As an organist I am frequently called to play for funerals. So, I have been to literally hundreds of funerals. I have seen flower bouquets, photo montages, displays of all kinds. I recently played for another Christmas season funeral... always tougher near ANY holiday. For this woman they displayed literally hundreds of homemade ornaments which this woman had given her children, friends, grandchildren etc.
It got me thinking about how often there is a display of things the person made during their life. Whether handcrafts, wood carvings, paintings, or what, people prize the gifts that have been made by the hands of someone they love.
NEVER have I seen a display of cherished things the person bought for them.
So, it may be too late for this holiday season, but it certainly isn't too late to start shifting our mindset. Let's go back to the days of homemade gifts, of gifts crafted by our own loving hands for those we love. There is something very special, very magical, about holding something in your hand that was held in and created by their hands.
Let's teach our children not only by GIVING them handmade gifts, but by helping THEM give handmade gifts. Maybe you sew a pillowcase, or knit a hat, or build a play table, or paint a mirror, or create a game, or turn a can into a pencil holder. It doesn't really matter WHAT it is. What matters is WHO made it, and the love they show.
PS: Less tangible homemade gifts are those of service rather than objects. Gifts of DOing something for someone cost only time. [One of the most loved gifts I have seen was when one brother promised to do the other brother's chores for two weeks!]
I am a lifelong educator, writer and author, a foster, bio, and adoptive parent, happy mom of five daughters, Grandma to six, Nana to four, and church and theater musician. Oh yes, and all-round optimistic, crazy lady.