Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My Article in the Paper

The following is the article I submitted to the paper for the National Family Week Insert. It is the second article in the insert if you get the paper. Here it is for the rest of you who don't get the RJ.

My most cherished childhood Christmas present wasn’t wrapped in a pretty box or purchased at a fancy store. My favorite Christmas memory was the year my parents did a completely homemade Christmas.

I spent several afternoons at my grandmother’s house that fall. She helped me paint porcelain gifts for my parents, friends and siblings. Meanwhile my whole family was busy at home making a present for me.

Each of my siblings also got handmade gifts. Santa brought bulletin boards to frame each child’s treasures. My older sister received shadow boxes to showcase her dolls. We made wooden blocks for my younger twin brothers. My older brother still has the wooden puzzle of his name that we made for him. He even made one similar to it for his own son a few Christmases ago.

But I think my present was the best of all. Under a sheet with a bow on it Christmas morning was a homemade Barbie dollhouse. It had four rooms. The walls were wallpapered with extra wallpaper from our house. The floors were carpeted with extra carpet fragments. It was totally unique and the coolest toy on the block. I loved that each member of my family helped make it for me.

With money being tight this year, this may be a good Christmas to get creative and go homemade. While I am not crafty by nature, I have been taking sewing classes and I know people who can help me make fun wooden creations.

With all the crafty blogs and websites out there, it has never been easier to find and learn how to make wonderful gifts. The best gifts are the ones that show you how much you are loved. Thoughtful handmade gifts can show our love without the high price tag.

Family Week

Every year our local newspaper includes a special section for National Family Week. It is right around Thanksgiving. It is in today's Review Journal wrapped around the Classifieds. Each year there is a different theme to the section but it is always about families. This year it is focused on families getting back to basics in tough economic times.

This year it is a slim insert. In the past it has been 16 pages or so. This year it is just four full pages of the paper which they have divided into 8 half pages -- the economy.

This is an important insert and it promotes strong families in our community. The strength of our society is determined by the strength of our families. In a world where families are being torn apart, technologically distanced, and redefined we need to do all we can to support strong families.

So, if you get the paper, I encourage you to read the insert. Then let the companies who paid for the insert with their ads know that you appreciate their support.

Let's Bring Family Back!