(Photo: Monica Rodgers)
I’m always trying to think of unique and original gifts for the people I love that I can personalize or even make….
I take lots of inspiration from my children’s school because they encourage the handmade & homemade, and honor that creative process by which we arrive someplace different than before we started. There is also always something so precious about that gift that someone took the time to make with you in mind.
I thought back to all of the things I have made throughout my lifetime that has been made for someone special. One time I made a cookbook for my brothers girlfriend in a plain black artists sketch book and inside were quotes and drawings beside lovely handwritten recipes. In the margins were little notes of encouragement and friendship. She’d loved to cook, and I thought she might keep it forever, and remember me.
Another time I filled a beautiful bowl with words I had printed out for a friend, and I wrapped it up with a sweet note that simply said…. all of the words in this bowl are inspired in me through knowing you.
My mom is always that tricky person in my life I struggle with but one year I decided to write words on different sized and shaped colored paper (a little larger than index sized) and on the back of each note, or card I wrote a memory and then an acknowledgement for a value she had taught me or a time when she had exemplified something that had made a lasting impression. I wrote out about a dozen cards and sealed them in different sized envelopes ( I even sealed one or two with wax for extra effect)
It would read something like this: COURAGE (in big loopy letters) “life is either a daring adventure or nothing” – Helen KellerThank you Mom for teaching me the value of courage. Your example has taught me to push through when times are tough, and to believe in myself. I love you.
Then I gathered the envelopes and I put them all inside a beautiful box and wrapped it and gave it to her. I remember her opening each one and knowing she would cherish them. I know she still keeps that box on her dresser top today – almost 20 years later.
Tomorrow is Valentines Day, and I’ve cut out my paper hearts. Every year I make a little presentation on the table in the dining room ( i’ll take a pic so you can see) and I’ve decided to write on each, words that capture my feelings for each of them. I hope they keep one or two always, and I hope they will remember the homemade and the handmade, and spread the love.
Happy Valentines Day.