We have a few odd traditions in my family - not my Kirk-Megan-Children family but the family I was raised in, and some of them have to do with giving gifts. One is the habit of giving someone not what you think they'd like or need, but what you, personally, find really, really funny. I don't indulge in this one terribly often but it is why my poor sister, when she took up belly-dancing as a pass-time, was given an enormous red bra and several packets of sequins and plastic googly eyes. Another is the practice of recycling wrapping. We were completely used to receiving our gifts tastefully clad in the Sunday comics or, on one memorable Christmas, bundled up in the family collection of towels. It is due to this heritage that I can boast the skill of making curled ribbon decorations out of newsprint. (true that - cut strips of newspaper and gently, carefully run the blade of scissors over it - curls beautifully if you manage not to pull it to bits).
Another tradition though is putting something of yourself into a gift. I remember one year my mother spent weeks carefully crocheting miles and miles of lace - two blouses, for my sister and me. I can see that blouse now, and the love and care and time that went into it.
Let's just say that my sister, the one who has a rather stressful job, the one with three children of her own who might, just might, have a few calls on her time. Yet this sister, for the Christmas just past? Produced this:
This is my Christmas hat, which has a Christmas scarf to go with. I would like to point out the clear pattern which is, I think, evidence of a very capable knitter - something I will never be.
But the real kicker is the next photo, of the male child (appropriately disguised. I would like to point out that the Male Child chose to wear BOTH the face mask and the Superior Aunt produced item).
This photo doesn't at all do justice to this hat - it has a PATTERN which is GORGEOUS and... well, terribly, terribly impressive, and the Male Child is a little smug to say the least about its really very cool hat.
I'm still trying to tie down two other children to demonstrate their knitted booty (One of them is gloves! With FINGERS!! Who can knit fingers for heaven's sake??) but as they are elusive at best and selfishly insist on actually wearing their gifts as a daily practice it's been a bit difficult.
Frankly, these gifts pretty much topped anything anyone else did for the whole of Christmas. Which is why I was pleased to see that at least the Superior Aunt had wrapped these pieces of Superior Hand Crafting in the very latest issue of the Sunday comics.
Let's just keep those traditions alive, shall we?