Christmas is that holiday where hours are spent selecting gifts for others. Some are purchased and others take creative giving into their own hands.
Over the years I’ve always done a combination of both; as I get older I’m finding that homemade giving is more fun and it helps me get in the spirit of the season
Growing up it was customary to share homemade treats with friends and family. I have memories of both my grandma and mom preparing all kinds of gifts that were prepared right from the kitchen.
They were almost always wrapped in bright red tissue presented with a holiday ribbon and a card ready for delivery.
Today we call them gift baskets and most folks purchase them at Costco.
I have a distinct memory as a teenager after getting my driver’s license. I was sent to my grandma’s home to help with Christmas, I was thinking we would be baking or decorating which sounded like a fun afternoon.
When I arrived I found boxes and boxes filled with canned goods, baked breads, nuts, jams and jellies.
I remember these boxes like it was yesterday, they were recycled cardboard she covered with wrapping paper, filled with tissue. She gathered a combination of homemade goodies she prepared for friends and family.
I quickly realized this was the year the delivery torch had been handed down to me because this was something she did every Christmas.
With a list of names and address in hand, I loaded everything and begin to deliver around town.
I wasn’t thrilled about this assignment because I was a pretty shy person and this meant I would have to get out of my comfort zone.
However I was forced me to open my eyes and heart to people from all walks of life and that was good for me. My grandma was unique in that she was friends with everybody and her home was welcome to all.
She told me once it’s better to give than receive; this is true and to this day I’m thankful for that afternoon.
One delivery in particular was to the local jewelry store. They were an Italian family and my grandma loved their store, she considered them friends and embraced the exquisite European inventory.
This was the kind of store where children are told you can only look, don’t touch, and keep your hands in your pockets.
This delivery was different, the whole family was there and they knew what I had for them, a gift box from Cecelia.
The dad was busy with a customer but he stopped what he was doing to accept the gift. I was a little nervous because they were sophisticated people and me not so much.
He thanked me for taking the time to deliver the package and told me what a special lady my grandma is; they look forward to her gift box every year.
Each deliver was like that and everyone smiled with thanks.
By the end of the journey I realized that a homemade Christmas was the best gift giving you could give someone.
This year when I was making wooden boxes I thought those cardboard boxes my grandma put together. Each one was its own design and filled with what she was most passionate about, providing from the land.
I’ve made several of these boxes this year and the most recent was for our neighbor. I kept it simple and filled with Banana Nut Muffins and Berry Mix Muffins. Like my grandma I sent someone else out to make the delivery.
The joy in homemade gifts is taking the time to slow down and give from the heart, it’s a fantastic thing and I found this wooden box to be a fun way to present something homemade.