool handame things, and I was so envious!! I make sure to make things for my daughter, even though I'm not askilled crafter. Its just to show my love.

Wendy said...

Great blog. I've just started making gifts and have been focusing on adults while thinking about how to make kids happy for this reason. I am going to feel really hurt if (I should say when) I make something for my girls and they leave it on the bus or I go to pick them up and a scarf I spent hours on is strewn across the floor. Maybe I should just make them things and hide them away in a box for their wedding day or med-school graduation, 30th birthday... ;)

P.S. Saw you at SITS.

Jennifer said...

You're so right about the homemade gifts! I wish I had handmade things from my grandmas (they weren't into makng stuff).

I thik it's pretty typical, though, that kids are more excited about the flashy store-bought toys--so don't beat yourself up!!

Amanda said...

So sweet and true. Sigh, to have known the what we know now...then again, a little oblivion can be a sweet thing.