Thursday, 18 December 2008

Giving is good ... receiving's not bad either!

THERE'S A CERTAIN BUZZ that starts about two weeks before Christmas and it accelerates as the great day draws nearer. I see how impatient our little grandchildren are in anticipation of Christmas Day. We older, gentler folk have long lost that air of excitement, but it is replaced with something even better - we lucky ones can hardly wait for Christmas Day so that we can spend it with those oh so eager little children, their parents, and extended family.

Which brings me to the subject of giving. It's a wonderful thing to do and you get that warm and fuzzy feeling when you see the delight (hopefully!) your gift has given to the recipient. But there's also joy in receiving, and over the past week or so I have been blessed with some truly beautiful gifts - all hand-made.

I missed the Christmas gathering of the BrisStyle girls in November, which I was really sad about, because I had been looking forward to it so much. However, my spirits were uplifted when a small parcel arrived in the post. It was from my secret Santa, Margie of Marlier Designs and I was absolutely delighted with my gift. It blended perfectly with the top I had planned to wear to our BrisStyle Christmas Market - how did she know? The intricate work in this piece is truly remarkable. Thank you so much Margie.

Last week Schoolhouse Quilters held their Christmas party at the Kenmore Tavern and we were honoured with a guest appearance by ABBA. Oh, how I wish I had some photos, but I foolishly left my camera at home. Anyway, they have aged pretty well, all things considered, but they were reduced to miming their songs via a karaoke machine, poor darlings. In the end we all helped them out.

This year it was decided to drop our traditional blood sport of stealing gifts we liked from other recipients (it could get quite ugly) and settled for a pass-the-parcel system. Thank goodness no one was able to steal my beautiful gift.

This hand-painted box received many ooo-s and aaah-s from the others present, so I was really relieved that I didn't have to cry when someone took it away from me - it was all mine. What was inside?

These adorable little containers were liberally filled with decorations to sprinkle on our table on Christmas Day.

And I am going to use the box to keep my buttons in order. Thank you so much Jenny Whitehead, our new Schoolhouse President, for this very much loved gift.

But wait - there's more. I entered a blog competition organised by Magnolia Square and was delighted to be chosen as one of the winners. My prize was made by Miranda of Bride & Wolf, a designer I had admired for many months. Within a few days, there was a parcel waiting for me at the Post Office.

What I saw inside took my breath away.

It was the most beautiful little hand-carved bird with removable eggs...

... with different colours on each side.

It is a much cherished treasure which will give us years of pleasure. If you would like to see some of Miranda's work first-hand, you will have to be in Melbourne, where you can visit her stall at Magnolia Square Markets, or Sisters' Market. I know you won't be disappointed.

I also received a stunning hand-made fabric post card from Joy, a member of our Loose Threads group - eight old friends who meet twice monthly to quilt and chat. This is the second year we have made each other post cards and I will feature them some time in the New Year.

I have purchased some beautiful works of art from Amanda Twinkle Star Art, but I can't show you because they are gifts. You will have to take my word for it that they are gorgeous and I will reveal them in the fullness of time, in due course, at the appropriate juncture, to quote my favourite public servant.

So you can see that receiving can be just as much fun as giving, particularly when the gift is made with love.

One tradition we have kept for many years is to buy a panetone in a tin. As the years pass, it is harder to track down the tinned variety, as most come in cardboard boxes these days. However, a trip to a local deli produced this lovely tin:

After we have eaten the panetone (yum!), it will join our other tins.

Sorry to rabbit on. I wish you all a very happy Christmas. I hope you will spend the day surrounded by your loved ones.


Jade said...

What fantastic presents! And I love those panetone tins - I can see why you like to collect them :)

It was great to meet you last Saturday too. I just adored the two dresses Bec brought from you for my nieces a month or so ago. Hmm... I keep racking my brain for anyone I know who has a little girl I could buy one for - they are just so beautiful.

Have a wonderful Christmas and look forward to seeing you at the next market.

Anonymous said...

Aren't you a lucky duck, what gorgeous pressies! Thank you for mentioning my art prints... shhhhh it's a secret ;) Hope you have a fabulous Christmas and bring on 2009!

Hey Harriet said...

Gosh you are lucky to have received so many wonderful gifts. I adore that bird with the removable coloured eggs!

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was excellent to fulfill you last Weekend too. I just loved the two outfits Bec introduced from you for my nieces monthly or so ago. Hmm... I keep loading my mind for anyone I know who has a little lady I could buy one for - they are just so wonderful.
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