Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Real Meaning

As a general rule, I'm not a big fan of Christmas.  Not that I'm a Scrooge- I just think the commercialism has gotten out of hand.  I don't believe the true meaning or original intention of the holiday is that everyone should run around madly trying to buy gifts for everyone they know, spending money they don't have, and feeling stressed out because they can't get it all done in time.  It all seems so forced, doesn't it?

The most satisfying and enjoyable part of the holidays, besides getting to spend time with my kids, was making something for a dear friend.  My friend Linda is one of the best people I know, and I felt she deserved something special.  After all, she has to put up with me every day at work; she listens to my whining and my dumb jokes, and is still willing to help me in any way she can.  She makes me laugh every day, a talent which, as a special education teacher, I value immensely.  She is endlessly generous and thoughtful; for example, two of her Christmas gifts to me were a vintage brooch and a vintage book of maps!  I could say a lot more, but I don't want to get too sappy, so I'll stop there.  Anyway, here's the collage I made for her.

"Linda", 6 3/8" x 7"
Ingredients: vintage music book page, vintage map fragments, acetate, hosta bloom, stamps, 
thread spool label, watercolor pencil, stamped letters, glass beads, buttons, on multimedia art board.

I tried to include in the collage items and images that are important parts of her life, that make her who she is.  She is a seamstress and quilter, and a piano teacher. (How serendipitous is it that I found, in a music book she gave me, a song titled with her name?)  She is a gardener, and likes to make beaded jewelry.  I also included, (hopefully), all the states in which she has lived.

Making this was a lot fun, and so much more personal than going out and buying some generic gift.  I also made my son's girlfriend a necklace, which she seems to like.  I've made up my mind to make even more gifts next year- so I guess I'll need to start earlier!  Uh-oh.... maybe I should start now...


  1. What a meaningful gift you made your friend. I know she was probably really touched to receive it. I make all my gifts...what few I do give. Don´t get me started on discussing
    Christmas...I will save you my thesis and say,,,, ditto:)
    Have a good week.

  2. A lovely gift...and a lovely idea...

  3. What a personal and wonderful gift for your friend- I agree that xmas has gotten too commercial- but I do love to decorate my tree and home- but tasteful decorating - not over done- like the rest of xmas has become.

  4. what a beautiful gift from your heart...she is a fortunate woman to have you as her dear friend.

  5. Jesus is the reason for the season...and I too believe Christmas is too comercialized! It is about Christ!!!

  6. you are so correct, my friend!!! I am still recovering from pre-Christmas overdoing - my arthritis pain and fatigue levels have been, well, let's just say I've been a bit annoyed.
    I had plans to make special gifts for several people but given my frame of being I was totally not creative.
    I love the piece you made and I'm sure Linda cherishes it! I know having teenagers at home comes with requirements but I'm going to think long and hard before getting to this state next holiday season.
    Thanks for sharing - I love your new header!!

  7. Hi Donna, and thanks.1

    Laura, I think I'm the fortunate one!

    You're right, Cheryl; we should really try to tone down the commercialism. It exists only because people buy into it.

    Patti- It's so easy to exhaust your self at Christmas time, and it seems like it shouldn't be that way. I hope you feel better!

  8. I am sure none of your jokes are dumb- What a wonderful gift to a wonderful friend!

  9. Sharmon....I dont know what it is about special Ed teachers... but I have noticed that many of them have these halos that you can see of you look really carefully!
    And humility to go with it...
    What delightful gift... and I so agree if you can manage to be organised then one's personal gifts made by hand are a real winner.
    Lovely message you left for me today... thank you so much!
    S x

  10. Beautiful and real gift. I refuse to buy presents and prefer the hand made kind. Too much money is spent and too much waste is produced.

  11. bravo pour la nouvelle présentation..

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