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Gifts from the Heart

Sometimes in this crazy scheme of life, it gets busy.  Months move on so fast I can barely keep up sometimes.  Then I'll be roaming through my Lightroom photo's and a photo jumps out at me that I really had wanted to put up.  This is one of those photo's.  So, before I completely move on to Spring, I'm going to go back to Christmas, just for a moment.

We have a tradition at my house.  Most of the gifts are either handmade or what we call "time spent".  Each of us have our own talents that end up under the tree each year.  "Time spent" are always wonderful adventures to either an event, a restaurant or a mini vacation.  The giver and the receiver are the only ones who share in that adventure.  We have all been to wonderful places, eaten in restaurants that we didn't know about until the gift and we have visited some unique places.  This year was extra special because we saw the making of handmade gifts spreading, the boys were catching on.

I wanted to share one of my most favorite gifts of all time...shhh, don't let the others hear about this. Although all my gifts are personal and special..this one really touched my heart, for many reasons, not least of which was, to see the tradition taking shape by little hands.

The teapot and cup above is my very first handmade gift from Liam.  His Mom framed it for him and he saved it for me.  Liam takes art lessons on Wednesday afternoons.  He loves it and I have seen many of his creation framed and hanging on the walls of his house.  Now I had one to hang on the wall in my kitchen. The other thing that makes it special is that he made it last year in art class when he was 5 years old.  He saved it for quite a few months, without saying a word, so he could surprise me with it at Christmas.  That's amazing because Liam is not a good secret keeper.  His excited usually wins out.  I honestly was shocked when I opened that gift. So much pride on his face as he handed it to me. So much love in the doing of it.  He knows me well.  We have spent lots of time sharing tea, him and I and it was the perfect gift.  I love that he is beginning to know how to touch someone's heart.  I also know how important it is to little children to be appreciated.  To know that their work and effort matter.  It didn't take me long to hang that painting in my kitchen.  He smiled big the first time he came and saw it on the wall.  He knows how special both him and the painting are.


My friend Jaxson, not to be outdone, is starting on his journey to being creative...and this was his gift to his Mom.  Keeping with the glasses theme, which totally cracked all of us up, he made this 3 dimensional "snowman"...He is quite proud of him and the snowman is also hanging on the wall at his house.  It really warms my heart to see the boys starting to really enjoy working with their hands.  They are having the opportunity to try different things and hopefully something will stick for them. I think they are off to a very good start.

One more from my other favorite guy...Jim.  Jenna has a golden retriever that she loves so much.  You've probably seen Riley on my pages a few times.  He is getting up there in age and Jim wanted her to have a woodcarving of her "furry guy" her gift from her Dad was this intricate carving of Riley.  Can I just say tears were thank you enough.  Honestly, it's crazy how much that carving looks like Riley.  He is also now hanging on the wall in her house.

There were many more lovely gifts that day...I always love the Time Spent gifts.  They are the gifts that keep on giving all year long.  

Gifts from the heart are what makes the holidays so special at our house.  It's not that we don't buy gifts also and that we don't spoil the boys like crazy but it's those gifts from the heart that will have lasting memories.  To see it being passed down and to know the excitement that the boys enjoy both in giving and in receiving is the true magic of Christmas.  

As for me, I get to look at my Teapot and Cup everytime I'm in the kicthen.  I just love it so much.

As a side note...all the photo's here were in an art show at our church...just so you know..those walls are not part of my home decor...

What is a favorite Christmas tradition at your house...I'd love to know what warms your heart.

Now moving on to Spring...except I heard we will be getting snow on Sunday...Life in New England...


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Reader Comments (11)

Yes these are always the best gifts. I ran across a bowl made out of clay that my son who is now 45 made when he was probably in first grade. Oh how I love those kind of gifts also. Ugh snow, my goodness.

March 18, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara Hurst

Time spent gifts! What a great idea!

March 18, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterpam

Allowing young children to find their talent at a very young age is very important...letting them just open up and be their self. Too many grown ups don't allow themselves that freedom, or their children, which is a shame. Even if it doesn't become part of their life long profession, they have a soothing hobby to enjoy in their leisure time, or a way to share with others, as we do with our photography, or you do with your writing (so lovely). When we ask our youngest grandchild who is a Junior, what she plans to major in, we all assumed it would be art because she's so talented, but she said "I want to keep that as my own personal enjoyment and not use it to the point I hate it"...for a 17 year old I thought that was very wise. She has other interests and will do well without becoming an artist by profession. Your family's "Time Spent" gifts are truly much feeling put into each one. I loved reading your story and seeing the gifts. And maybe, the snow will only be rain.

March 19, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBeverly

Thank you Barbara...I totally agree that these gifts are the ones we remember long after we have forgotten all the comments and visits are always so welcome.

March 19, 2016 | Registered CommenterCheryl Crotty

Pam...Happy Saturday, Time spent is the best's the gift that keeps on giving the entire year through.

March 19, 2016 | Registered CommenterCheryl Crotty

Beverly, you popped in as I popped in this nice. Your words are so true and I truly beleive to exposed children to all sorts of activities is the way for them to eventually find their hobby or their trade. Your granddaughter spoke those words really well and I think it's a wonderful thing to want to hold something back just for her personal pleasure...she will go far...very wise for her age. Liam is on his way, with many loves and Jaxson is just starting to search for his. I'm delighted that both boys love their camera's...hoping that will lead to some pleasure and time spent in the outdoors for them as they grow. Time spent are just the best gifts...I hope someday we will allow each other some time spent together....Thanks for stopping by.

March 19, 2016 | Registered CommenterCheryl Crotty

Cheryl, this just touches my heart. How much I enjoyed reading it.
There is nothing quite like the beautiful innocence and trust of a child..
Thank you for sharing this here.
A definite bright spot to my day.

March 22, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLisa Gordon

We are a creative bunch in my family too. :) My daughter makes a pedant of some sort to put on a necklace for the girls and sometimes a key chain for the boys. She loves it (me too) when Grandma (my mom) wears one of her creations or my sister wears the pendant that says 'love you to the moon and back'. I love to wear mine too. :) I, surprise, surprise, give a photograph. My mom paints, my dad does wood working and my sister makes things too. We also give other gifts we purchase, but like you said, the gifts which are handmade are the best. :)

March 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle B

I hit create post before I was finished...
The teapot and cup picture is wonderful. I can see how it would take a special place in your heart as well as the kitchen wall. :)

March 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle B

Dearest Cheryl,
How did I miss this?
I'm awestruck by Liam's phenomenal painting . . . that he was only 5, that it was a beloved teapot, and that he saved the surprise for you, brought tears to my eyes, along with your incredibly special "time spent tradition" . . . I would love to share such a unique idea with my family. Of course, as an artist, hand-made gifts have always been of utmost importance to me, especially when they're appreciated!
Jaxson's creation is too adorable for words, especially with the glasses!
And PLEASE tell me . . . did Jim make the spectacular woodcarving? oh my . . . such talent in your family!
Big HUGS all around, and again, thanks so much for sharing such JOY through your writing and photography.

March 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAntoinette

Dear worries if you miss a few...LOL, it happens to the best of us...time is precious and we get busy...Yes, Time Spent and homemade are always the best gifts....of course mine to them is mostly photo's of some kind, books, framed photo's and of course 'time with eacho one separately"...we have fun all year long...Yes, Jim did do tht intarsia of the Golden Retriever and gave it to Jenna...It's her Riley.. He has since done another one that is really beautiful...
Your gifts are always so lovely also...and just having your a gift and a keeper...

March 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl c.

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