Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Craft On!

Our house has been a mass of holiday crafts for the last four days. Yarn, leather, beads and buttons. Glue guns and thread and paint. This, to me, is Christmas.

I grew up in a home where we didn't have money. We didn't always have the supplies I needed for school or the extra money for souvenirs on a field trip. In fact, we didn't always have electricity or heat. We spent some time when I was a teen living in my grandparent's camp, complete with outhouse and oil lamps. 

But we always had art supplies. For Easter I got a sketchbook and for Christmas I got crayons. My grandmother's taught me to sew and make latch hook rugs and my grandfather showed me to tap trees for maple syrup. My father turned the tops of tin cans into Christmas ornaments and used dried apples to make angels for tree toppers. Everything we owned or could find in the woods was a potential craft item.

We also, of course had the library where I could check out ten books at a time. Many things were variables and the ground didn't always feel steady, but I always had books and crafts to turn to.

So the other day when a particularly obnoxious commercial played during Big Bang Theory my wife and I began talking about how much we dislike shopping. (Speaking of which, a message to all advertisers: If you could stop badly rewriting the lyrics to Christmas songs and making people sing them in a round that'd be great.) She said, "ya know what? I'm Native American. I have been taught to make clothes and make drums. So really, why buy it when you can make it?"
That's been running through my head ever since. I really wanted a green winter hat to go with my green scarf so I made one… Unfortunately it was my first time knitting in the round and it's a bit too small for me. But I have a nephew it will fit and I have more green yarn!

I read this article in the Boston Globe last week and found it really encouraging. I hope it is a sign that there is a growing interest in crafting. Just last week a ten year old girl walked through my lobby carrying a skein of yarn and two knitting needles. Craft on, little ones! Why buy it when you can make it?

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