Handmade Gifts

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I love handmade gifts. My children all know this. Somehow all of my children managed not to inherit my craftiness and don’t seem to have married into it, either–I don’t think I have ever seen my daughter-in-law so much as pick up a needle and thread, or a hot glue gun for that matter. However, they do appreciate that it matters to me. Since they have started having kids of their own, they have made even more of an effort to acknowledge that about me, much to my appreciation. The grandkids are always giving me things that they have made as gifts, which I truly love. One year for mother’s day, I got tiny a tiny flowerpot from each of the grandkids that they decorated themselves. Inside each pot was a packet of flower seeds from their birth month. Another time, they made me stone pavers with their handprints. No matter how big they get, I can walk down the path to my garden and see all their tiny little handprints along the way.

I like to make homemade gifts, too. Every time one of my children got married, I presented them with a wedding quilt. They all have at least one needlepoint design from me hanging in their homes–I know that’s not for everyone, so I ask them about colors/patterns/their decorating style first. But the rule is that they have to have one somewhere. I hope that they aren’t just hanging it up when I come over but even that is kind of a sweet gesture. I’d forgive them. I would probably tell them enough with the charade, but if they don’t want to hurt my feelings, I won’t hurt theirs either. I have made receiving blankets for each of their little ones. I made each one of the granddaughters their own doll as well. Each child also has a handmade embroidered Christmas stocking from me. However, it has gotten harder to find things to make for them as they get older. Many of the things they want are electronic and that’s not something I can manage with a needle and thread. And they certainly don’t want to wear clothes that grandma knit for them anymore. They want brand name things, which are a bit out of my pension-dictated price range. I try, though. I’ll knit them a scarf or gloves—the cool ones now have removable fingertips for texting—and then give them an actual gift too.

I just love the idea of taking that special time out of my day to make them something. It speaks to how much they matter to me. They can see the amount of money and effort went into their gift and it lets them know how much of my heart is tied in with them. It’s worth the cost of materials and it is certainly worth my time—especially when I see them open the box and receive their gift. Then they see how much they really mean to me, and that really makes it all worth it.