Simple Gifts

It's the second Sunday in Advent--the apple is slowly spiraling in. We've been focusing on gifts this week. We have a tradition where each of us makes the others a special gift to open on Christmas Eve. We decided to exchange our handmade gifts on Christmas Eve so that we could truly cherish them rather than having them be lost amidst everything else the next morning.

Lou and Hels have been closeted in their bedrooms listening to Harry Potter and sewing lots of things with zippers (the favored craft accessory these days).

Nels has been in the basement much of the day.

Hels and I spent the afternoon making silk scarves for teacher gifts. We struggled with getting the beaded fringe to work, but FINALLY figured it out.

Here are last year's gifts including a chess board, apron, framed maps, and a handbag. The gifts I've made for Nels over the years include a vest, history of our land, and a tool pouch. Nels has made the most elaborate gifts including a music stand, dog houses, and a gnome fort. One year I made Hels a needle-felted wizard.

I titled this post "simple gifts" because, while these gifts take a lot of work, they are made at home with love without trips to the mall, 4 a.m. ventures into Walmart, or saying "no" too many times at Kohls. These are the gifts that are remembered and treasured. As the song says:

To turn, turn will be our delight 'Till by turning, turning we come round right.

It's the turning of the year. Our simple gifts just feel so right. As our little apple continues on its way inward, I hope we can all remember that when we keep things simple, we find peace and connectedness.

Suzanne  – (December 7, 2008 at 8:20 PM)  

I love your gifts and the heart that goes into the making:-)

sarah p  – (December 7, 2008 at 8:48 PM)  

Such a beautiful tradition. You are all so crafty!

I love your header image :-)

Dawn  – (December 7, 2008 at 8:55 PM)  

I can't wait to see what you all make for each other this year! I love the simple gifts the most.

amanda o  – (December 7, 2008 at 8:56 PM)  

fabulous ideas and what a talented family!

Crescent Moon  – (December 7, 2008 at 10:30 PM)  

I love seeing what other people are making. It's such a great source of inspiration . Thanks for sharing.

Suse  – (December 7, 2008 at 10:43 PM)  

Your lass is looking so grown up these days :)

Anonymous –   – (December 7, 2008 at 11:12 PM)  

I always have the intention to make the holidays simple, to plan ahead so things aren't rushed. I *think* I'm getting better each year!

Those scarves are lovely.

RunninL8  – (December 8, 2008 at 10:35 AM)  

What a wonderful post! And I really like the idea of opening the handmade gifts the night before! You'll have to share what was made!
What a great little advent spiral! I love the little apple-just like the candles the kids used at our advent spiral!

Lisa Anne  – (December 8, 2008 at 11:25 AM)  

I love this busy, crafty time of year, I have been knitting like crazy!

Anneke  – (December 8, 2008 at 12:26 PM)  

Loooooove your advent calendar! I've been searching for something that suites me, but didn't find until now!

Dawn  – (December 8, 2008 at 7:47 PM)  

I swear every time I come to your site I am so impressed. I think that you are a homeschooler like us, but no on top of all these creative activities the girls go to school too. You all are very inspiring.

Mrs. Pivec  – (December 8, 2008 at 11:45 PM)  

Zippers! I need to come to your house for a lesson. My current practice is to avoid them at all costs! :)

Sarah  – (December 9, 2008 at 6:03 AM)  

I don't do zippers either. Somehow Hels fell in love with making zippered pouches. She sews it all by hand. Zippers and sewing machines are too much for me!

Nicole  – (December 9, 2008 at 8:27 AM)  

This is so beautiful! I love the way your family does things in such a meaningful way! We have been wrapping and putting away little treasures that the kids make, they seem the most excited about giving those away than anything else!

Sarah  – (December 11, 2008 at 4:38 AM)  

scarf update--Hels wore her prototype scarf to violin lesson. Her teacher commented on how much she liked it. We're going to make more!

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