This is the first year I've attempted to do this (a combination of my children being old enough, and of being "off" full time work during this time of year). Hillary Lang's wonderful book has provided endless inspiration this year for simple, colourful, quirky handmades.
Violet thought Margot would LOVE a little house-pillow to play with. We raided her great grandma's sewing basket for stray ribbon, coloured thread, and straight pins, and I let her choose the fabric. Using my mom's sewing machine, I guided her little hands patiently, repeatedly reassuring her that I would not sew on our fingers. Memories of my mother's hands on my small ones drifted through my mind as beautifully as the snow that was falling outside.
I learned to sew on my mother's lap, and I can't even tell you the joy it brought to introduce my oldest daughter to the amazing thrill of making something for someone special out of fabric and thread. The pins spilled on the ground, I left the scissors on the ironing board, and my huge belly made maneuvering awkward, but she just took such delight in every moment from measuring to cutting to sewing to stuffing.
She was involved in the making of this gift, from start to the finishing stitches that closed the last gap. When I think of my children looking back on Christmas, I wonder if their most precious memories will involve this once-a-year day alone with mommy, creating something beautiful to give to their siblings.She proudly wrapped her gift, and I know that on Christmas morning, there will be equal doses of mama pride, big sister excitement, and little sister joy as this beautiful handmade is unwrapped. I can just hear Violet's little voice proclaiming:
I made it just for you!