I am no scrooge or grinch, but after coming back from Japan, I've realized that I don't "need" a lot of things to make me happy... Not that I didn't know that before, but living without a flushing toilet and heat and "diversity" really made me rethink my "needs" vs. "wants".
This past Christmas season was very difficult for me to digest- there was so much hoopla with all the shopping and gifting and receiving that I was almost disgusted, disappointed with what the holiday season really means. In New York, there were the standard holiday tourists (it seemed like there were so much more- maybe because foreigners can get so much for the low dollar) and the streets were clogged with shopping bags and chaotic frenzy.
My sense of "Christmas" came back when Vel suggested that a small group of us have a "Crafty Christmas" party- we all picked names secretly and each one of us had to "craft" a present for their chosen person. With all of our busy schedules, coming up with a creative present that we HAD to make ourselves seemed daunting... so we were given the option of buying something that the other person could make on their own. All of us impressively came through!
On a mid-December evening, we got together for the "Crafty Christmas Party". Even the dinner was crafty- Vel cooked my Corona Turkey, while the rest of us provided homemade appetizers, sides, and desserts. I was blown away by the awesome things that each person gave/made/created. It sounds corny, but with such good friends (and good food), it was probably one of the BEST times I have had in New York, possibly top 5 in my life!
Suraj hand-sewed this super cool handbag for Beena:
Beena's first several attempts at being crafty didn't work out, so she ended up getting me a white ceramic bowl and gift card to Color Me Mine so that we could be crafty together while painting our own pieces.
I made Vel a pair of gold earrings and since she had recently taken a bag/purse making class, I got her wooden purse handles for her to make a new bag.
Vel made probably my favorite present of all- a huggable sushi- shaped pillow for Wendy! The funny thing is Wendy's last name "Meguro" is similar to the "maguro" tuna that was on the sushi!
Wendy's sewing skills impressed us all with her colorful printed bag for Kim:
Kim made a really beautiful necklace for Giuli:
Despite being 8 1/2 months pregnant, Giuli made it out and etched a wine glass and mirror for Liza:
Liza's gift card for Suraj was solely for him to buy a crafty book from Barnes and Noble...
Funnily enough, Paul and Han got each other- Paul painstakingly made one of his awesome quirky "robot" drawings for robot-fan Han, with a hidden message inside:
Han's gift is forthcoming for Paul- since he's working on the new Trump highrise in Soho, he has promised to make a concrete bowl made out of the "Trump concrete"!! Can't wait to see it!!!