I know those of you who read this blog will appreciate this Christmas decoration above, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. And we are all in one way or another, creative and artistic and crafty, so we can enjoy others' efforts as well.
My nephew's wife Liesl is one of the most creative people I know. She does all kinds of things, and she's one of those people who does every single thing well, no doubt about it. She makes beautiful jewelry, is an amazing cook, and has always made a huge effort to stay connected with the family and make sure their kids are connected as well. They live in Arizona, so we see them very seldom, but Liesl always sends a card or gift at Christmastime that makes everyone feel connected.
All of the kids (there are four of them) are now teenagers in high school and college, but when they were little, she used to include them in her creative endeavors. The above decoration is an example, made and sent to us when there were only two kiddos in the family. It's a piece of ceramic art, and if you really look, you might have already figured it out for yourself. But the "face" is Anya's footprint, and the "antlers" are Jude's handprints - isn't that cool?? This falls into the category of something that I would never think to do, but once I see it, I think "Well, of course, that's an amazing idea!"
For many years while their kids were little, we'd receive gifts like this, and they are some of our most treasured decorations. And now, when Anya is a college senior and Jude is a sophomore, it's a lovely reminder of when they were little, and couldn't wait to participate in Mom's craft projects.
It also makes me happy to think that someone took the time to not just decide what to make, but then took all of the work and trouble - and little kid wrangling - to make it happen and then put it all together to send. When you spend that much time and effort on something, you seriously *want* the recipient to receive if from you.
Of course, we don't have children, so I never had to give any thought to how to involve them in giving or making gifts, etc. But I hope that those who work like this to make it happen always know how special gifts like this can be.