I have such vivid memories as a kid with my mom cross-legged on the living room floor, the smell of cinnamon sticks boiling on the stove and Christmas music blaring, as she made the prettiest bows to adorn our Christmas presents. It’s a memory that I treasure and have continued in her tradition as I’ve grown up and started my own family. As I’m pulling out the Christmas ribbon to prepare for our holiday selling season, I’ve been thinking a lot about why she did this. I remember us giving her a hard time because it took so much time to make the bows. She would brush us off and keep going until all the gifts met her high standards. She was somewhat famous for this as we were growing up. Everybody always knew Aunt Connie’s gifts under the tree because of the beautiful bows. When I was a kid, we didn’t have a lot of money. Of course, I didn’t realize that. My parents did an amazing job of never allowing us to see financial struggles. Our Christmases were always over the top. When Santa came, he didn’t wrap our presents. That’s how we knew the presents from Mom and Dad versus Santa. The parent gifts had the pretty bows and Santa’s gifts were everywhere. We would wake up Christmas morning with gifts hung in strange places all over the living room, displayed in unique and creative ways. It always made it seem like more than it was. Again, I didn’t realize this at the time. You see, my mom is brilliant when it comes to taking something mundane and non-descript and turning it into something amazing. She has an uncanny ability to take simple paper ribbon, sticks from the woods, rocks and turn them into something beautiful. If you ask her, she will tell you that there’s nothing you can’t do with a little duct tape and floral wire.
One year, somebody broke into our house at Christmas time. They stole all of the gifts that were wrapped under the tree. As I recounted the story to Steve today, he asked what was in the packages. I honestly have no idea. I was distraught that someone had the audacity to steal the gifts that had been wrapped with so much love from my Mom. Out of everything that was stolen, those wrapped packages were the biggest violation.
As I’ve been sitting cross-legged in the living room today, making bows, I’m so grateful for these lessons from my Mom.
I’m really excited about this holiday season. For the first time in my adult life, I will be able to spend more time making beautiful homemade things that we can sell as part of our farm business. It’s such a beautiful gift to be able to put my heart into something that I hope someone will appreciate when they open it on Christmas morning.
I’m so thankful for my Mom who taught me how to use ribbon, floral wire and duct tape. And that she inspired me to challenge myself to come up with creative ideas to turn the mundane into the beautiful. And I’m thankful for pretty bows under the Christmas tree.
Now, I think I’ll go for a walk in the woods and gather up some stuff and get out the duct tape, floral wire and Christmas ribbon.