Thursday, January 7, 2010

Thank you, Mrs. Chamberlain!

My first memory of intentionally making a gift to give to someone was when I was 3 years old. I got two pieces of that cardboard that came in my dad's shirts when they were dry cleaned, I jiggled 5 pennies out of my piggy bank (all "wheaties" because it was the 50s,) I took some Saran wrap from Mom's kitchen (they didn't have the stick-to-itself kind yet,) and I used that yellowing scotch tape (they hadn't yet invented what they called "magic tape" that you could write on, that also wouldn't yellow.) My big discovery at age 3...if you fold scotch tape over into a loop, it holds one item to another! ( I still, to this day, love the discoveries we make while working on projects...those creative ephiphanies that we only find while in the process of creating!)

I don't exactly know what this gift item was that I made, but I know the feeling it gave me. Pennies, to me, at age 3 were exciting because they meant the opportunity to buy candy at the candy store in town. Cutting the windows in the cardboard and covering them with plastic was my first architectural attempt, as I had watched my dad, the architect, design windows many a time. I also liked windows because they protected, yet revealed the exciting pennies. The whole project was held together with tape.

When the project was complete, I skipped over next door to Mrs. Chamberlain's house. She was 93 and lived alone. I rang her doorbell and said, "This is for you!"

You would've thought I gave her a million dollars! She was so grateful and complimentary of the work I had just given her. I will never forget the glowing feeling that gave me to design and make a gift and watch how it made its recipient feel! I am in deep gratitude to Mrs. Chamberlain for starting that spark in my life at age 3 because designing gifts is one of my most favorite things to do. Creating gifts has especially returned to my life in this economically challenging time. I also learned that not everyone appreciates an original gift. Not everyone thinks about the process of making an idea manifest and the love that goes into creating it. So, we have to be discerning and have no expectations of the reaction they get.

Do you remember your first gift creation experience? Is there someone who gave you such a touching reaction to something you created that it sparked a flame for life? Do tell.