Love Presents: The Gifts You Make For Another

The bloganuary prompt for today is:

What is the most memorable gift you have received?

I’m very blessed to have a loving, caring family who have given me many amazing gifts over the years. There are too many memorable gifts to mention them all, so I’ll list a few of the particularly special homemade gifts.

In my family we call gifts you make ‘Love Presents’ (as opposed to bought presents) and they are always the most highly sought and best received.

Some memorable Love Presents:

  • My mother gave me a play mat for Christmas when I was three. She sewed together velvet fields with satin rivers and felt roads. I remember that Christmas well and still have the play mat.
  • I got a wooden castle for my Pet Ponies (what I called my collection of My Little Pony toys) for my seventh birthday. I’m sure my mother didn’t get a jigsaw solely for the purpose of making my gift, but that was what I thought at the time. I remember her consulting with my brother before she cut out the plywood shapes. The main part of the castle had living quarters, with stables on either side.
  • The Grey Goose of Kilnevin by Patricia Lynch was my favorite book as a child, and when I was a teenager my mother made me a topsy-turvy doll with Shiela (complete with Betsy, the grey goose) on one side, and Bridgeen Swallow on the other. Bridgeen had a particularly beautiful green silk cloak with gold trim.
  • One of the last things my mother made me before her final illness was a huge picture of a Cockerel, fashioned out of a collage of different fabrics, yarns and sewing techniques. When my mother was a young woman and first moved into her new home, she had no art on the walls, so she decided to make a picture. She used different fabrics and embroidery to create a vase of flowers. Because of some nasty comments received by her family, she never thought the picture was liked. I always loved the picture, especially the techniques of using the different textures and types of sewing, so she decided to make me one of my own. Because she knew I loved animals, she looked through a book of animal pictures and choose a photograph of a beautiful, flamboyant jungle fowl with iridescent plumage. Because her health wasn’t great, it took her a long time to carefully plan out the picture and painstakingly sew all the pieces together by hand. She gave me regular updates on how ‘Red Pepper’ was coming along, and she was so pleased when he was finished and my eldest sister, a professional artist, praised her work. My mother planned to make a hen as a companion piece to ‘Red Pepper’, to represent herself and my father, but sadly she became too ill to even start the project.
  • My sisters have given me many wonderful Love Presents, but particularly memorable were the Five Muses series of anthologies. For a few years I got a new Five Muses anthology every birthday, full of stories written especially for me by five of my sisters. I know the effort that went into writing those stories and putting the books together, so it makes these presents even more special. The stories are really good too (they do know what kind of stories I like to read!).

This trip down memory lane certainly has brought up a lot of emotion for me! Now it’s your turn to share:

What is the most memorable gift you have received?

10 thoughts on “Love Presents: The Gifts You Make For Another”

  1. Fiber artists are amazing. I bet your mother’s vase of flowers and the bird are absolutely beautiful.
    I received a decorated sandpaper gingerbread man from a broke college student. I still have it and love it and hang it on our tree every year! I remember a pair of stilts I got as a kid that my dad made. And my dear aunt made me a quilt for our newborn. The newborn is grown and now a mom herself, and she still has the quilt.
    You are right: handmade gifts are love gifts!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful post!! My favorite “love gift” is when someone writes me a poem. I’ve had a friend, a family member, and of course my husband, all write poems for me and it just goes straight to the heart! HUGS! xo

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh, loving memories. They sound so wonderful and I am starting to imagine a picture of them. The affection we show each other is the most important thing. It warms my heart to think of it.

    Liked by 1 person

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