My youngest sister is 14 years my junior. When she was small I used to make her stuffed animals as gifts. Even as a teenager I was already making things from fabric for the holidays. We still have some ornaments on our tree that I made in grade school. Anyway, when my sister packed her room to go away to college she gave me back a few of those custom stuffies. Six months ago my sister had baby number four and thanks to the pandemic I have yet to meet her in person. Since I know we wont be travelling, most gifts were purchased online, gift wrapped by the company and shipped direct to the recipient. It has meant that there is no cookie exchange, no birthday celebration for my Mom who was born on Christmas Eve and no Chinese Dim Sum with my inlaws either. It is sad and has had me feeling a bit like the grinch.
But some things have helped. For the first time in ages we got a real tree. It smells wonderful and that fresh pine scent does wonders. Then the snow this week. Now at least my yard looks like a Christmas card. The final thing that changed it all for me is a teddy bear. One that I made for my sister when she was small. I have had it since she cleaned out her bedroom before going to college. When she gave me back a couple of the things I had made for her I was glad that she didn’t put them in the landfill, and decided to use the turtle as a pincushion. Many of you have seen it at the shoppe. The bear got put away, with the thought that someday I would pass it to a child of hers. Then she had boys. Now this bear was made from quilt cottons, pink and lavender tiny flowers in a small print, so although the boys would llove a teddy bear, their father would not have appreciated the girly print. I left it in storage and forgot about it. Until just after Thanksgiving this year. Found it again while looking for something else. And I knew what I needed to do, because the new baby I have not met is a girl.
I put my quilt conservation skills to a new purpose and spruced up that bear. Her seat and belly got new stuffing, her leg joints got repositioned so she can sit on her own for the first time, her flattened nose got fixed, and her ears reinforced. She also got a nice new bow. I wrote a note on a card and packed her up, hoping that my newest niece would someday appreciate it.
Last night I got the shipping notice that it had arrived, and about an hour later I got a message from my sister, Thanking me for the bear. She said that when she saw the fabric pattern peeking out of the gift bag, it “gave her feelings” and that she couldn’t wait till Christmas to have it open. She was touched deeply by it and she and I both shed a few tears. She is certain that it will be a treasured friend for her daughter, as it was for her.
I felt like the Grinch again, but this time how he is at the end of the story, triumphant that he has rediscovered the true spirit of the Holiday, and the joy that giving can bring.
If you are still in need of gifts, we do have gift certificates available, we wont be open next weekend but tomorrow we will be in 12 – 5, or contact us for an appointment during the week. There will also not be a blog post next week. The following weeknd is New Years, and I will try to sneak in a quick posting. I hope to have some exciting new things ready for the new year, and I am working like crazy to get them ready for you.