Homemade Christmas Gifts Sound Great–But Are They?

Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree

     Christmas at our house will be different from those of the past.  Last year, our family, consisting of my husband and me, four grown children, their spouses, and five grandchildren, decided to make handmade gifts.  A whole year seemed like plenty of time for each person to make one gift so we drew names with anticipation.

     I imagined that hammers would pound, saws would buzz and needles would click during the year as we set to work making this Christmas so different we would cherish it as one of our best.

     Now, with only a few days until Christmas, nobody seems to have completed a gift and some haven’t even started.

     At least one member keeps saying, “Where am I going to find time to make something?  Anyway, I always liked shopping for Christmas!”

     Another says he can’t make anything.  That’s what he said when we decided on this plan but nobody believed him.  Suddenly, with no homemade gift in sight, we believe him!  But that’s okay.  We know that the person whose name he drew will somehow receive a gift.

     What about the grandchildren, ages eight to eleven–what can they make?  Or do I underestimate them? Some of them have made key chains for yard sales, so I’m sure they’ll think of something with help from their parents.

     Another member moans, “I can’t think of anything to make.  What would he want? What would he use? Whose idea was this?”

     As for the gift for the person whose name I drew, I have a pattern, I have the materials, I even have the time.  So why am I waiting to start the project? I think I like deadlines and work best under pressure.

     I  always liked wandering through the shops on Christmas Eve with carols playing, bells ringing, the rush of the crowd, people buying gifts for their loved ones.  I liked searching for a final gift, then breathlessly finding it just in time.

     When I’m Christmas shopping, the only thing that disturbs me is that of the less fortunate looking longingly at gifts they can’t afford for their loved ones.

     But even that usually doesn’t dampen my Christmas spirit.  My own parents often had little money for gifts but we always celebrated Christmas. One year, my mother had given birth to my brother on December 18th.  But my daddy saved Christmas Day–he made the meal and tried his hand at homemade candy, the family’s only gift that year, unless we count hearts filled with love and gratitude.

     I trust my family is aware of our love for each other as we recall the Birth of Christ in Bethlehem that First Christmas–the reason why we celebrate.

     And I hope the daughter who drew her dad’s name doesn’t make something to land in a yard sale like the big fish grill she gave her brother one year.  And maybe she won’t tape her package so well that it requires a set of all-steel kitchen knives to open it.  In years past, we have all laughed together as we teased her about keeping the transparent tape companies in business.

     Creative we may not be, but a family we are, and this Christmas promises to be different because one of us had the courage to suggest giving homemade gifts.

     Now, as I reach for my scissors, needle and thread, late one evening, Christmas lights in the little town of Shirley blink clearly, brightly and silently.  I am far from the ringing bells, the sound of Christmas carols, but I am close to a love which surrounds me, just as surely as the angels sang to the shepherds that night long ago.  Can I weave this emotion into my small project, I wonder, as quietly, lovingly, I recall the family member who suggested this different idea for gift giving.

c Copyright, 1996, Freeda Baker Nichols

Published in Van Buren County Democrat, 1996

11 comments on “Homemade Christmas Gifts Sound Great–But Are They?

  1. I understand that, Inger. 🙂

    Like

  2. What a fun experiment! Although I love Christmas shopping too, I think I would enjoy making a lot of homemade gifts (instead of just my Cookies in a Jar this year). But I’m not sure how drafting the rest of the family into this adventure would go!

    Like

  3. […] Homemade Christmas Gifts Sound Great – But Are They? (freedanichols.wordpress.com) […]

    Like

  4. I always make something for someone for Christmas…and whether they like it or not…I will probably never know…I think of that person while making them…and just love it and them even more!

    Like

  5. dot says:

    What a delightful memory. Thanks for sharing. Dot

    Like

  6. Yes. That was creative!

    Like

  7. Greg says:

    “Whose idea was that?” I think I know who said THAT one! Didn’t he make a paper plane out of a currency bill for his gift? Now that was creative!

    Like

  8. Catherine Johnson says:

    We did that at my friend’s church do, it was cute. Some people made gorgeous Christmas greenery making my cardboard tree with chocolates on look interesting 😉 Enjoy!

    Like

  9. Ginger Kemp Pruett says:

    Although i have received some homemade gifts and some i liked and some not so much, but i did appreciate the effort, one year i did make gifts for everyone, but the more i looked at and tought about it i couldnt help my self i went out and bought a gift for everyone just in case they really didnt like what i had made, so i knew they at least would like one thing.

    Like

  10. Renee says:

    There is an Online Christmas Party at Marsha Lee’s Blog! Celebrating my birthday and Christmas! Feel free to stop by and celebrate! http://tchistorygal.wordpress.com/2012/12/24/renees-online-birthday-party/
    Merry Christmas!
    Renee 🙂

    Like

Your comment shines like a star above Banner Mountain

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s