Don't Say "I'm Sorry"
By Arleen M. Kaptur
The Holidays are a great time of year.
People just seem friendlier and
nostalgia permeates celebrations everywhere. It
is also gift-giving time - an opportunity
to show others how much you care and what they
mean to you, as a family member or friend.
The decision on what to give is all part of
the festivities. You decide on a gift that you
will make - whether you knit, quilt, paint, cook,
bake, etc. You pull out your very favorite
recipes or patterns and think about the
recipient of this gift as you work. There is no
limit to the time and care you take - the
quality of the ingredients (food, material,
yarn, thread, paint, etc.). You want it to be
your best work - and you want that person
to know that you cared enough to create this
"gift" because nothing else would do.
You lovingly wrap your gift and when the time
is right - you give it. Now, two things can happen.
One, the "getter" is so pleased that tears of
gratitude, appreciation, and love brim over and
there are hugs, smiles, and heaps of "thanks."
It is either proudly used or displayed for
everyone to see.
The second thing that could happen is that it is received politely, but with
a lukewarm reception. Never you fear, you
did the very best job and you have a right to
be proud. There are feelings in every stitch,
tuck, and stroke, and "what you see" is just
the cover for a whole lot of feelings and
emotions. This particular gift is packed -
it is filled to the breaking point with care and
love. But - you say - they just didn't seem to
like it. You also say - did they think I was cheap
or money was a problem? Whether money is
a problem or not is not of concern here. Cheap -
not in your wildest dreams - this gift is lavish
and royal with all the trimmings that really
count. They didn't like it - not correct either.
While, yes, some beleagured indivduals
have become slaves to advertising campaigns
and manufacturing giants' every whim and
idea. These "wayward souls" are to be treated
with concern. They are, as you can see, in need
of some therapy, and your gift is that therapy.
If you could be a flower on the wallpaper in the
home of where your gift will reside - on that
day when everything went wrong - when bad
news followed more bad news - or when there
was no particular reason to feel blue but you
are - that quilt, blanket. afghan, sweater, etc. will
be cherished, held, and be the comfort and hug
that you can't give personally at that particular
moment. That painting or ceramic will be
traced with a finger hoping to find answers to
present problems, and each line and corner
gives glue to a life that is falling apart. That
hand-made gift, while not fully appreciated at
the time of giving, will be the hand to hold, the
smile to grace a face, and the lilt of joy that
only precious care can bring.
When guests arrive, your gift may not be in
a prominent place, but don't ever doubt that
if placed in a drawer, a few heartstrings are
there also. If placed on a shelf, the mind holds
a very special place for gifts made with care
and concern. We are human, and we are all
made the same - with, of course, different
features and accessories. But, the base, the
very core - no matter how hard we try to hide
it, disguise it, or pretend it went away, is
there - and there when you need it the most -
when it really counts - is your gift.
So, don't ever say "I'm sorry" to anything
you make. Don't ever feel that others do
better, or the chain store items have more
glitter and pizzazz. Glitter is cold and
pizzazz fades. Your gift is there giving
twenty-four/seven to the person you thought
enough of to give it to.
This Holiday Season be the Giver with the
Best Gift that only love can afford to give -
©Arleen M. Kaptur 2003 October
Arleen Kaptur has written numerous books
and articles. For a free newsletter with home decor,
gardening, gifts, recipes, and family ideas,
and hints, please visit: http://www.arleenssite.com