Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Giving and Receiving or What's Really Important at Christmas

Winter on a farm is a time to rest from the endless routine of summer's planting and growing and autumn's hubub of harvesting and storing and finally take some time to breathe and contemplate. Have I accomplished all that I set out to do this year? More importantly, what do I have to be thankful for? And now looking back over this past year, that's quite a lot.

Blogs are great vehicles for communication but they are also primarily journals and so useful to document our works and progress. I try not to view difficulties in my work as problematic but rather as challenges to be overcome. Is this annoyingly optomistic? Well, what's the alternative?

This past weekend my oven quit working. Given the holiday season, it's not easy to find a repairman on short notice and since we live in a rural area, it's doubly difficult. So all my plans for cupcakes and cookies are kaput. Not to mention Christmas dinner. Luckily, it's just the two of us but now I have to rethink all my plans for a special breakfast and my husband's potluck contribution at work.

I called Sears yesterday and they said “Sure, we can have someone there today-- how about between 1 and 5 pm?” So I cancelled a previous repair appointment for a later date and waited. And cleaned the stove within an inch of its life. And waited. And waited some more. Finally, at 4:30 pm, someone called from Sears and said “So sorry, the repairman got hung up on a job-- how about next Tuesday?” I actually kept my temper in check but was firm about wanting to talk to the tech supervisor who had so cavalierly decided the tech could just go home early. So the “customer service” person -- that's a joke, of course-- hung up on me! THEN I was furious! I ranted to my husband a bit and then we had to pick up our truck, which was at the garage being inspected.

Now I know you've been waiting for the “It's a Wonderful Life” ending of this little parable. Our great auto repair guy, who I've known since I moved here in 1992, told us he had had a rough week. His wife went in for a routine checkup and they found a large tumor on her ovary. They immediately did surgery to remove it and found no cancer. She's now home and well on her way to complete recovery.

So are my problems with my oven still a big deal? No. Not compared to what my garage guy went through. And this morning my backup repair called and said they could be out today and could maybe even fix it before Christmas. But it doesn't matter anymore. I'll eat hot dogs and beans with my sweetie and be glad that we are healthy and our families are too and that he just got a job and that I made some really good sales in December. And I probably don't really need to eat cupcakes.

If you made it all the way to the bottom, here's some eye candy as a reward. It's what I sent out for Christmas presents this year. And on time, too!

Jurassic cuff - for my niece Gilly

Jurassic Earrings

Pendant in faux basse taille for my cousin, Missy

Talisman necklace for my brother-in-law, John

Gravure Earrings for my sister, Bonnie


  1. It is always a matter of perspective. And we always have something to be thankful for. Just the same, I hope your oven gets fixed, so that you can make whatever your heart desires.
    Wishing you a most wonderful Christmas!
    The talisman necklace for your BIL and the earrings for your sister are fabulous!

  2. Your absolutely right, the holidays are a time to be thankful for what we do have. I learn this at an early age, however, now I admit I do get carried away at Christmas.

    I know the recipients will love their gifts!

    Have a wonderful Christmas & Happy New Year!

  3. The necklace is very cool.

    As much as I've been bemoaning things lately, you're right. I'm thankful. There are many things behind the scenes I'm thankful for -- your friendship is one of them!

  4. I actually like your story, Christine. It is real, raw, gritty. There aren't always ribbons tied in neat bows on the gifts that we are given. Sometimes they come all undone in a scratchy burlap bag with strings attached to something else. But you really hit the nail on the head when you said that it doesn't matter that you won't have cupcakes. It is not the cupcakes that make a party it is the people you are with!

    Those are lovely gifts! I am still struggling with two smaller ones. Tonight I wrap!

    One of the best gifts for me this year is the gift of your friendship. It has been golden.

    Enjoy the day!


  5. Christine, you are blessed in so many important ways, not the least of which is your writing.

    I suppose one can't bake cupcakes in a kiln! ;o)


  6. Christine, what a beautiful Christmas post. It is a reminder to all of us about what is truly important at this time of year, and year 'round. Even if you did eat beans and hot dogs, I know that if you are with Doulas, you'd be happy!
    Your handmade gifts are incredible. What lucky of your handmade pieces is such a treasure.
    I love Jan's thought (baking cupcakes in a kiln1). :-)