|Bringing in the Christmas Tree, watercolor by Grannie Annie|
Used with permission
You probably noticed how tough it is, still, to find just the right gifts that also do no harm to planet or people in their manufacture and shipping. As a society, we're still on the cusp of creating enough demand for Fair Trade, green and organic gift items and shipping policies. I made a lot of compromises.
|Crocheted dish cloths|
© L Kathryn Grace
All rights reserved
But as I hooked the yarn over and under, the soft thread pulling through my fingers, I thought about each member of my family, imagined their hands in the soapy water with the little scrubbers. Seeing their hands reminded me of times together, times when our hands have touched. Weddings, births, holidays and birthdays, just getting together for tea and a long chat, the time we waited for the surgeon after my daughter's automobile accident, Dad's illness and death, our later celebration of his life and love.
I don't think I enjoy any gift so much as one a family member made--or chose--that I can use every day. I think of my sister every time I walk into my bedroom and see the little China dish with the roses on the lip. She picked that dish out for me more than half a century ago, when she was three and I was ten. Next to it, the miniature China vase she gave me ten years later. Both are treasures that always bring a smile to my face.
On a shelf in my dining room, a tattered box another sister gave me twenty or so years ago. In it I keep little treasures from the grandchildren, notes from my mother or sweetheart I forget all about and love to discover anew. She's the same sister who every year sends us a colorful handmade ornament, an annual treasure that feels like love because I sense her hands and keen mind as I touch them.
|Quan Yin Figurine with vase and bowl|
copy; L Kathryn Grace
All rights reserved
On the buffet ledge above my desk, you will see the small unframed water color in the image first above. Mom did that sketch, a self-portrait with my dad, bringing in the fir tree. This one would decorate the living room. In each of two bedrooms, another, smaller tree. Christmas is my mother's favorite holiday
So many small treasures around the house. These are the gifts I love. And so, as I tucked my slightly crooked, decidely un-cost-effective handmade dish cloths into my gift boxes this year, I took pleasure in the thought that those hands I love so dearly, the hardworking, generous hands of the people I cherish, may touch these crazy cloths many times throughout the year. Perhaps their recipients will feel a little of the love I feel for them, will remember they are cherished.
Or maybe they'll go, "Ugh! What was she thinking?" and toss them in a drawer. You never know.
May your hearts be filled with peace and love as you travel through this week of food, gifts and giving. May the spirits you share, be they liquid or heavenly, warm your body and your soul.
We make peace in a million small ways every day.
All text and images, unless otherwise noted, copyright L. Kathryn Grace. All rights reserved.