From the laundry basket of the Homegrown Mama
I think that one of my favorite things about having kids is their desire to make something for special days. A card, a craft, a cookie. My kids aren't yet to the point where they come up with their own ideas, but they are happy to lend their little fingers to make sweet crafts and color the pages designated for Grandma or Uncle Chris. I am so excited for the day we get to take clumsily wrapped packages of their homemade gifts to holidays and watch their faces beam when the recipients open them!
In my opinion, the best gift that can be given is something handcrafted. It doesn't have to be perfect. It doesn't have to be skilled. To quote Paul Rudd in Our Idiot Brother: "there's no such thing as an ugly homemade candle." I must say that I agree. Life doesn't have to be about perfection.
Parties, gift giving, and celebrations don't have to be about the commercialized perfection of our society. Instead, they can be about creating a memory with those you love. For my daughter's first birthday, a friend of mine made her a little shirt. She picked out the fabric knowing what I would have chosen and made it with love for my little one. Of all the gifts she was given, that gift will always stay with us. Someone cared enough to take the time to make something for my baby.
Another friend brought us a plant. Every time I walk out to get the mail, I see the Bleeding Heart and think not only of a sweet friend, but of the blessing one year with my daughter has been. There is a time and a place for perfection, but if you are looking to make someone's celebration special, don't forget a handmade gift or a plant. Anyone can choose a plant and you don't even have to worry about keeping it alive! Just because you aren't a "crafty" person doesn't mean you can't give something handmade. This is the reason why Etsy, craft fairs and farm markets exist. Even if you can't be the crafter, someone else made their creations with love.
This year, I challenge you as you are planning birthday parties and attending baby showers, think of a way to not only give a gift, but give something of yourself by giving homemade. Pinterest is a glory of ideas and if you are looking for some inspiration to get started you can find my idea boards here. And with that, I'm off to come up with an idea for thank you gifts for the Moppets workers that have been caring for my kiddos twice a month while I get to actually eat a warm brunch...