This year for the holidays I feel like a real live Elf employed at Santa’s Workshop.  I’ve decided to make gifts for all the boys and girls and well deserving women in our families.  Today is Wednesday and this decision was made Monday morning, which had left me hustling and bustling from craft store to fabric store for the last two days. 

Aaaah, smells relaxing!

Although I’ve never done such a thing before, it is a timely outcome born of weird experiences and understandings of Christmas.  Before I had my own money, I picked out gifts at the store with my parents to give to my siblings.  We had to hide the to-be-gifts in the shopping basket, pretending as if we didn’t know about the gifts to be gifted sitting right there. 

Of course, there was giving but I couldn’t wait to receive.  I was very organized, as my sister reminds me, and wrote long numbered wishlists often times accompanied by sketches to help my parents understand these wishes.  I encouraged my siblings to do the same but my sister at least didn’t see where I was coming from. 

My 16th November birthday allowed me to transport myself to the mall where we would spend days searching for perfect gifts for the whole family.  It was hot and uncomfortable in our winter coats yet the beads of sweat running down our temples were of indecision.  Perfect gifts are hard to find but when you learn to misuse a credit card, it gets easier.  And easier.  This did nothing for that nervous feeling in my stomach when the gift-getters would open their presents. 

Once I became a real adult with bills to pay, responsibilities and graduate school, I announced to one and all that there would be no more gifts.  I simply didn’t have the money.  But by the 22nd of December I’d be rushing from here to their trying to find the most affordable bargains and very special items.  It felt wrong to NOT give presents after all these years.  What’s more, I still WANTED to receive so I felt obligated to give. 

Now, this year I am not giving gifts to satisfy this unreasonable and uncomfortable feeling.  I have pleasure in knowing I genuinely no longer WANT anything.  Learning to detach myself from material objects is surprisingly easy.  This year, I only want to give, not an iPod or a wool sweater.  I am making gifts because I am enjoying the process and I want to share my happiness with others through the bright cheery objects I’m putting together.  I want to show my gratitude to those who helped support me during our difficulties this year.  I want the children to receive something that will inspire them to create. 

So, here it goes:  BATH SALTS WITH ESSENTIAL OILS FOR THE LADIES – PERSONALIZED CLOTHED NOTEBOOKS FOR THE KIDS (personalization not shown here!  lots to do yet) – AND FLOWER PENS FOR THE GIRLY GIRLS.

The one-lady assembly line needs to get back to her workshop!  Peace 🙂

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