I love handmade gifts. I cherish the time the giver takes to conceive the idea and then craft it with love. I love to be the giver of a handmade gift–committing a part of myself to someone else and anticipating the love with which it will be received.
I also hate handmade gifts :). I’ve already shared my grinch-y-ness with y’all over the Christmas season. I thought Jeremiah was going burn all the nightgowns up before I could finish embroidering them and demand his wife back. I still have two to finish, and we’re eeking up on the middle of January (don’t tell Jeremiah–he thinks I’ve abandoned the projects).
I’ve admitted something else this Christmas season–I love store-bought gifts too. Especially when they come from clothing stores ;). If you’ve been around long you know that shopping doesn’t fit into our residency/fellowship budget. This year, I acknowledged the anticipation I hold for Christmas to bring a MUCH needed spark to my wardrobe. Having a handful of new items to mix in with the old faithfuls makes a WORLD of difference. For Pace and Mary Aplin, who outgrow their clothes between seasons, it’s more a state of necessity than desire for a few new items. When a once long-sleeve shirt goes past three-quarter length and begins inching close to the elbow, it’s time for a new shirt.
While I’m extremely excited about handmade and non-handmade gifts from this year, I’ve taken pictures of the handmade ones to share with you:
My Mom’s friend, Kendall Boggs
, is an artist and I won this in a giveaway on her blog–sort of. Somebody else was actually drawn to win, but she gave me one too. I love it, and I’m counting it as a homemade Christmas present. You should check out some of her other artwork–here
Alex, Jeremiah’s baby sister, made this collage of pictures for us. Jeremiah’s Grandmother Maddox made GI-normous picture collages of their family throughout the years. When Jeremiah and I were dating, I used to stand in front of them and love seeing the changes grow across the wall–from three little boys and a young preacher with his wife, to teenage boys with their girlfriends and, later, wives. Grandchildren playing baseball and riding horses–you could see the whole family grow up before your eyes. It was a big day for me when I finally made a debut in one of those collages! One small picture of Jeremiah and me at the first concert we ever went to together. And now, Allie, I feel like I have been truly inaugurated! Our very own family collage. Grandmother would be so proud 🙂
Taylor took that favorite picture of Mom that I shared in the last blog and did an “acetate transfer” (don’t tell Taylor, but I have no idea
what that means). I think the vintage and whimsical look that created is fascinating,
especially when paired with a “love you” written in Mom’s own hand-writing…
From one tear-jerker to the next! It was sort of a weepy Christmas around here 🙂
Caroline was going through Mom’s sewing kit, and she found a poem written on this needlepoint canvas.
Abby Catherine, bundle of joy,
Tiny and helpless, beautiful to see.
How did you come to belong to me?
Little hands that hold on tight,
Sweet small mouth to kiss goodnight.
Growing, growing every day,
If only you could stay this way.
In need of me for everything,
Hold you close and softly sing.
Jesus loves you this I know,
Designed you, formed you, and watched you grow.
Dimpled grins are all in fun,
When up your back the angles run.
Chinkypen eyes sent to me from above,
Abby, you’ll always have my love.
May, 14 1982
Still crying every time I read it.
Nice to know she really loved that honeymoon accident…
I vaguely remember her reading me this poem that she wrote for me as a baby. I remember asking her why she thought it kind to call my small eyes “chinkypen.” (I hope nobody is offended by what seems like a racial slur to me as an adult 🙂 Apparently, she thought it was a compliment fit for her newborn!) I also have a very vague recollection of her telling me she loved to run her fingers up the angles of my back, and watch the way I wriggled and grinned under her touch.
Caroline learned to needlepoint
, so that she could finish this project for me, that Mom started so many years ago.
And finally, those embroidered nightgowns. Pretty sure I promised Caroline I was photographing the nightgown and not her face. Pretty sure I assured her I wouldn’t post any of her face…I lied 🙂
The quote says: “Is solace anywhere more comforting than in the arms of a sister.” I felt like that quote captured perfectly the last three years for the four of us.
The back. That deep fold is the zipper running down the middle of the back of the dress.
Caroline and her sweet mother-in-law, Mrs. Melinda, sewed all these nightgowns for me. I adore them and am so thankful for smart people who can turn ideas into substance with a sewing machine. I am a pitiful
seamstress, but I do love to embroider.
Unfortunately, I didn’t take pictures of all the nightgowns (four down, two to go), and they’re all a little different. However, here is a close-up of Taylor’s.
The non-handmade gifts will be appearing on the blog as well…as we wear them out 🙂