Posted by: SisuGirl | December 13, 2007

The Giving Spirit

The older I get the more I think that Christmas, the commercial version, is for kids.  Gift giving is difficult when you start thinking about family members that you haven’t seen in over a year or three.  Sometimes, even the people you live with are difficult to buy for because their either A) buy it for themselves or B) wouldnt consider something practical as a “nice gift”.  Though I dont mind the buying it for yourself, thats what J does and we agree that thats OK for us as is a gift certificate for said favourite place, I disagree with the idea that a gift needs to be something romantic and super special.  Really want a Dyson vacuum?  Ask your friends/family/partner to chip in together to get it.  It may not be romantic or a generally thought “good gift” but hey, if you use it on a regular basis then it works as a good gift for you.  Its an expensive gift and though its not as shiny and traditionally special as diamonds, it is a darn special gift, IMO.

I like yarn and fiber (OK, so thats a mass understatement but stick with me here).  J gets completely freaked out when I tell him about what I would like/really want, even if I give him the URL, exact colourway and weight of the yarn…heck, even if I sit right there with him and point it out on my own(!), and doesnt want to get the wrong thing so he leaves any and all knitting/spinning item buying to me 🙂  Hopefully he will give me a gift cert to Knitpicks or to Woolybaabaa so that I can get the yarn that I want for future projects.  J likes to buy for himself at the moment he knows that he needs something.  Because of this, he generally has everything that he needs or wants.  If I want to get him something it has to be creative or I have to tell him not to buy something for himself.  The latter can ruin the surprise but often he forgets by the time he gets it so it all even out in the end.

Family members are equally difficult to buy for and this year I am making gifts and doing something that I have done in small ways for quite a few years:  A donation to Heifer International

I cant say enough about this program and organization.  They give animals, along with the proper training and education to raise healthy, happy animals, to people in need.  You can donate money to buy a whole water buffalo or shares of one, hives of honey bees, ducks, geese, chickens, sheep, goats, or (wonder of wonders!) a heifer.  If you are particularly generous, you can buy a gift ark which contains:

Two cows bring milk and income to a Russian village. Two sheep help families in Arizona produce wool. Two camels help families in Tanzania earn income by transporting agricultural and industrial materials. Two oxen pull plows and carts in Uganda. Two water buffalo help Cambodian families increase rice production through animal draft power. And that’s just the first five sets of animals … your ark provides 15 pairs of animals to change lives.”   Of course, not everyone was planning on huge gifts but there are plenty of animal shares that you can give for as little as $10.

What kind of gift to others does a fiber enthusiast choose?  Why, a Knitting Basket of course!  It contains 4 animals, 2 sheep and 2 llamas and will be of great help to those who need the wool to create their income or simply to cloth themselves.  And with the reproduction of these animals, the gift keeps on giving, not to mention the ever growing wool!  My family first gave this gift to our Uncles and Aunts after my Nana died in 1999 because we wanted to remember her with our gift.  She was a prolific knitter and I know that she would be happy to have such a gift given in her name and to have a granddaughter that knits as I do.  My gift to family is little knitted and fishing things but my gift to others in their stead is much greater.  Wont you consider giving to Heifer International this Christmas and giving a gift that is truly needed and wanted?  I hope you do.  Though we may never know the recipient, I know that I can feel the glad tidings and thankfulness all the way from here.



  1. My brother is some one who I see a few times a week and I still have the same problem. So I tend to knit him a hat or something that I know he can use and will not be able to buy. But my family still does’t realize that they can make me happy with a gift card to a fiber site.

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