Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Cheer

I feel a bit like a mouse frantically running on a wheel at the moment but that's only because I decided (due to finances) to make most of my Christmas presents this year. This can be a hit and miss event because some people feel that if you don't spend alot of money on them and instead "palm" them off with a home made gift you're short changing them. I should know- I've seen the look of disappointment often enough! I love having things my friends have made me about the house. I have a few paintings, embroidered cloths and beautiful beadwork that I've been given. I always think of their makers when I see these things and it gives me a buzz to think that my friends have taken the time to work on something especially for me.

We live in an increasingly sterile mass produced world with increasingly minimalist uninteresting "houses" designed to look good but which give little idea as to the owner's character. I was thinking about this yesterday when I went to the Painters' group end of year party which was held at our leader's lovely arts and crafts home in Waipukurau. Everywhere there was warm natural wood, textiles with a real eye for colour and, to me the most interesting part, many wonderful paintings hanging throughout the house. There were several delicate watercolours painted by our hostess as well as some that I recognised as being done by other members of the group. Everything was original and really made the house a home.

None of us really wanted to leave. We arrived just before midday, bringing our plates of food and our under $5 presents. Gine encouraged us to sing Christmas Carols with her and then sang a beautiful Irish song called "The Wind In The Willows" before we tucked into a buffet lunch. Blanca was there and the life of the party as usual. She had made gifts for a few of us including a necklace for me made from beads she'd brought over from Peru. Also Glenys made sure I was stocked up with chocolate with an unexpected gift. Later when we all dipped for a present I ended up with three sweet little recipe books for summer fruits which I guess it the universe's way of making me cook a little more!

At 3pm it was time to say goodbye. I honestly felt as if I would never see anyone again which is so silly as I surely will be back next month but still being without a place to move to has left me feeling unsettled, melancholy and overall very Irish.


Melissa Muirhead said...

I'm doing quite a few handmade pressies too this year and I do think it is so meaningful to spend the time and thought that goes into creating a one-off and I love receiving home made presents myself. I hope you get your new home sorted soon Jen - I'll put some good thoughts out there for you.

damask22 said...

Thanks Melissa. I need all the positive thoughts I can get.