Have you ever tried your hand at a seemingly “easy” DIY craft project? Only to find that you’ve got half of the Dollar Store novelty items, papers, glitter, glue and a variety of other sundry items spread out over your kitchen table, with nothing to show for your efforts but a half-concocted, unidentifiable Holiday centerpiece! Forgive me if you’re exempt from this dilemma, but I must admit, I’ve had my share of great ideas fall short of my great expectations. It’s only then that I resort to trying some of the clever, already proven, seasonal crafts that I find out there. Fall seems to be the start of the deluge of creative, home-made holiday crafts, so what better time to offer some encouragement before you embark on your creative journey. It starts with the proverbial Halloween pumpkin. Not to be outdone by the Thanksgiving Turkey or Cornucopia centerpiece. Ultimately, followed by the Christmas Holiday or Winter front door wreath! They all look wonderful and seem so easy, but that's not always the case.
It’s my humble opinion that craft projects should be fun and rewarding, offering us a sense of pride and accomplishment when finished. Sometimes we put too much pressure on ourselves to execute these projects with perfection (which is never achievable), resulting in leaving us feeling less than capable, if not downright inferior. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Whether you’re seeking secular or religious gift ideas for him or her, sometimes all it takes is a little patience and a lot of love.
Make it special, not perfect… as I write in my touching retirement blessing gifts, “A rags-to-riches” story need not be your bottom line. The priceless things we gain in life often come from the Divine.” Perhaps looking at your projects from a heavenly view may give you a different perspective. What if it’s not the item that’s so valuable, but rather with whom you spend quality time making it. Or what if it’s not the latest, greatest fad of the season, but rather something you know the recipient will love. Keep it simple – it’s more often the thought that counts.
Here are some of the most precious “crafts” I’ve ever received, and some I made for the most precious people I know:
WINTER- Each year, I received Christmas tree ornaments featuring my children’s school pictures.
SPRING – One of my favorite Mother’s Day gifts was a bouquet made with colorful tissue paper and Hershey’s Kisses. My friend’s daughter celebrated her First Holy Communion, so I had fun coming up with some religious gift ideas for her, like a little Blessing Box with a necklace and one of my Pocket Blessing inside. A keepsake gift she cherishes.
SUMMER – All the girls in the family got together and made fairy-light center pieces to go along with my Wedding blessing gifts, for my sister’s wedding.
FALL – The Thanksgiving turkey, whose body was as simple as my children’s handprints! I have saved some of these simple, but precious “craft projects” for over 30 years. They weren’t complicated or expensive to make, some were seasonal with a generic theme, and some were original religious gift ideas, but both turned out to be keepsakes that I’ll cherish always.
One of my latest Christmas blessing gifts is my Star Angel Christmas Ornament, on which I’ve lovingly put my personal touch. I hand-painted each papier-Mache star, sprinkled them with a little glitter, and decoupaged the Angel on one side, which my Daughter, Bonnie, drew before she passed away. The other side features an excerpt from my enchanting Christmas poem, “The Christmas Gift!” (“In the twilight of a silent night near Christmas you may hear, the fluttering of angels’ wings, as they spread news of good cheer.”) This beautiful hand-made star has become a source of encouragement to many, and a very special gift that honors Bonnie’s memory!
So, as this season starts to take off, I offer my fellow "crafters" my encouragement and support. Go for something “special” and don’t worry about being perfect. Even the dullest lump of potter’s clay can be molded into something beautiful… but not without a lot of trial and error, re-shaping and TLC!
Every year at PurpleWishingGate.com we select a non-profit organization to donate 10% of our proceeds to. We are thrilled to renew our commitment by partnering with “Camp Can Do” for the year 2022. We are proud to be a company that donates when you buy one of our blessing gifts.
Much like everything else during this Pandemic, the traditional role of the teacher is morphing into something new and unexpected. Like the pioneers of old, they’re forging the way through frontiers both exciting and scary, while being expected to lead our children on a journey through uncharted territory.