The last six weeks have been one long blur of work and exhaustion. But yesterday started a 10-day holiday from the library for me, and I had a lovely day of running errands in the morning, reading and napping in the afternoon, and wrapping Christmas gifts in the evening.
Today, I am trying to make a gift of money special. I hate giving gift cards or cash, because it seems so impersonal, like I didn't think much about the person to whom I am giving them. But I have two teenage cousins and one in his early 20s who want things I can't afford, and I decided that rather than buy them something they might not want that I could afford, I would instead give them cash towards their dreams. (Whether they save it to put towards these things or squander it on ephemera is up to them!)
Last night, though, when I was putting their cash into their money cards, I decided that just because it was an impersonal gift, I didn't have to leave it that way. So this morning, I got up and found reference photos on Google for what I wanted, and now, accompanying each gift of cash, will be a small postcard-sized painting of the goal for which it is intended.
My cousin Lily has recently taken up ice skating, and is so taken with it that all she wants to do is skate. But both skating sessions and skating lessons are expensive, and her mom is already pushed to supply the necessities, let alone a luxury like this. Some of her aunts and uncles got together and bought her new skates, so I decided I would give her cash toward lessons or sessions. Here is the painting to go with her card:
Lily's brother, Lucas, lives for gaming, and his entire Christmas list consisted of two lines: A new X-Box, or cash towards a new X-Box! So he's getting his wish from me (the second, not the first), and here is his illustration:
My cousin Harley is a dedicated auto mechanic, and all he wants for Christmas is tools. I actually could have afforded a set of socket adaptors for him, but...brand? range of sizes? I dunno. So I'm giving him the cash and a picture, and he'll get the idea for himself.
Everyone else is getting the usual--books, books, books, and maybe some movie tickets or edible treats, plus biscuits and a chew toy for the dog. And now it's time for me to go cook my contribution to our Christmas Eve dinner! Hopefully, there will be more artistic contributions to this blog during this long-awaited hiatus, and my habits will improve in the new year!