my week in objects (mostly).

December 1, 2017

five little things that made my week. 

1. this crate.

{for offering a non-terrible baby-proofed tree option.}

2. these envelopes.

{all strung up.}

3. this woolly number.

{and getting to pass it along to someone new.}

4. these bulbs.

{just starting to sprout.}

5. this kite.

{and the morning light.}

other things:

it’s a real mother, part four.

cookies may help.

um, that’s it.

city moon.

bake them a cake, write them a poem, give them a kiss.

deliver cheer.

where millenials come from.

delight in the act of looking.

quilt stamps.

doing this, of course.

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  • Reply Alexandra December 1, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    Wow, that “Gift of Death” essay. What a painful and honest read. Thank you for sharing it.

    I admit that my conscientiousness and deliberate, mindful shopping tendencies fail at the holidays more than at any other time of year. It is helpful to read something like this and recommit to my intentions to give gifts that are either truly practical and that will get real use (new wool socks, a book I know the recipient will love, a pretty return address stamp for my newly-married sister, etc) or, if impractical and not entirely useful, truly appreciated (a work of art by a local artist that my mother deemed too expensive to buy for herself, etc).

    The lure of the season is strong, though. I remember in high school when I worked my first job at a clothing store at our local mall, I would trek around the rest of the mall to spend my hard-earned paycheck at other stores. Gift sets of pajamas from the Gap, already tied up with ribbon – who doesn’t like pajamas?? Scented bath products with matching scented lotions, already wrapped up in pretty baskets – a no-brainer! Whatever was on the “under $25” table at Brookstone or Sharper Image – sure to be useful to somebody! It was all so exciting, maybe because it was the first time I was able to show my family how much I loved them in this new way, this way of providing and giving. Still, by even the third year of this, I found myself wondering, “How many sets of pajamas do they all actually need? Or even want?” I pictured my own pajama drawer, too stuffed to close, and I thought about how much it irritated me. Part of me misses those heady days where buying yet another discounted gift set of matching hat/mittens/scarf – so cheap that it hardly made sense NOT to get a set for everyone on my list – felt right, felt like the right gift to give, felt like the best way to show my love. It was easy and it was fun! It was all the excitement of shopping with none of the burden of keeping and using the things I bought. In some ways, I wish it still felt right. I wish it still felt like I could solve my loved ones’ problems, and show them how much I care, with a whirlwind afternoon and a portion of a week’s paycheck. But I don’t really wish that, I guess. Because it isn’t true.

    This is all hard to articulate, because I firmly do believe that thoughts and intentions matter. When someone gives me something, whether it’s yet another pre-ribbon’d set of pajamas from the Gap, or a novelty paper weight, or a plate of cookies, or anything else, I truly do feel it is a gesture of love and of care. They thought of me, they tried to think of what I would like, they invested time or money into giving it to me. For that, I am grateful, no matter what it actually is, and I don’t ever want to essentially say, “If you want to tell me you love me, you must follow these rules or I won’t hear it.” So I hesitate to articulate any of this lest I sound judgmental or ungrateful. All I can say is that I can truly only know my own intentions. And my own intentions do not feel expressed if I give something that goes against my own ethical beliefs. That has nothing to do with receiving. In receiving, I cannot know anyone’s intentions for sure, but I can certainly assume the best of them.

    • Reply Kim B. December 3, 2017 at 1:12 pm

      beautifully said , Alexandra. I’m sure many of us can identify — I know I can.

  • Reply Audrey December 1, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    Love the crate idea! I’m currently racking my brain for a good stay-off-the-tree solution for an 18-month old that doesn’t involve a tacky gate or putting our tree on the dining room table 😉

  • Reply carmen December 2, 2017 at 4:16 am

    oh my GOD that stamp. all their stamps!!!!!

  • Reply Shelly December 4, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    What kind of tree stand do you recommend for smaller trees?

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