The Mystery of the Missing Gift & Guilt Gifting

I hope your Christmas was as enjoyable as ours. I was up early working on our big Christmas brunch. I haven’t figured out a way to sleep in on Christmas Day yet.

Eventually everyone got up and we had our brunch before opening gifts. I think everyone received at least one gift they really liked. But when the gifts had all been opened, I was puzzled. Jasper hadn’t opened one of his gifts from us, and it was nowhere to be found. I remembered wrapping it, but we couldn’t find it. We looked and looked and looked. Nothing.

It wasn’t until evening that I thought to look in my sewing room, where I had originally stashed some gifts. That’s when I realized how dishonest my memory can be. I had NOT wrapped Jasper’s gift. It was still there, in the bag from the store!

I was just so relieved I could finally give it to him . . .

This afternoon we were able to have a video call with Mercy and Daniel, and watch them open the gifts we had sent them. It was good to see her looking so happy!

There were some gifts I gave this year that were motivated by guilt. Like the hammock straps I gave Spencer, because I had given him a hammock for his birthday, but it didn’t come with any straps that would enable him to use it!

And maybe you remember that last week I was frantically working on a project that had to be done by Wednesday afternoon. That project was making a Japanese kimono for Mercy—something I had promised her for Christmas six years ago.

In my defense, there were several road blocks. I bought the silk for the kimono and had it on hand six years ago, but when I went to cut it out, I discovered that it needed lining. There was no option for making it unlined. So I had to wait until I could save up for more silk for the lining. (If you’re going to go to all that trouble, you might as well use the right fabric.)

At some point I did cut the thing out, but when I started reading the instructions I found them virtually impenetrable. I took the first tentative steps, but then gave up in frustration. I didn’t want to mess up with all that expensive silk.

So I’ve had this kimono hanging over my head for six years. I really wanted to finally make it for Mercy, so this time I did some research and found out that lots of people found the pattern very difficult to follow. I found a YouTube tutorial on how to do the sleeves, which had stumped me before.

I spent three days working on this project and in the end I succeeded. Today I got to watch her open it and see the expression on her face when she realized what it was! She had to wait a long time for that gift!

Mercy's Kimono

The guilt gifting prize, though, belongs to a gift I gave Mary. When Mary was eight years old, we were deep into our Little House on the Prairie days, and Mary wanted a “little house” type dress. I bought some pretty blue and white fabric and prewashed it . . . and never got around to making the dress.

By the time the guilt started getting to me, she was long past the age when she had any interest at all in a dress of that type. So, four or five years ago I had the bright idea of using some of the fabric to make a fleece-lined throw. I bought fleece in a coordinating color . . . and then I did nothing. Until Saturday, that is. I laid out those fabrics and made a blanket from them and then tied the two layers together with yarn.

I blush to disclose the fact that Mary is currently 26 years old. She had to wait 18 years for me to make her something from that fabric. We’re calling it the guilt blanket now.

We finished off the day with the traditional turkey dinner, a Christmas movie, and dessert. Lina made a pecan pie and Mary made a fabulous raspberry trifle. My daughters are great cooks!

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