Friday, December 9, 2011

On My Mind - My Grandmother's Legacy and Homemade Christmas Presents

When I grow up, I want to be my Grandmothers. That is, I want to have the gentleness, love, and creativity of my Grandma Lindsley, who is in heaven, and the work ethic, homemaking skills, and compassion of my Grandma Owen.
         My Grandma Lindsley was the embodiment of gentleness and self-sacrifice; if she had any faults, she was too gentle and self-sacrificing. She had a very hard life, but she used her love and creativity to raise nine children on a very limited income, cooking from scratch and making handmade clothes and toys for her children. She showed this same love to her thirty grandchildren, to whom she faithfully sent presents every birthday and Christmas, despite a limited income. She  embroidered me this pillow when I was a little girl:
This pillow means more to me than almost anything anyone has ever given me because of the love that it took to make it.
         Making our Christmas list this year, I counted twenty-five kids we had to buy presents for (including nephews, nieces, younger siblings, cousins, and god-children). December happens to be a lean month with Pete's teaching, and we are commited to getting out of debt, not incrueing more! I also wanted to give something meaningful to the children in our lives, not just a toy that they will forget about in a week or month. I was trying to figure out what to do about our little dilemna when I saw the pillow sitting on our shelf of toys. Of course! Something with the kids names on them! Hmm, I pondered, I don't have the time to embroided 25 kids names on anything. But I do have time to paint! (I am not going to reveal everything that I am painting because some of the kids might read this blog, but some of the kids, the ones who do not read this blog, are getting hand-painted ornmanents).
Here is an ornament I painted for an eight year old cousin Rylie:   

I am so excited about giving presents this year!

What are your creative gift ideas?


  1. Your grandmother's sound like very positive role models. How blessed you were to have them. I love your idea of ornaments which will be keepsakes for years to come.

  2. Oh, I guess I forgot to answer your question. My creative ideas have to do with knitting dishcloths and crocheting doilies. I sew a little also and do some other crafty things but this year, all my gifts are purchased. I don't have too many to buy for ;-)

  3. What great ideas! One of these days I will learn to knit!

  4. Love your pillow! I totally see where the craftiness comes from. I'm currently knitting my two local friends dishcloths.

  5. Andrea, don't worry about presents for my Kiddos. A blanket card would do fine, unless you have your heart set on art! Love, Bro Gentle

  6. Thanks Ben! Already made your kiddos presents - wish Noah could have his now in the hospital to cheer him up (its not an ornament lol)

  7. What a lovely pillow. You are blessed to have such wonderful grandmothers in your life. :o)

  8. Yes, Andrea, you should learn to knit! I taught myself by watching YouTube videos! This year I've knitted a slouchy beanie for one of my sisters, and I'm in the process of knitting her a matching scarf. I also make baklava and put in tins in goodie baskets for family. Last year was the first time - and now it's expected... :o) We mix in homemade gifts with bought ones, depending on the time we have available to make things. In the past I've given handmade jewelry, a framed story-poem, crocheted afghans and hats and scarves, beaded Christmas ornaments, etc.


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