Monday, November 15, 2010

When my children were small I started a tradition of giving each of them something that was handmade at Christmas.  It did not have to be something that was a monumental task to create but it was something that I created using my own hands.  I wanted them to know that the holidays were not only about the gifts that we received but more about the thought and love that went into the making and giving of the gift.  To this day, they each follow the tradition and create a gift that they give to me.  I eagerly await the creation.  It is always a special treat to see what they have come up with.

Each year my children look forward to seeing what I have thought up for this year.  I also try to make something handmade for special people in the family.  Some years I get further than others.  But it is a goal I try to reach.  Often, I can make one large batch of something and then split it into several gifts.  If you would like to start some traditions of your own, here are some ideas for giving gifts from the heart:

1.        Can you cook?  Then you can create some wonderful gifts!  Caramel corn, flavored vinegars, a batch of cookies, or anything you are good at can make a wonderful gift of love!
2.       Can you sew?  Handknit or crocheted scarves, sock dolls, pincushions, or any small item that does not take too long to create would be loved by the recipient.
3.       Can you cut and paste?  My mother-in-law makes the greatest handmade cards using recycled cards she has received.  She cuts and pastes and remakes them, adds some ribbon and packages them into “sets” to give as gifts.  When we want to send a special card to someone we only have to dig into one of the sets she gave us and we have an amazing card to send to someone.  The craft stores are full of blank cards you can buy and then decorate.
4.         Can you bead?  Beaded jewelry is all the rage and who wouldn’t love a beautiful, hand beaded necklace?
5.       Why not get the kids or grandkids involved in this process?  Ask them to come over and make something special for their Mom or Dad.  What a great way to spend time with your children or grandchildren.  I guarantee that they will remember that time spent with you for a long time to come!

If you feel like you are not creative, why not take a class?  You can learn to do something new and then practice it by creating gifts for your loved ones.  The gift itself is less important than the fact that someone took the time to make something special for another.  Start some new traditions!

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