I'm no Martha Stewart, but I love to make things for Christmas. One of my holiday traditions is to make stockings for each of my children and grandchildren. They're not huge stockings - just big enough for a candy cane and several pieces of chocolate. The kids always take their stockings home, so I don't know if they're kept or not. But they've learned to expect their stockings, and I'm happy to make them.
Another annual project is fleece hats. I belong to a group called Warming Ears Ministry. Twice a month, four friends and I bring our sewing machines to my friend Diane's home and we spend six hours or so creating warm fleece hats in various styles and sizes. Most of them are given to charities - shelters, food banks, and other missions. Others are given to schools and others places expressing a need. Though most of the hats are distributed in the wintertime, we sew all year long. This year the six of us made over three thousand hats!
Last year, the Warming Ears Ministry had a last minute request for hats from a local charity. We had enough started, but they needed finishing. I offered to take them home and asked my two oldest granddaughters to help me complete them. I explained to them who the hats were going to, and they both readily agreed. We spent a fun afternoon sewing, cutting fringe, and tying knots. They shared their school experiences, and we finished the hats in no time at all. They felt good about themselves, and I was so proud of them.
I think the best gift we can give our children and grandchildren is the spirit of giving. The gifts don't have to be large or expensive, but when given with love, they benefit not only the receiver, but the giver. When we do that, we begin to understand the miraculous gift that is the basis of the holiday we call Christmas.