Ah Gifts!

“Thinking about the perfect gift for that hard-to-buy-for person?” (This is the old line that wakes us up to the fact that it is time to give gifts.) I always know what to give any person I love, something made by hand, a small ceramic pot, the product of another breathing, thinking, human person. No matter how large or small, expensive or humble, something from the  mind and heart of another is priceless, without measure. Look for the thumbprint, the signature, the small imperfection that says a human being made it. How precious!This is the first gift I bought my mother with saved allowance.  An original Hummel figurine from the (believe it or not) drug store down the street from Mrs. Burroughs’ boarding house in Brookline, Mass.  (Yes, it was a Charles Dickens childhood: my mom and me in a tiny rented room with a hot plate on the closet floor and a carton of milk outside in the snow on the window. Tomato soup and Ritz crackers are still my comfort food.)  I’ll never be as good a writer as Charles Dickens, but there is much of his life to which I can relate. 

This is the real “Father Christmas.”

What small thing is inexpensive now that will be a treasure for years to come?  You could make something small too, a collage, wooden box, handmade card, pressed flowers, embroidered handkerchief. If you have the time, you could write a short story for your favoirte children. If you haven’t the time, space or inclination to create something yourself, think of original work by others who are making things now, or whose work has been  lovingly collected and protected throughout time.

I have a couple of Daumier prints in my collection, but even if you are a keen and perceptive collector, you may not know about the treasure chest website I am going to share here with you when considering a gift for someone very special:   http://www.daumier.org/index.php?id=10This site has many affordable DAUMIER original prints from the days when newspapers included presents for anyone who could afford them, in other words very inexpensive worlds of original art. Take the time for a quiet shopping tour.  You can shop at leisure any time and give a gift beyond compare, an original Daumier lithograph from a vast collection.

The National Museum of Western ArtThis is one of my two. ICARUS by Honore Daumier. Original lithograph at a very low price considering its true value.

Write a little poem and tuck it into a pretty frame from the Goodwill store near you, or dress a doll from the dollar store. Christmas is not about how much money we have to spend, but the way we think of someone we know, or love.