Funny how the excitement is building for this 12 Days...swap. This is my third year participating & its been good on the receiving end but was challenging the first couple of years to put a box together.
This first partner I sent to was dying. Someone else signed her up thinking she would enjoy the box, but by the time it came, her energy was gone & she passed within a week. Since then, more than a few people I know have crossed over, and I am still alive, am still quilting. When a person is in transition, the last thing they want is to gather more stuff to leave behind.
The lessons I learned from that experience have been multi-faceted. Most of all, being alive is a joy to be celebrated.
The box that came for me that year was so very exciting. My partner works for a high end fabric store so she got many items on a deep discount. It was a lucky pairing for me.
The second year, my partner already had everything in her sewing room, and had only a few things on her list that she wanted or needed. There was a piggy bank that she went over the top receiving. Her attitude about getting more made it very hard for me to shop for her and feel good about what I sent.
However, that was when I decided I could much easier buy what I wanted or needed rather than to go through this struggle for information with others. I told the facilitators that my partner was not forth-coming with answers, and so this year, they made the initial questionnaire much more extensive. Also, I have been asking for more information on the group page since partners were assigned.
The box I received my second year was really nice again.
My third year took an attitude adjustment for me to join. It is a game, and I am not on my way out of life like my first partner, and I understand the importance of sharing preferences so that my partner can experience the joy of giving.
I found a box to keep things in one place, made up the 12 tags for each day (light blue paper with dark blue ribbons), and ordered fabric for the homemade gift. My partner is okay with stash items, and is replying to the questions quickly. I know a lot more about her and think it will be a delightful box.
I searched my stash for cross stitch floss, finding a number of them still in their wrappers. I am not able to embroider easily to have it be fun, & want to pass these skeins along to someone who can use them. She cross stitches.
I also put together a package of basting pins that are too small for my hands. I've made a list to take shopping later in town. I found a couple of patterns online for a table pin cushion and sewing machine mat with pockets so I can create the handmade gift for Day 12. This partner loves cats, so I plan to use the cat fabric and coordinate it with a solid.
The old cliches about giving and receiving are always operative during the holidays. I understand that a lot of us are minimalists, and want things to fit in our decor. Thing is we need to be more accepting of the gifts others give US just as much as we need to be able to give. It is part of our personal growth to be on either end of that giving and receiving. Important to do both.