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Handmade Wishes

And today, after all the giving thanks has been distributed into the take home containers and refrigerated properly, black friday deals usher in the holiday bruises and tales of must have listed wishes procurred at great lengths...

My wish is for something handmade. I normally do not go on at length about supporting the arts, the crafters who craft or the makers who make but, this year is different. The times are different, the economy is different, our values are different, our tastes are different. 

Once upon a time kids were fed scratch cooking all the time, "food" didn't come from a box, salad did not come from a bag, toys were made so one's grandchildren could enjoy them in the future. There was a taste for quality, something that would last rather than be replaced. Somewhere boxed mac and cheese started tasting better than the kind that took a whole afternoon to prepare and when fed the "real" stuff, kids turned up their noses and asked for the processed versions instead. 

Watching the spectacle of people in line for more hours that the items they wanted so desperately would entertain, I started thinking about the quilt on my bed... how many hours were sewn up in those stitches, how good the the feel of handmade felt to wrap up in. When I was young, handmade Christmases were a necessity. I never dreamed that they'd ever be considered a luxury yet, here we are today. It is cheaper to buy a disposable plastic toy than a finely crafted set of wooden blocks and, because our society had been fed a steady diet of boxed, manufactured, processed, and kitted, they've not only lost the taste for handmade, they've also been trained to see price rather than the cost of a person's time spent on hand crafting.

My wish, the one I'll hang on the tree and impress on those I love, do not buy a gift for the sake of tying a ribbon upon it and having it to open Christmas morning. Invest your holiday dollars in those who make things from scratch. Give the gift of education by teaching those around you to remember the taste of quality, to see the value in something that takes time to create, and to not discount the talents of those who have chosen invest their lives, their sweat, blood and tears into mastering a passion. We collectively, as a culture, need to reclaim the art of being human from a disposable mindset by investing in generational gifts, the handmade stuff built with the intent of lasting longer than we can.

This is my wish I hope you will share. 

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