So I've been thinking about this over the past few days and here's what I've come up with:
Objective: Between now and December 31, 2011 I will only give my two daughters, Little Tiger and The Milk Belly Princess, gifts that are handmade by me, their mama.
1. For the purpose of this experiment, I am going to use my last post's definition of a gift. Vowing to make my daughters homemade gifts does not mean that everything they need from now until 12/31/11 must be homemade. I will not sew them underwear. When Little Tiger starts kindergarten next fall I will feel no obligation to melt and mold colored wax to make her crayons or kill innocent horses so I can grind up their hooves for use in manufacturing white glue. I will buy these things at the store like everyone else.
2. "From scratch" is good, but not necessary. While I am allowed to use kits and patterns to help me in the creation of these gifts, I must honor not only the letter of this "homemade only" law that I have set up for myself, but its spirit as well. For example, I'm really excited about making some of the dolls out of Hilary Lang's new book and following a pattern to make a homemade doll honors both the spirit and the letter of the law of the experiment. What I CANNOT DO is buy a Barbie, knit her a scarf and sweater, present the doll to my littles in the knitwear and call it a "homemade gift" because I made the sweater and scarf. This would be cheating.
3. I am the only one who needs to do this. While friends and family members who choose to give my girls gifts during this time certainly can CHOOSE to make gifts for them (and I think it would be awesome if they did) they should not feel any pressure to do so. If asked, I will still offer suggestions for gifts, but I cannot cajole my mother into purchasing something for the girls because the rules of the experiment prevent me from doing so. Little Tiger wants a scooter and sometime during the next sixteen months The Milk Belly Princess will be ready for some kind of small bicycle. The Mister (aka Daddy) has full authority as their father to provide these gifts if/when he feels they are appropriate.
4. While I will not purchase any additional store-bought gifts, I am allowed to give them the ones that I already have. I decided to extend this experiment to 16 months instead of 12 because I already purchased some gifts for them. Many of the gifts that I've already purchased were handmade by some amazing artists and I look forward to sharing those with you as well as my own work.
So that's it. I'm excited about this, but also a little bit nervous. I keep thinking of a photo I snapped of Little Tiger two Christmases ago and hope that my gifts will elicit a similar reaction: