Thursday, May 5, 2011

Look what I made!

I'm 35, but I still make things for my mom. Every year, I make her something for her birthday, for Mother's Day and usually for Christmas. No, not macaroni art or crayon drawings, like when I was a kid. Now I use skills that I picked up in adulthood like knitting, crochet or painting.

The entire process is fun, from handmaking the gift to putting it in the mail. There's a sense of mischief to it, since it's a surprise for her. I always get package tracking whenever I ship her something, so I can watch it travel from Seattle to Ohio and once it arrives, I smile as I wait for my phone to ring, knowing that she's received it.

Some things never change. It never stops feeling great to hear your mom joyfully gush about how much she loves something you made for her, whether it's some glued-together popsicle sticks when you're 8 or a purse that you knitted for her 20 years later. Whoever said "it's better to give than to receive" was talking about the reaction that you get when you give a hand-made gift!

Yesterday my mom received her Mother's Day gift, which I knew because as always, I'd been tracking the package. Sure enough, shortly after I saw its status change to "delivered" online, my phone rang and there was my mom, happy as can be about the gift that I'd crocheted. By the time I finished making it, I needed to get it in the mail fast so it would get there by Mother's Day and I had forgotten to buy a card. So I took a piece of printer paper and wrote a note, beginning, "Sorry about the lame card..." When she called, I once again apologized for the "ghetto card," but she said she loved it and she taped it inside a kitchen cabinet, right next to a drawing of her that I did in marker when I was 10.

I had no idea she still had that drawing taped inside the cabinet! I can picture it now... yellow hair, a stick-figure shape and in case there was any doubt, "Mom" written at the top. It's been in there for 25 years and now it's been joined by something I did earlier this week.

I already have a few favorite works of art from each of my kids, at ages 3 and a half and 16 months. I make gifts for them, too, from knitted blankets to whimsical paintings for their rooms. To my delight, they've both already shown interest in learning to knit or crochet, so I hope we can keep the spirit of handmade gift-giving going and I hope they'll know, as my mom has let me know, that if your kid makes you something, it's the coolest, most wonderful treasure on Earth that you will want to keep forever.


  1. your mom rocks... and kudos to handmade.

  2. So sweet! I wish I was more creative in that respect. It lends an extra specialness to the gift. Your Mom sounds adorable too.

  3. Okay, sweetness aside, part of the reason Sara's mom is so excited to get her handmade gifts is because the stuff she makes is incredible. Hers is one mom who doesn't have to give her a charity "well-done honey." Who wouldn't want the things she makes?! Check em out on her other blog:


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