Homemade gifts really do mean the most

There are certain sayings that are so cliche and common that they often go in one ear and out the other — “go the extra mile,” “give it 110 percent,” “don’t sweat the small stuff.” For a while, I had another one that I would add to that list: “A homemade gift is the best gift of all.”

Let’s face it, when you’re a kid or a poor college student, the last thing that you want is a homemade craft that does nothing but sit on your table. You want the newest toy, or video game, or jacket, not a centerpiece.

This past Christmas, my little sister provided the most meaningful gift of all. Although she jokingly laughed it off as being a graduate student in college and having no money, I still couldn’t help but be touched by the thought she put into her Christmas gift to me.

My sister had taken a simple piece of wood and hammered some nails into it, in the shape of a shamrock (for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish). She laid out the pieces of wood in such a way that she was then able to loop little pieces of twine around the nails and when it was done, it looked almost like a tapestry of a shamrock.

She also made ones for my brother — of a Japanese flag, because he likes anime and video games made in Japan — and one for my mom and dad — of the state of Alabama, with a heart painted where Gadsden would be located. Gadsden, Ala., is where my family lived for the longest time before my parents moved to Missouri several years ago.

As if that wasn’t enough, she also made this neat candy-filled bottle that had a lid with a plastic raccoon figurine atop it — raccoons are my favorite animal. My brother also made everyone small homemade gifts, using his skill of origami to make everyone angel ornaments.

It was really the first time that I had been given such thoughtful and unique gifts. I felt bad that I hadn’t done something for them as well. I definitely plan to do it in Christmas 2012, and would encourage everyone out there to do the same. You can still get your family that new shirt, or new video game, or new boat, but also take the time to give them a little homemade something.

It really is true what they say: “A homemade gift is the best gift of all.”

Justin Schuver is the editor of The Post-Searchlight. You can email him at justin.schuver@thepostsearchlight.com.

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