In case you haven’t noticed, I like to make things.
That all changed this year. I delegated the Christmas gift-giving list amongst members of our family and allowed everyone to partake in the joy and anticipation of giving to our extended family. I think it was a smashing success and plan to continue with the practice for next year’s Christmas.
Unfortunately, this idea of delegation came to me in October, which didn’t allow for extravagant crafting, but it was fun nonetheless. First, I wrote up the list of the people
we I wanted to give gifts to and then we had a family meeting and everyone took turns choosing a name from the list and accepting responsibility for making their present. I put a “handmade gift only” rule into effect because I was not about to open the gates of allowing a 7, 5 and 3 year old to run rampant through the mall, choosing any gifts they desired for their recipients. I’m OK with spending a few dollars to purchase fabric and odds ‘n ends for projects; I am not OK with forking over $50 for some novelty monstrosity that my 3 year old thinks would make a good gift.
Our list of thirteen gift recipients was divided amongst five people, which meant the girls each made three gifts each and Michael and I were each responsible for only two. A “Handmade Christmas” has an actual shot at success when you’re only responsible for making 2-3 gifts!
The girls LOVED making their gifts. Bluebird put her newfound sewing skills to use and sewed up little lavender-stuffed heart sachets for two of her recipients, and I took her and Penguin to a ceramics studio to make a gift for one person on their lists. Bluebird chose to paint a cappuccino mug with matching saucer for her Aunt Sandra and it turned out so incredibly cute that I would possibly have thought about keeping it for myself had Bluebird not painted a gigantic “S” on the saucer.
Penguin used her ceramic studio experience to paint a gift for…well, I can’t exactly say yet because I’m not sure if that particular family has received their box yet (I’m glaring at you, Canada Post, for this infraction). We were at the ceramics studio for THREE hours as the two of them diligently tended to their projects. I was so proud of their commitment to producing “good” presents.
Penguin also painted a picture for Granny and helped make a basketball-themed hair ribbon for her cousin Amber, who recently made it onto her high school’s JV basketball team as a freshman.
Junebug…knows what she wants to do and will allow nothing to distract her from accomplishing what she decides she is going to do. She wanted to paint pictures for everyone on her list. Period. I tried to talk her into other ideas, but she was adamant–she would paint pictures for all three of her recipients. So she did. And I packaged them in gift bags with a big bag of Ghirardelli chocolates as a way to sweeten the deal.
Michael had big plans for his people, but a last minute business trip to Hawaii made it impossible for him to make his ideas tangible. He ended up purchasing some thoughtful gifts for the people on his list.
I knitted for the people on my list. (Shocking, I know.) As luck would have it, I ended up with my mother and my father as my intended giftees and I made both of them hats.
Everyone got to hand-select one name up front. We all get “perfect ideas” for random people, so I wanted to allow everyone a chance at creating at least one of those “perfect” gifts.
We then drew the rest of the names out of a bowl to assign the remaining names.
Each person had the opportunity to “trade” one of the names they drew for a name on someone else’s list, if the “owner” of that name was willing to trade.
You could not have a name that you had last year. (And, in future years, this rule will extend to the last two or three years…I’d like to avoid monopolies.)