One Christmas my grandmother's gift to me was a quilt she had hand sown. The quilt is called a charm quilt because it is made with many, many small patches. Most of the 2 inch squares came from the left over remnants of material that my mom used to make our clothes. The fabric from my high school graduation dress is easily recognizable as is the fabric of a white and yellow sundress that I wore the summer I turned 16. Quilt making was a talent and passion of my grandmother and I was blessed that she shared that talent with me. Her quilt holds a special place in my heart and in my home.
Gift giving is an art that I continue to work at perfecting. I don't have the same kind of talent that my grandmother had in quilt making. Honestly, I have not always been on target with my gift choices particularly as it relates to the men in my life. I don't give Marty clothes any more because too many sweaters and shirts spent an extended period of time in the closet before being donated to Good Will. But there are two gifts that are always needed and pleases everyone. The first is the gift of time. Whether you dedicate a Saturday morning to deep clean your aging mother or grandmother's kitchen or baby-sitting for your grand babies while your daughter and son-in-law take a Saturday night to go to the movies, these are gifts that go beyond the traditional. Just like my grandmother's quilts, giving time is a labor of love.
The second is experiential gifts. This could include a monthly date with dad or taking the grandkids to a pottery studio to paint a Christmas plate or photo frame. One-on-one time can give you an opportunity to reconnect and spend time doing something with a family member or a friend outside the normal routine. It is "we" time particularly with aging parents. Whether they are living in a group situation or at home, they would welcome a trip to lunch or a movie.
This Christmas season put on your thinking caps and think creatively. It doesn't need to cost more and trust me it will be a lot more fun. If you would like a bit of help jump starting your thought process check out Simple Organized Living. Andrea has put together a series titled Creative & Clutter-Free Gifts. She has given me a couple of ideas that I will be putting into practice this year. For those of you who are ahead of the curve, share with me some of your creative and experiential gift ideas for Christmas.