Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Even though I have a great job where I earn more than I need, I still love to give handmade gifts with the considerable skills I have. One gift I particularly enjoy giving is a crocheted baby blanket. The recipients are almost always overjoyed to receive it. I’ve even had a few overly enthusiastic friends and relatives make it known they would love such a gift if/when they have kids.
However, the last time I gave one as a gift, I overheard a relative of the mom-to-be, who knows my line of work, call me cheap because I only gave “one measly blanket and a few trinkets” when I “could have afforded to buy something more useful off the registry.” I was flabbergasted.
I put a lot of love into these gifts. I thought that is what counted. Is this what most people think when I give my standard gift, but they are too polite to voice it, or was this person off-base?
I see this person as an outlying idiot (I’ll leave being “too polite” to others), but I speak only for myself, obviously. I see a handmade gift as not only more valuable given the devaluing of “stuff” in the big-box era, but also as a potential heirloom. I saved very little from my kids’ baby years, but everything made for them by hand has been boxed up to be handed down to them when they’re grown.
For Blanket Maker:
Some time ago, I decided to teach myself to crochet. One of my first projects was a blanket for my then-5-year-old daughter. It’s, well, odd. The stitches are wonky sizes, the colors don’t quite match, the size is weird, and it took FOREVER with my limited skills to finish.
This daughter is turning 16 in a few days. Recently, we had a big blowout fight about, heck, I don’t even remember what. Clothes, grades, boys, one of those things moms and daughters fight about. I finally ended the argument by saying I was going for a walk and we could both just cool down. When I got back, she was sitting with a mug of cocoa, wrapped up in that blanket. She said to me, “When we fight, I like curling up in this blanket and thinking about whatever we’re fighting about and what we can do to get past it. This blanket . . . you MADE it for me. So whenever we fight, I have something to curl up in to remind me that no matter what it is, you love me enough that you MADE this. And it’ll be okay, and you will always love me.”
Keep making and giving your blankets. It’s so much more meaningful than any diaper gadget could ever be, and, some day, it may be exactly what the recipient needs to get through a rough patch.
Cheez. You made me cry. Totally blindsided.
Re: Blanket Maker:
Thanks, now I cried. . . . and guys aren’t supposed to cry at work.
You own your cry, Work Dude. Got your back.