A couple nights ago I was talking to my brother on the phone. He was walking home from the Co-op at 7pm because one of their gift items had failed to produce delicious results, and he had been sent out to buy more ingredients so that he could go home and cook, hopefully finishing everything in time to package it up and mail it out the next morning. He commented that making gifts each year is exhausting, and I agreed. It is time consuming and tiring, and has potential risks (as his situation illustrates nicely). Sometimes, we both said, we thought it might be nice to just buy gifts and be done with it.
But we don't. Every year we plan hand made gifts and race around frantically trying to complete them because we love and value hand made. And since gifts are meant to show our love, this is the best way we know to convey our love to our family and friends: making it ourselves.
Last year Robert's sister Anne sent us a holiday box full of homemade peanut brittle and marshmallows. I couldn't try the peanut brittle (peanuts and Liel nursing and all) but the marshmallows were excellent. This year she sent us almond brittle. I'll be honest- I wasn't too broken up about not getting to eat the peanut brittle last year, cause in my experience brittles aren't usually very good. They tend to be both overly hard and entirely too eager to glue my jaws together. But Anne's homemade almond brittle has me singing an entirely different tune. I love this stuff. It's light and crisp and not over sweet or sticky in the least. Anne, more next year, please!
And today we got a box from my aunt and uncle and cousin Max. Max made beef jerky and it is delicious!! I had to put it away lest we consume it all as we sat around the box. I don't imagine many 14 year olds send out hand made gifts, and especially not ones that are this delicious. Max and Anne's gifts have completely restored my handmade gift mojo- I have such a kick ass family!!
Here's Liel, my little meat hound, snarfing the jerky Max made.