Christmas is the spirit of giving without a thought of getting. It is happiness because we see joy in people. It is forgetting self and finding time for others. It is discarding the meaningless and stressing the true values. ~Thomas S. Monson
Have you ever made homemade gifts for the people on your Christmas list? Sometimes that happens because we love making things for others. Sometimes it’s a matter of finances. That was true for me during the first years after I married. I remember making a cape for my mother one year. I’m not sure she ever wore it, but she was a good gift receiver and made me feel as though she loved it.
Some of you may have faced the same lack of finances at times. Perhaps even now. But truly the love that goes into a gift matters more than the price tag as these stories readers shared with me prove. First we hear from Marla who tells about how a handmade gift became a treasured part of her Christmas decor.
One of my favorite gifts was the first Christmas that my husband and I were dating. He was laid off from work and didn’t have a lot of money for a gift. His mom was making ceramics at the time. So he decided to try and paint some ceramic houses. He ended up painting quite a few and also some evergreen trees. And that was what he gave me as my gift that Christmas. We have been married 27 years now and I put up our village every year at Christmas. It is just a sweet reminder of his love for me.
A beautiful story, Marla. Thank you for sharing it with us. Now here’s Judy with her story of how a Christmas tradition began for her and her family.
Our 1st Christmas married was tight. We were able to afford a tree but not a stand, lights and ornaments. My wonderful mother-in-law had an extra stand and lights that she gave us. That left ornaments and decorations. Being a crafty person, I made little present like boxes from cereal boxes, etc and wrapped them with leftover Christmas paper. I made a few other kind. We strung popcorn garland. Each year I made new ornaments. When the children came, I made one each for our tree and one each for each of our children. No store bought ornaments go on our tree or my daughters. When each one of them married, they took their ornaments with them. My daughters’ children’s handmade ornaments went on their tree, still do. I make ornaments for my grandchildren now. Our first Christmas started our Christmas tradition.
I can only imagine how lovely your tree must be, Judy, and those of your daughters. And the memories. Many of you who shared about your Christmas memories or traditions said that decorating your tree was one of your favorite things because of the memories placing your treasured ornaments on the tree brought to mind. I have some of those type of ornaments too along with some dog ones that make me remember dogs I’ve loved through the years. My mom gave me Hallmark ornaments every year for a while. She chose them with love and me in mind so those are always special to take out of the boxes and place on the tree.
Here’s one more story of a gift made with love that Linden shared.
My favorite gift is one my husband gives me every year: 8 hours of labor. He does all sorts of stuff around the house, but his priorities are not always my priorities (still need painting touch-ups in the living room, Honey…). This way he gives me a weekend day where he does nothing but what I want him to do. It saves me nagging – I just keep a list, knowing each birthday, anniversary and Christmas I can have niggling chores completed.
I love it, Linden. Time is truly the greatest gift. Right now, when it comes to thinking about how much time there is until Christmas, I’m feeling a little like this Dr. Seuss quote as I try to get ready for Christmas.
How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon? ~Dr. Seuss
You still have time to enter my Christmas giveaway if you haven’t already. Not too late for that! Deadline is Saturday, December 16th at midnight EST. Prizes are a Willow Tree Nativity figurine, books and some very novel tea bags. You can see a picture on my website News & Events Page. Just send a message from my Contact Page or leave a comment here.
As always thanks for reading, and Linden, Judy and Marla, thanks for sharing about Christmas traditions and gifts.