I am thankful today for handmade - homemade gifts.
A few years ago, I stopped buying gifts for my father. Oh, I wasn't being mean or cantankerous. I decided I would honor his wishes. For years he said, "Please don't buy me anything. I don't need anything." I realized that he wasn't being noble, or humble; He was being honest.
What my dad wanted or needed, he would purchase for himself. When he passed away in March, as my sisters and I sifted through boxes of mementos, it occurred to me what he treasured. He treasured the cards and the letters, the board games bought at yard sales and played with his children, the pictures colored by grandchildren and the family photos he took of himself with his girls.
There were things I brought home with me that I had no idea he still had in his possession: the handmade invitation to my daughter's first birthday party, a sticker bookmark she made for him when she was two, hand written Valentines from my son when he was learning to write his letters, a printed plaque I made for him on an old dot-matrix printer. These are things I would have encouraged him to "just get rid of," or asked, "Why are you still keeping that?" But these were his treasures.
I have started making more handmade "gifts." I have started writing notes by hand when possible versus sending an email. There are personal touches to these things - rather than just a store-bought gift or electronic note.
I am thankful for handmade and homemade gifts and the sweet memories that attach themselves to them.
Only By His Grace,