Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A different sort of Christmas gift.....

It is beginning to smell like Christmas around here. And I have started lighting more candles each evening, now that I have the world's largest stock of candles. The house glows at night. And I love it!

Batch #1. The Custies, as we call them. I still need to dip them in chocolate.
Batch #2. The peanut butter crinkles. Well, the second tin of them. The bigger one is full. These are the extras. That can be interpreted as "these are the ones Linds will consume without guilt".

And here is my Nativity scene with the candles burning. I will light all the tealights in the big tree behind the figures on Christmas Eve. The fire brigade may need to be on standby.
I mentioned "giving" in my last post, and I wanted to talk about that a little more. The way I have been looking at Christmas gifts. In recent years, I have come to appreciate the Swiss way of doing things more and more. Well, my sister's way of doing things, to be more accurate. She and her friends tend to give Christmas things to each other as gifts. Decorations, ornaments, candles, paintings, wooden things, things like the hand towels I have embroidered. The blankets I have embroidered. Beautiful things you use at Christmas. Things which help to make your home a very special place at Christmas time. Into that category, I would add home baked goodies too. (And yes, I do realise there is an over abundance of "things" in this paragraph. But I can't think of alternatives. )
You see, I really like the idea of gifts being focussed on the reason for celebration, instead of solely on the recipient. I love the idea that whatever you give to a friend will help to augment the Christmas holiday. And will, at the same time, create memories. You know how we all smile as we unpack the ornaments our children have made over the years? Making ornaments which will be brought out year after year and trigger memories of people who have touched our lives can only be a good thing.
Birthdays are the time I tend to focus on the individual. Plenty of scope for special gifts then too. But Christmas.... it is different. Children, however, fall into a different category altogether, don't they! And having a granddaughter has meant that I have had an excellent reason to frequent the toy shops. Sigh. It is such fun! There is no reason why children can't be encouraged to make ornaments too, though. Or Christmassy things. Heaven knows they get a great deal of practice at school in the weeks before the Christmas holidays!
I used to race around trying to find the perfect gift for everyone on the list, spending way too much money at times, and now, although I spend a lot of time thinking about each of my friends, and deciding what to make them, I know that whatever it is, it will be a part of Christmas. When I visit their homes, I look at the trees sometimes, and see the little wooden or handsewn ornaments I have made over the years hanging there. And it makes me smile. So many years, I have just baked biscuits and attached a homemade ornament to the packet. It is enough, you see. It does not have to be expensive. One year it was wooden tags, another, little stuffed fabric hearts.
Anyway. This is something I think is important, and the more I think about it, the more convinced I become that this is the right way for me. And I swear that the moment I actually learn to crochet, I will be making stars. A milky way of stars. Like Lucy at Attic 24 has made in recent weeks. I love the idea of star garlands, stars on the tree. Snowflakes too. What about lovely red striped aprons for friends to wear while doing the Christmas baking?
It is all about creating memories. Making people smile. More than anything, though, it is the way I am looking at Christmas. Me. Not as a huge shopping list any more. No. A list of people I can make something for instead. Something for Christmas.


Chris said...

What a wonderful way to think of it, my friend! You have SUCH a way of seeing things and then saying them just the way they need to be said.

Crystal said...

I agree wholeheartedly! You are so wise, my friend! As I washed the platters and trays from my china cabinet, I reflected on each one and reminisced about the givers. It was a wonderful day so I will continue to do the same for my friends.
P.S. Do enjoy those cookies - I am off to make another batch of poppycock :))

Barb said...

You're so right, Linds. It's the little things and of course small gifts you make for friends and family are the ones they'll always treasure. I see my ornaments on my family and friends' trees too - what memories they bring back.

Merry Christmas, Linds. I hope you have a wonderful, blessed Christmas.

(I love your nativity but I'll bet you aleady knew that. :-)

Morning Glory said...


I unpacked the wooden tag you gave me in London and smiled as I placed it in the perfect spot.

Dawn said...

I love this idea. I used to make so many things, but lately have not made anything with my own hands. It's my loss and theirs. I don't know if I'll ever get in the mood or position to again. I hope someday.

I have made only one batch of cookies and that was sent off to Kev and his cohort there in Maine. I hope they get there in good shape.

I love the thought of the candlelight in your home - unfortunately, I can only burn unscented candles, so that limits things greatly.

Have a wonderful, blessed, peaceful celebration.


Janine said...

We put up our Christmas tree yesterday - still using the angel that Shan made in Grade 1. It's looking a little the worse for wear now but still has pride of place at the top of the tree.