December is one of my favorite months of the year, with its long shadows and low-slung sun, days shortening so the lingering bits of light are precious, and a pervasive sense of generosity as we ponder giving gifts to friends and loved ones, near and far.
Just about every year, my dear friend Lara sends a package, usually with something that she made. I can always sense the evenings of cutting, gluing, sewing, making, that she and a group of cherished friends make happen every December. They not only take great pleasuer in making things to give, but often use supplies at hand, gathered over the year, or whatever shows up for the making. I get such a thrill out of opening the mail that day, knowing that I’m part of the circle of making and giving that has been going on forever, for as long as we have had thumbs and a bit of time on our hands.
Some years, I’ll sit down to make something out of fabrics that I’ve gathered, or work in the studio on a set of candle holders that are for gifts only, not for sale, or mugs, or whatever has caught my fancy for the year’s giving. I imagine friends and family, people I know and those I do not know, people all over the world, gathering in their homes or workshops to make.
Are you making something this year? Baking nut rolls or cookies to send off in the mail? Sewing a few potholders or cell phone cases? Whittling a spoon, framing a photo, or making hand-made cards? There is such pleasure, not only in the making, but also in the receiving of a heart-felt hand-made gift.
If you are, know that you are one of many, all over the world, taking part in an ancient tradition. Make the tea blends. Hand-write the notes. Fill the baggies with bath salts, and string the beads. Whatever you feel drawn to make this year, do it with joy, as one of many.
(Image from Good Natured, in Martinsburg WV…where you can find many hand-made gifts, if you need inspiration, or chocolate.)