I’m making a lot of gifts by hand this year. It’s an aspiration I have every year, but it doesn’t always materialize into actual giveable gifts. Christmas in England was great as the weather was conducive to knitting all year long, and the many bus and train rides afforded hours or knitting time. That was the Christmas of scarves, mittens and hats. But Atlanta has been less inspiring, for the needle arts, at least.
A thought crossed my mind last night as I was compacting baking soda into cupcake molds: “Am I doing this for my intended gift recipients or for myself?” I wonder not so much because I’m unsure that my family and friends will enjoy my handmade offerings. It doesn’t come from a particularly guilde conscience (even though I make big batches of each item so I can keep one or two for myself). It’s not even because I’m making many of my favorite things, and with gift giving you always have to reflect “would she enjoy this or would I?” No. I only pose the question because I’ve been having so much fun.
Surely, gift giving shouldn’t be fun. It should be a hassle, a headache, a burden on our bank accounts. Isn’t that what our culture tells us?
A memory: Many years ago, my dad had been trying to give Luke’s dad a gift of some sort, but my father-in-law was politely refusing. My dad said, “Can you not graciously accept what has graciously been given?”
I recall that memory as I think about finding joy in gift giving (or not). Surely, where there is lack of joy, there’s a lack of grace and if there’s one thing we all need during the holidays (and always!) it’s grace.
Do share: How is your holiday season going? Do you enjoy finding/making/buying gifts for your loved ones? Does your family have a special way of showing love without spending money? I’d love to hear!
PS: I made my shower soothers using this tutorial.