Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Handmade Holiday: The Idea

The world seems
so broken and angry and complex
I think one of the reasons I would like to build my own quiet oasis
is to really just not be a part of it
I see so much nastiness on facebook
I cannot even watch the news because of the constant stream of death, violence and
to reference the Hunger Games again,
a Hunger Game fascination with building up celebrities and politicians
and watching with glee as they either cannibalize themselves
or as their lives fall to pieces
I want nothing to do with reality TV game shows
or personalities
nothing to do with the political debate
nothing to do with Walmart

I want a quiet life
I want to write
and read
and bake things
I want to give gifts
made with love
from my heart

As a child I was obsessed with the Little House on the Prairie
book series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
maybe Laura's words had more of an impact than I even knew
because her life is what I crave
not exactly
I do love the ease offered through modern life
but, I guess what I mean is
there is something more gratifying creating things
with your own hands
than
say
throwing elbows in Walmart on Black Friday
When I was young
my Grandmother would send gifts she made with her own two hands
dolls created from yarn and fabric
and while I was just like every other little girl my age
I wanted Cabbage Patch dolls and My Little Pony
those handmade gifts meant so much
Large boxes arrived from Louisiana
inside were gift wrapped smaller boxes
and I knew, in at least one, there would be a gift made by hand
To this day, I have Sarah and Elizabeth
two dolls my Grandmother made me
I do not know what happened to my My Little Pony
or my Corn Silk Cabbage Patch Kid
but I have those dolls
and the rocking horse from wood my Grandfather made
which my Grandmother painted
while they might not have been the things which caused great envy at school
they were special

So this Holiday Season
I'd like to put forth the effort
to make some gifts
Last year, I was entirely too sick
but, the steroids have me feeling more energetic and I think I can do it
I'm going to have to pick and choose who gets things
it is easy, for example, to buy gift cards and prepackaged things for people
you don't know that well
but certain people in my life will get one item
I have taken the time to plan and create with my own two hands 
since I don't yet know how to sew and I am not very artistic
the things I make will likely not be like what my Grandmother made
but, in this world of social media
I have no shortage of resources and instructions

For years, my children and I have had The Great Cookie Bake
in which we deliver a plenitude of different kinds of cookies
to each family we visit
including treats for the dogs in the families
it is a fun tradition I hope my children carry and pass on in the future
This year I would like to expand a bit
and make a few gifts
for individuals
perhaps as a fun family activity like the Great Cookie Bake
perhaps as a way to remind my children and myself
in this ugly, ugly world
this plastic throw away toxic place
things can still be made with great care
and love
and the real gift is in the giving of your heart and your time



***Edited to add...it's really unfortunate how many handmade gifts just look cheap and tacky.  This is going to be a real challenge***





 

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