Simple Gifts

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I have finished Matt’s hat, and am  almost done with the hat J  asked for (“my hat too?”) when he saw me knitting.

This wool -- Miski baby llama, by Mirasol -- is so wonderful to feel and touch.  It’s like sensory therapy to work with it, so soft and deep. And I love  the color J picked for his hat (M picked the matte black for his own), I’ve gotten lots of questions about and compliments on it.

I’m thinking I  might be  up to trying to knit J a sweater for Christmas, and I have another knitting project already planned-- J picked those colors, too- for one person's gift. And I have a project that’s a hybrid of one from  SouleMama (in Creative Family), it will use some of J’s art work in combination with an antique craft that I somehow, randomly, know how to do. And  this has inspired me  to design my own, with some adjustments  and elaborations....

So I’m thinking maybe we’ll just go whole hog and make it an all-handmade Christmas (reserving the right to get J a camera of some sort. He might really love that... and a book). Ok so not 100%, but lets say a good 80%. I’ve really been enjoying contemplating the ideas I’ve found on Purl Bee and, today, in Itty-Bitty Toys. Excited, but maybe a little overwhelmed with possibilities!

I love special, thoughtful, meaningful gifts, and I do think you can buy that. But it seems a little to easy to get stuck on "buying", and to lose sight of the greater meaning of giving a gift, or the greater meaning of Christmas. People talk about that every year, but having a kid and then reading Deep Economy really made me more self aware of my values and principles in this. And I guess some years I've felt like it's not worth the time or effort to track down the perfect gift for this person-- they just won't "get" it, they'd rather get another 3-pack of underwear (yes, this is a real person), or alternatively, they are going to calculate the net worth of my gift and give me one that costs 10% more next year (also a real, different person).
Last year, we gave our parents and M’s brother art work I’d taken J to do and then framed myself. It was both sentimental, and attractive (he has great color sense... really!). We bought a few other gifts-- a membership, some books, and made a few special dishes. We sang carols on Christmas Eve, gathered around the piano, and my mother-in-law began teaching J a little about the instrument. And what we talked about was the music, and J's paintings.

I'm not sure where Christmas will be this year-- probably our house-- or who will be joining us, but I am looking forward to sharing more gifts made for the day (food), and for the year (whatever projects I finally settle on... oh, and complete!), and of the spirit and soul.

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