Monday, January 2, 2012
when you give them a gift. The giving is definitely one of the best parts of Christmas – that is, if you’re sucked into the commercialization part of the holidays as most of us are.
Gary and I had only been married a year when I decided to make a gift for his parents for the Christmas of 1977. Our budget was zilch and I wanted to give them a heartfelt gift, something very special. So I made something … at ceramics.
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It was a long time ago and I vaguely remember the process of making it, though twitches of memory would be triggered every time I visited their home and saw it sitting on their library table which was a place of honor in their home. Even after my father-in-law passed away and Josephine downsized, it was still displayed as a precious memory.
In July of 2011, the family gathered to clean out her apartment. It was decided that all the kids would each take the gifts given to their parents over the years. I carefully tissue wrapped the ceramic piece before boxing it to take it home.
It took me a couple of weeks to get through all the memento's and find it a new ‘home’ on the table next to my chair in the family room. It didn’t take Matthew (age 6) too long to notice the new piece of artwork at Grandma’s house. I explained to him how I made it in ceramics class as a gift for his great grandparents.
Then around the first of December he asked me, on our drive home from school, if I’d ever thought about being a teacher. The question made me smile though I answered “not really”. Matthew then stated he thought I’d be a good one. Hmmm … “what do you think Grandma should teach?” His reply was quick as he said “ART.”
“Oh Matthew, Grandma gets creative from time to time, but I’m definitely not an artist.” Again, he said “yes Grandma, art. You are a wonderful sculptor. I’ve been telling my friends at school how you sculpted Jesus a long time ago for Grandma and Grandpa Maag.”
Slightly embarrassed I told him “oh honey that was just ceramics – though Jesus is very important in our lives, that piece doesn’t deserve the credit you give it. Maybe we should take you to an art gallery so you can see a real sculptors work.” Adamant he said “Grandma, I couldn’t see anything more beautiful in an art gallery than that Jesus.”
I think this adds a twist to the term “re-gifting”, don’t you?