When I was a little girl my mother used to request that our gifts to her were homemade. I thought she was kidding. Why would any 37-year-old woman want a spray painted macaroni pencil holder, when they could have a wonderful brooch from the Bay!
But now I get it. I’ve received a lot of gifts over the last four months, and some favorites have been handmade. Not only are they all beautiful, but also in them I feel love, time, and the hands of people who made them.
Charlotte, a girl whom I’ve never met (but I love anyway, because she’s my friends’ daughter) made me a worry doll. She has a yellow skirt and white hair, so I think she might be an Albino Rastafarian. Regardless, she is a constant presence in my bedroom, and her name is Althea. Though she often lies happily under a pillow, (where she kindly absorbs my fretting) she sometimes sits on the dresser, and she once rode in my handbag when I needed her smiling comfort. The cat likes her too.
The world’s best nurse, who also happens to be my oldest friend, and an honourary member of my family, made me a pair of sealskin mittens. She crafted them with her own little hands, and they’re gorgeous. If one knew this nurse, they’d know that sewing is not high on her list of hobbies, so that makes them even more special. In my fantasy she sewed them sitting on her sofa with some 80’s music, her reading glasses, and a giant bottle of red wine – cursing like a trucker every time she pricked her hand. This fantasy may or may not be true. I have learned to never underestimate her. She may have hiked across the Arctic to get her supplies. It wouldn’t have been the first time.
1,000 origami cranes came from a favorite friend and her family. More accurately, my friend made 950 (‘cus she’s lazy) and deligated the rest to her children. In Japanese culture, a thousand cranes grants one big wish. My father once told me that the more magnificent a piece of art, the less there is to say. So I’ll just say this. The cranes are incredibly moving, wonderfully joyous, and I’m privileged to wake up to them every day.
Christmas is coming and I have a lot of time on my hands, and a cupboard full of fusilli. So for those whom I don’t like there’ll be something sparkly and impersonal, but for those I love, brace yourself for macaroni.