Saturday, November 24, 2007

Only 32 more making days until Christmas. You can avoid the panic at the malls completely this year by making holiday gifts to share with your family and friends. You may say, "Sorry, I have no skill." But where in the world does skill come from? It comes from trying, and everyone is clumsy at first.

They say that if you heat with wood it warms you twice. If you make a gift, it gives three times. The first gift is to you, as you find pleasure in the transformation of materials to conform to your own will. This is where you really get to surprise yourself. The second gift is that part of the object, the intrinsic part, its innermost character that states to its recipient, "I made this just for you as a reflection of my caring for you and our relationship, and this comes directly from my heart to you." If you have chosen to make something useful and beautiful, it gives a third time, a much longer time of practical service, with each and every use reminding of a deep and lasting relationship with you.

Would you rather spend time fighting crowds at the mall, or would you rather expand your own life in a much more meaningful direction? Oh, yes, don't forget to turn off the TV while you work. Allow the full depth of your care and attention to enter the work you do. Can you imagine a gift where the full attention of the maker was applied directly to the making of the work? It is better than art, it is called craftsmanship.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1:42 PM

    Everybody has some kind of skill, and new ones to learn. Last Christmas I gave my secretary a cherry pencil holder for her desk (she had been keeping pencils in a Dixie cup!). On my birthday she made me a rum cake, and told me that she wanted to learn how to do some kind of craft.

    Speaking of the "100 mile radius," the cherry for that pencil box came from about 25 miles from where I'm sitting.