Monday, January 10, 2011

Home-grown Christmas

I hate shopping.

So, this year, I minimized the store time (and monetary expenditure) by making most of my gifts.

I made my two oldest nephews some mini-bats. My brothers and I had played with similar ones growing up, pitching and then hitting ping pong balls in our basement in a scaled-down homerun derby.

I also made 'quality time' a gift with my nephews by taking them out for a movie and some dinner, as well as 'trying out' the bats in my parents basement.  (*No basements, nephews, or uncles were hurt in the process*)

I also got some raw cedar from work and cut it down for a variety of other gifts.

 One of my favorites turned out to be a lighthouse for my parents. 

Special thanks to my friend Joe. He made his shop and wood-working expertise available to me through the month of December. I appreciated the time to learn and re-learn some things concerning the art of woodworking, and also had a great time hanging out with Joe and his family. He also helped me make some cedar toy blocks for a couple special girls. We spelled the names of my niece, Eyla, and my friend Evan's daughter, Etta, on four sides of the cedar cubes. (I've pictured some, but not all, of those letters)


I've fallen in love with the smell of cut cedar. I also think I've got cedar sawdust permanently embedded in my sinuses for the rest of my life. I guess I'll have moth-free sinuses.

 This was one of my favorite Christmas seasons in terms of giving, and putting intentional thought and time into the gifts made it special. It meant more to me, that's for sure, regardless of how the gifts were received. (Unfortunately, I've had several previous holidays of giving gifts after simply swiping a card or handing over cash). It was definitely a lesson in 'quality over quantity.'

And, given some more time and creativity, it's something that I want to continue in years to come.

A new niece wasn't a bad Christmas gift for me, either.


Rebecca January 11, 2011 at 5:58 AM  

I think my husband might be a little jealous of your time on the lathes! Well done! Did you "sign" and date your handiwork?

Gary gifts me frequently with newly constructed or refurbished pieces--much to my great delight. Nothing better. shows a few of his projects :)

Rebecca January 11, 2011 at 6:00 AM  

Oops! (That's what I get for bragging) It should be:

Grandma Pam January 11, 2011 at 7:55 AM  

Jim, what wonderful gifts. Homemade gifts are so special.

We the Hornings January 12, 2011 at 12:12 PM  

Neat to see the process for the gifts you made/gave...thanks for the time & love for Eyla and the rest!

We the Hornings January 12, 2011 at 6:44 PM  

your welcome!

Adam Lehman January 20, 2011 at 10:06 AM  

Jedi Master,

Loved reading this. Keep up the awesomeness.


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