Sunday, January 25, 2009

Handmade Gifts

When I was a child, I always wanted to have enough money to buy expensive gifts for my mother. As Christmas or birthdays approached, I would take my meager allowance down to the Navy Exchange and gaze through the jewelry case, hoping for something wonderful, glittery and affordable for a woman who I knew loved jewelry.

There was never anything affordable and, truth be told, she didn't need anything from the Exchange, as she already had heirloom jewelry from her grandmother and my Dad added on a regular basis to her collection of sparkly things. But, I always wished for enough money to buy her a really impressive gift, as if that would somehow prove my love for her. When I would wish for that aloud, she would always say, "Give me something you have made yourself; handmade gifts are the best." I'd nod and pretend to agree, still secretly and stubbornly convinced that store-bought was better.

Sometime over the years I absorbed her philosophy and, as I grew wiser as well as taller, I learned to value homemade gifts the most. Fast forward to yesterday, when I opened my pantry door looking for something to go with my cottage cheese and found a jar of homemade apple butter that Molly had given me more than a year ago. I have posted about this strange combination before, but had to mention it again, both because of Molly's generosity and because of the excellence of her apple butter.

Molly's is a lighter, spicier apple butter than I have had before, a little runny so just a spoonful decorates a satisfyingly large scoop of cottage cheese. She uses either different spices or nicer combinations that most - this stuff is highly addictive! Sitting down to a bowlful, I could hear my mother's voice extolling the virtues of handmade gifts, and was grateful.



Blogger kudzu said...

I read your post after having one of those moments this morning, appreciation of a handmade gift. This was a tiny jar of almost black huckleberry jam. I realized as I spread some on toast how much had gone into it: my friend's trek to the secret place where the berries grow in abundance, the trek back, the tedious cleaning of the miniscule berries, then her making the jam and ladling into small jars, so she could share it with more friends. Your mother was right.

Sunday, January 25, 2009  
Blogger dancingmorganmouse said...

I bet that would be wonderful on vanilla ice-cream or porridge too.
I've found, from experience, that the giving of shop-bought gifts v the home-made gifts really depends on the receiver ... some people just don't appreciate the love that goes into home made. Thankfully, the very best people do!

Sunday, January 25, 2009  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

I think the best thing you can do with a lovingly given handmade gift is to USE it. xoxo

Sunday, January 25, 2009  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Kudzu, these little jars are truly a gift of love, aren't they.

Morgan, yes to the ice cream, not sure to the porridge. I'm not a huge lover of hot cereal.

Cookiecrumb, yes, and I plan to use all those lovely home grown oranges, too! :-)

Monday, January 26, 2009  
Blogger safdar ali said...

this is so cute. and handmade gifts are always valuable and lovely.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2012  

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