Sunday, September 13, 2015

Using Stash

When I won a drawing for a machine embroideried piece, it brought me such joy. It kicked around on my work station for a little while. 

And then I realized it was the perfect size for a mug rug. It is so very cute and now has a purpose. It was given to me with no strings attached, so I could use it in any way I chose. This finish on the binding completes the first two of my teacher gifts. I bought a tall mug rug and will roll the mug rug up and tuck it inside. I thought about adding a pound of ground coffee, but that is so personal.

The notion of recycling, repurposing or even re-gifting is not new. It can sometimes be a difficult choice to make.

Years ago, I was invited to one of those White Elephant parties. You are to wrap a gift you have received that you have absolutely no use for that might have been a gift from your favorite relative. So its been sitting in the closet and you cannot bear to part with it. Then, at the party, a couple of pie tins with a pair of dice circulate the room. When you roll a double, you pick a gift. When all the gifts are selected, you unwrap the gift and the rolling of the dice starts up again. You could take someone else's gift by exchanging what you had.

At this party, someone brought a t-shirt with a plastic mask/head on it. It was truly ugly. Well, as things go, it became the hot item and people went wild trying to get it. We laughed so hard. Most of the stuff went into a trash bag, and a few items went home with their winners.

I've been to other such parties where folks don't get the system and either are shocked at what they got and hide it under their chairs, going home feeling incredibly disappointed. Or they didn't know how to take someone else's gift in exchange for the really crappy one they got.

It really is a metaphor for many things: Saving stash, wanting to please, hoping for a good gift, learning how to release, how to negotiate; Learning how to play. Unfortunately, at the holiday season, we all become like little kids again with high expectations that someone will know exactly what we want or need. No matter how often we hear, "You git what you git and you don't throw a fit," we still get disappointed in the gifts that come our way.

I think it is easy to close off when this happens. We stop being open to receive when we set conditions on what is underneath the wrapping. We forget that it is not about the thing so much as it is the moment of joy in the exchange.

I am considering making up a box of random items from my home. By random I mean White Elephant items. I am considering sending this box to someone in my address book and labeling it as White Elephant items. Just the thought of this makes me smile.