Today my My guest today is journalist and author, Maryann Miller. In addition to her books and articles, she has also written several screenplays and stage plays and is the Theatre Director at the Winnsboro Center for the Arts. Welcome, Maryann.
I enjoyed Terry's series of gifts during Hanukah, so I thought I would share something else about holiday gifts. Hope you enjoy….
One year, I was able to take one thing off my To-Do list of holiday preparations. It was the year that necessity put me in the position of making a lot of our gifts. At first I was disappointed that our checkbook couldn't be as generous as our hearts, but as I decided what to make for each person and started working on the projects, I got a new perspective. The time I spent on each gift made me feel closer to the person I was making it for. It was like time spent with them, thinking of all the things that make them special to me, and I realized the extra benefit of a handmade gift. A benefit I didn't always appreciate in quite the same way.
After my husband and I moved to Texas, we rarely made it back to Michigan for holidays, and my mother always sent handmade gifts for Christmas. Necessity has ruled her entire life, and we became accustomed to not expecting gifts of any great monetary value. Even so, the arrival of her annual holiday box always sparked an eagerness in me that I never fully understood. The gifts were either hand-made or just a small trinket picked up in a dime store, and sometimes there were even gifts for ‘we-don’t-know-who’.
Sometimes we didn’t even know what the gift was or what it was for; usually something she knitted or crocheted that could be a small afghan or a large lap blanket, or perhaps even a rug.
When the kids were young, they never understood my excitement over mother’s box, either, but I couldn’t fault them for that. It's easy for a simple gift to be diminished when stacked up next to one larger and more expensive, and like the kids, I often saw my mother's efforts as a mere gesture.
But the year that necessity forced me to make gifts, was the year that I finally fully understood what a gift really is, whether hand¬made or purchased.
A gift is not just a thing. It's a connec¬tion between the person giv¬ing and the person receiving that says something special about the relationship between the two. And a gift should never be rushed. The longer you think about it, plan it, and work on it, the stronger the connection.
That's the special, intangible ingredient my mother wrapped up and sent to us for all those years.
Maryann's books include a number of books available for e-readers, as well as Open Season, a new hard cover release from Five Star. For more about Maryann and her writing, visit her website, http://www.maryannwrites.com