This morning I’m struggling for something to say. I’ve been trolling the blogs I enjoy with the hope someone else’s writing will spark some inspiration. And thanks to Marlene, it did.
I’ve talked about the financial hardships Ken’s illness has brought to us . . . probably more than I should, but the struggles have forced me to be very creative to stretch the few dollars that we have to cover the necessities. The hardest part about being broke is gift giving.
I love to shower gifts on the people I love, but when there’s so little money, a person has to become creative. This creativity has manifested itself in many different ways. One year, Ken and I went out to the county park where there are a plethora of pine trees. Under the white pines, there were perfect little pine cones that were free. We picked up bags of them and brought them home. I had a plan. Ken thought I was nuts.
I matched the pine cones according to size. The smaller ones I shellacked, screwed in a eye hook on the top of the pine cone, and connected a pretty golden cord between two of them to make napkin holders. Then I searched Big Lots for nice napkins and gave the holders and the napkins as gifts for my friends who like to entertain.
The larger pine cones I coated in paraffin wax to make fire starters. This time I went to the thrift store and found interesting shaped baskets, filled them with the fire starters, wrapped the whole gift in cellophane, and gave them to all of my friends who had fireplaces.
Since the year of the pine cone, I’ve given note cards I crafted from my paintings, jewelry I’ve made out of pretty glass beads and semi-precious stones, and of course, lately, I’ve given away copies of my novels. I’m glad that my friends receive these gifts with grace.
Even though each gift only cost me pennies to make, they all were made with my love. I guess that’s what’s really important, isn’t it?