On my mind recently is this: What IS giving, and how am I doing my part?
Due to being short on a lot of resources this year, part of my Christmas gifts involved braid breads -- specifically, Swedish Cardamom Bread. They were very easy to make (vegan) and good; I didn't sprinkle them with sugar, but did add raisins to one loaf and chocolate chips to the other. The loaves pictured here are replicas and include ground up oats because I ran out of whole wheat pastry flour. I often make-do.
Handmade crocheted items -- a large pink blanket, a nubbly soft brown scarf, and another pink and cream scarf -- and three packages of markers went to Nationwide Children's Hospital. If I had a child, and that child were sick, I would want them to feel warm and safe and still able to create while in the care of top professionals. Our local Andyman-a-thon raised over $70,000 (!) this year to benefit childrens' charities, which includes Children's Hospital, and in this small way I also pay tribute to Andyman, who passed away unexpectedly earlier this year yet still inspires massive giving here in Columbus.
I'm supporting Cold Antler by being a part of its wool CSA this year -- Jenna purchased her own farm and the wool I receive comes straight from the first sheep she's ever owned. I even know what they look like thanks to frequent pictures on her fantastic blog -- meet them here, including the new Blackface ewes. This is a solo endeavor on her part, and I love reading about her daily demonstration of independence and guts.
Making Memories grants wishes for metastatic breast cancer patients whose insurance has run out or are facing financial hardship, and often for whom a cure is too late. For a variety of very important reasons, my wedding dress went to this foundation.
Heartmade Blessings is getting a chunk of my yarn stash so that its volunteers can crochet squares that are then made into one large afghan to give to those suffering a loss, tragedy, or simply going through a rough time. The Bearghans are sent to an infant or small child in a similar situation. I just love this.
Tracks of harp music -- solo and in collaboration with other musicians -- are part of a CD recorded to benefit the United Way. Details coming soon.
I accompanied my mother for her first ever solo, a true gift to me. Yes, it brought tears to my eyes while we were rehearsing, though that's not exactly what is going on here!
In the midst of my mind-racing, I am grateful. Not just for finally getting the washer to work, for being able to end this warm day with a ride on the bike, or for the chance to sit here quietly in the last minutes of 2010 with a cup of delicious tea even while my neighbors are setting off several rounds of firecrackers. I am grateful for this past year and the people I've met and the experiences I've had that have encouraged me to grow in ways I did not expect.
What 2010 gifts are you grateful for?