Tuesday, 23 December 2008

With Heart and Hands

It seems like only yesterday… It is Christmas morning, 1978. I am one very excited and impatient four-year-old. It’s 6:28 a.m. and I am hovering over my sleeping parents, anxiously awaiting the “thumbs up” to descend upon the living room to discover what treasures Santa left for one very deserving little girl. At 6:30 a.m. sharp, I am given the go head. I remember this moment so vividly. Tucked under the tree was the most circled item in our tattered copy of the Sears Wish Book that year, Baby Patti, “the doll that peed her pants”. She was nestled comfortably in a beautiful wooden doll cradle made with care and love by my very own father. As I sit in my living room almost thirty years to the day, Baby Patti is nowhere to be seen. Sadly, she is no doubt buried deeply in a pile of rubbish in some landfill in Northern New Brunswick. That dear wooden cradle, on the other hand, sits across the room from me on this cold December evening in 2008. Cuddled up inside with a wool blankie are Pedro and Casey, the Waldorf dolls I handmade for the boys. Not a day goes by that the cradle is not played with by the grandchildren of the man who created it. As boys, they may be finding unique and interesting uses for it (i.e. boat, step stool, car), but they are interacting with it nonetheless!

My wooden cradle speaks volumes about the value of offering our children quality, handmade, solid toys. They will undoubtedly outlast their junky counterparts, being passed down from one generation to the next to enjoy. Inspired to offer our own children something from our hearts and hands, Hubby and I decided to combine our skills and efforts this year. With Chi-Chi’s wish list in mind we set to work: a tree, a river a bridge and a house. Sigh...the beauty and innocence of a three year old! His wish list almost brought a tear to my eye!

It’s quite possible that I am anticipating Christmas morning more than the little ones this year. I’m just itching to see the looks of awe on their soft little faces when they set their eyes upon Santa’s gifts. Chi-Chi and Muffy will be the lucky recipients of an adorable farm play set. The Wool Fairy created the landscape from scraps of rug hooking wool she retrieved from the cedar chest in the basement . She hand-dyed the wool fabric to create a mat of beautiful colors and interesting texture. Hubby was assigned to barn design and construction. We are low in the tool department, but he worked with what was available and produced a sweet maple barn, complete with the cutest chicken coop ever! I fell in love with the works of Jalu Toys of British Columbia so I treated the boys to a few special animals for the play set, 2 chickens, a family of ducks and a mama and baby deer. The detail and workmanship on these pieces are amazing!

Just two sleeps left and we finally get to unveil our finished product! Thirty years may have passed but no doubt, I'll still be the first in line at the top of the stairs on Christmas morning.....waiting for that thumbs up!

Merry Christmas to everyone!  Wishing you all a relaxing, warm and joyful holiday!


Wendie Scott Davis said...

I love this story. You may be a lot younger than I am, but only in numbers. Your Christmas morning - then and now - are like all the best ones I remember.

Now that my kids are older and sleep longer, it's the parents who are itching to get them up to open everything.

Your boys will love the farm, the matt, the animals and the light in your eyes when you give it.

Enjoy - and know that 30 years from now, they will be passing the torch to their kids. Because you instilled in them the love of it all.

Happy holidays.


April said...

I had no idea the extent of the gift making in your household this holiday! Wow, this is impressive. You guys have more skills than you give yourselves credit for! Amazing.