Friday, December 18, 2009

Joy in a jar


If only we could preserve happiness and ship it to friends and relatives to draw on in the new year. Our Christmas crafts projects are a start: Tins of cookies, Mason jars of spiced nuts and pound bags of muffin mix.

It's hard to re-create the Martha Stewart gloss with such infrequent practice, but nevertheless we want perfection from the start. Even the magazine projects from Real Simple aren't all that easy. But we work through enough missteps that the recipient finds the craft tolerable and the food edible. If only because we're keeping the sugared cranberries that didn't quite work out.

Dad wrote us, NO CHRISTMAS PRESENTS, PLEASE. But he did ask for a list of three things or events that bring joy or happiness. For me they're the ingredients of these craft gifts:

Caring. Life is so solitary an activity these days. I need to think about what others need. Few worthwhile things come out of pure self-interest.

Creating. Taking an idea from start to finish is still the greatest way to make a living, and I'm thankful this year I've been able to do that.

Sharing. Brenda's focus and persistence have been tested this year, so it's a joy to see her plans, for these gifts and her come out well. As we pack them up, we wish we could deliver them in person and wrap up a little more joy to the world.

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