A Christmas Gift from Maine
I have an artist-sister-in-law named Lisa who is married to Dan's brother, Steve. They live in Maine not far from where Dan grew up. Lisa does amazing work with miniatures and tiny elements - especially natural elements - that she crafts into little works of art.
Yesterday, the eleventh day of Christmas, a package from Maine came to the house from Lisa and Steve. Every detail right down to the packing box carried Lisa's artistic touch and attention to detail.
The gift, handcrafted by Lisa was a small elfish snowman tree ornament with 3 heart buttons, striped legs, and tiny white elfin shoes glued to crossed skis. His little head sported an embroidered gold, fur-trimmed hat tipped with a bright red bell. He wore a fuzzy brown matching scarf and smoked a pipe with a hint of "Maine evergreen tobacco" on the tip. A golden bell on a small chain dangled from his right stick-arm.
Probably the most moving (but subtle) element of this little work of art were the two "awareness ribbons" pinned over the snowman's heart - a burgundy one (the color for brain aneurysms), and a white one (the color for lung cancer).
The snowman came with a sachet of Maine pine needles tied with a white ribbon, accented with a gold star hanger. The ornament and sachet were wrapped in tissued and tucked into a Christmas tin. Lisa added a white sash across the tissue that said, "Be gentle with me. I'm a fragile little thing."
The tin was tied up with a red satin ribbon with handmade tags attached. Lisa slid the tin into a colorful donut box. placing tiny pine branches at the ends of the box as part of the packing so that they were the first thing we saw upon opening... a little hint of home for Dan. Maine is nicknamed "the pine tree state."
A lovely card was enclosed with a warm personal message from Lisa and Steve.
I'm fortunate to have a large family and many friends. I get more than my share of Christmas gifts. I love every one of them, as I love the people who give them. But when a person empties her own talent and creativity into a handmade present, there is an additional "gift" that comes with it - one that can't be seen or touched or heard.
This was a gift of the heart, and at this difficult time in our lives, Lisa's gift brought healing and strength.
I decided to do a post about it as a reminder of how that personal little "touch of ourselves" adds so much to a gift's value.
If you're ever in Carmel, Maine and happen to run into Lisa Burgoyne, giver her a hug from us.