Intent of the holidays

A knit hat, scarf, and pair of mittens

Graphics by Natalie Allinger | The Washtenaw Voice

By Jenelle Franklin

After a morning full of excitement, a nap on Christmas day is complete with a hand woven blanket. Lying under the fuzzy crocheted masterpiece, a child sleeps soundly as parents pick up the wrapping paper strewn about the living room.

Time and good intent is all it takes to create a gift of memories. While you can make something with tools, paint with beautiful colors or craft with yarn they all create the memory of appreciation of hard work.

The soft comfort of a scarf made for blustery days protects and brings smiles of appreciation to the recipient.

Homemade gifts bring the warm and fuzzies to cold winter days, the thought and care behind a home crafted gift shines through the snowstorms, melting hearts.

We cannot simply rush out, grab something random off the store shelves, wrap it and call it acceptable. There must be thought behind what you are giving, the intent is as important as what’s in the package.

If you find that you cannot craft or build, you can enjoy the gift of time with friends and loved ones. Activities are available to choose to do together— companies like Painting With a Twist, Paint Nite, Paint and Pour, all offer painting sessions in Ann Arbor where you sit among friends laughing and creating memories while be reassured that each art piece will be unique. If you enjoy your piece, you may hang it in your home, or gift it if that is your desire.

One year, while in college and just getting by paying my bills, I used my skills to edit photos with the software I had at my disposal, which I paired with nice frames I got at a good price and a kind note; each brought smiles and I received the best gift of all, a heartfelt “thank you.”

Opportunities to show how much we care are all around us, try making a coupon book with offers of: cooking your parents a meal and cleaning up the kitchen or customize each page for the relationship you share.

When pulling from the shelves, keep in mind what is most important to the receiving person and not what will just pass as an okay gift. If it is just some money you want to drop, include a gift receipt so they can return your thoughtless purchase for something they needed that you never asked them about.

It is not the cost, but the intent that warms hearts when celebrating with loved ones.

Holidays differ and the amount of gifts given varies, but when each one comes from the heart, the holidays are much happier.

Wrapping someone in a blanket, one that took weeks to make is one of my favorite things.

This weekend’s blizzard, SE Michigan’s first accumulated snowfall of 2016, reminds us that the warmest places this holiday season will be found on the inside, not on the hunt for hatchimals.



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