Christmas 2011

I don’t know about you guys, but ideas for gifts for my parents have been particularly evasive the past 5 years or so.   What do you get for folks who have paid off their house, have kids who are independent now, and can buy their own underwear?

Chicken wire, that’s what you get ’em.

You take an old frame, you staple chicken wire to it, and then you leave it around your house for about 6 months.  You’ll trip over it and move it 14 times, but your children will still find it, drag it out, and cut themselves on it repeatedly requiring about 17 band aids.

After you give birth to your third child (which we’ll talk about Thursday- there’s a Russian Spy involved, so get ready), you tackle your children and scrap piece of paper.  You trace their cute little choclately hands.  You think once will be enough, but then you’re surprised at how difficult it is to get a really decent, non-amoeba-like trace of a child’s hand… particularly the 5 day-old child.  She’s wicked strong.

You cut out the hands and then trace them again onto a beautiful piece of plain fabric.  Use a disappearing pen for this part.  Ask me how I know.  These pens fade when you put water on them.  It would appear from my photo that I didn’t erase the blue erasable pen lines, but I did.  I just took my pictures unprofessionally.

Let’s all comment on the fact that Gideon’s hands are exactly as wide as Rylie’s but half as tall.  Chubby little bruiser. And what’s wrong with Abby’s pinky?  She’s brand new, right?  Shouldn’t be broken yet.

Now, grab a few strands of thread and trace over your lines.  Imperfection is fine.  Charming, even.  Rylie’s hand is purple because she wishes she herself and everything around her were purple.   Gideon is brown because he and dirt are tight. Layers and layers of symbolism in this gift, I tell you.

If your mother happens to be a prolific quilter, you can frame your art on a vintage quilt square and double the impact here.  The goal with moms is always tears- that’s how you know you got it right.  Then, simply attach the finished piece to the chicken wire with a little knot in each corner.

And there you have it: a meaningful, painful, handmade gift for the woman who has everything.

Merry Christmas, Mom!

What do you get your parents these days?

About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

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