As Thanksgiving looms a few days away, I'm already starting to feel two very large balls of panic in my stomach. The first is school related- I have a lot of reading, researching, and writing to do before the semester is up, and I'm not entirely sure how I'm going to fit it all in. The second has to do with the holiday season. Christmas always looks a lot closer after Thanksgiving, and my lack of homemade gifts is making me nervous. This time last year I was knitting like crazy, working on a list that included hats, mittens, and one very big Dale of Norway sweater (that hasn't been finished yet... oops).
This year, I only have two handmade items so far figured out. For my Mom, instead of giving her a hand knit, I'm going to spend a couple days after finals to make her a mother-daughter scrapbook with pictures going all the way back to when I was teeny. My Mom's big into crafts and knows the time and effort that will go into something like that, so I know she'll appreciate it. My last final is on December 17th, so after that I'll have a couple of days to go crazy working on that.
My Dad was hard to figure out- he isn't even close to catching up on the books that I've given him in the past for Christmas, and knitting is out of the question since I'm still doing his knit from last year. It wasn't until I was doing an odd shift in the kid's department at B&N that I got an idea.
My Dad is a collector of children books from all over the world. He doesn't necessarily collect first editions or even well-known titles; he collects ones that have meaning to him and our family. For instance, my first copy of Madeline is in the collection- beaten, torn, and worn apart from the number of times he read it to me. Right along side is the french copy that he bought while in France, and which he would read after the english version for story time. The entire Babar series is also up there- english and french. My copy of Anne of Green Gables that I got at Prince Edward Island is up there, complete with pictures in the pages of me at Green Gables when we visited, dressed in period costume and proud as could be at 12 years old. He would often bring books home from his business trips to Japan with the Japanese characters in there, and my brother and I had to tell him the story as he turned the pages based on the pictures.
Long story short, kid books have a very close place in his heart as well as mine, so I'm going to surprise him with an addition to his library this year. I chose the book Toot and Puddle. This particular book is about two very different best friends- Toot loves to Travel, and Puddle loves to enjoy home. Toot goes on adventures all over the world, and sends postcards to Puddle of the places that he's been.
It's exactly the kind of book my Dad will love, and I'm going to personalize the book by making my own postcards based on the places Toot went and putting them in between the pages. The postcards will have drawings, pictures, and any memorabilia I can find on them, with notes to my Dad about each place and a memory from it or how special it was to me.
I think he'll like it, as it's personal and has to do with our family vacations, which are very important to him and us.
Now I just have to get started on those... after papers... and reading... ;)