December 23, 2010

Christmas Give-ting

[Side bar// We are home for the holidays :) And could not be happier to spend three care-free weeks with family, friends and each other! Bella was especially excited to come... she loves "Disneyland" aka my parents' house!]
She was ready to go before we were even packed :)

Now onto the real post! Christmas gifts have evolved for me quite a bit over the years. They started in grade school with handmade gifts I'd craft for my family members at school and then carefully place them under the tree until Christmas morning where my parents and siblings would feign excitement over my sloppily painted wooden puzzles and crooked clay snowman figurines. {All of which are still displayed in my parents house to this day, by the way!} As we got older (and broke-r) our high school "sister gifts" were gifts my mom had already bought for us girls, that we'd wrap up and scribble our names on. And in my engaged/married years, our joint gift-giving has tended to be of the nicer, pricier variety. Although we are by no means any less broke ;)  

This year gifting has evolved again for me. I'm not sure if I'm becoming more thoughtful in my old(er) age, or if its just a functions of the countless hours I've spent reading crafting blogs. But I felt the need to revert back to my hand-crafted gifting ways and conjure up at least one unique gift this holiday season. The lucky winner of my crafting skills this year: my youngest sister, Meredith. She is an avid reader and truly loves books - not just reading them, but collecting them, touching them, feeling their pages, she even loves the smell of book stores - more than anyone I know. She is also in the process of moving into my middle sister's old bedroom and she is redecorating it with a very Anthropology/Urban Outfitter flare. She loves all things shabby chic, and when I saw this wreath on a blog recently it just screamed "Meredith!" So naturally I had to try my hand at making it.

I will give this disclaimer to anyone else who thinks this is a cute idea: it took an insanely long time to make!!! I spent about 5 hours just making the rosettes and went through at least a bag of hot glue sticks. I also have a couple of nasty blisters on my finger tips from the tedious process. But I think that it will be well-worth the trouble come Christmas morning! I'm obsessed with this recycled book page wreath!

It will be the perfect wall art for her bedroom once it is all put together! And the ribbon and frame can be easily changed out for something else if her color scheme or style changes over the years. If I had any skin left on my fingertips to roll up and glue more book page rosettes I would honestly make one of these for my own house! Maybe next Christmas break...

On to our next out-of-the-ordinary holiday gift. {And the reason why I'm calling it Christmas "give-ting" this year.} My in-laws have a heart for missions. My father-in-law went on a mission trip to Africa this summer, and as a result of the need he saw there, they asked that in lieu of material gifts this Christmas, that their children give them the gift of a donation to a church organization that provides goats to African families in poverty. For $85, a family in Africa gets a goat, classes in animal husbandry, and food for the animal... from there, they are able to produce milk, cheese, and other dairy products for their families - and others in their village - to consume, and eventually even sell. It is the most selfless gift anyone has ever asked me for. And we couldn't be more excited to give them this gift that will keep on giving for years to come! 

Wonderful organizations like these have similar programs you can donate through if you are interested:
Aside from my one and only crafty gift, and the thoughtful give-ting opportunity presented to us by our generous parents, we're giving the usual - sweaters, wallets, jewelry and the like - so I won't bore you with those details. Whatever it is you are giving and receiving for Christmas this year, remember that the most precious gifts in life aren't things at all. Enjoy this special season with your family and loved ones :) 

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

1 comment:

  1. why have you not texted me pictures of this??!?! i'm sad!


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