In the first chapter of Jan Karon’s Shepherds Abiding, the proprietor of the Oxford Antique Shop was unpacking a worse-for-wear creche he’d procured in England. Father Tim was immediately captivated by the “motley assortment of sheep” and other shabby pieces spilling from the box. Though he had always lived “the life of the mind” and never really worked with his hands, he decided to refurbish the entire set himself, spurred on solely by picturing Cynthia’s reaction when he presented it to her. In our November/December issue, readers tell us about handmade surprises discovered—or placed— under their Christmas trees. Have you ever given or received such a gift?
My late maternal grandmother made several homemade gifts. She knitted a complete layette set. The problem was I was a twin and that was a surprise to all. My grandmother then made another set over night. My twin sister and I still have the sets. This was more years ago than I care to remember. We have many projects we all made in school. The Christmas ones hang on our tee. The others are kept safely away and treasured for safe keeping.