Daily Post: By Hand – no, thank you

What’s the best present you’ve ever received that was handmade by the giver, not store-bought? Tell us what made it so special.


This morning I was attracted by some new orchids in the flower department of the local supermarket. It was a special offer and I have a thing for orchids. They bear flowers for at least two months and when the flowers go to the happy flower hunting grounds, you can keep the remainders, hoping that one day they will flower again. Now and again they do flower again, but in the meanwhile I have a green corner in the living room. They are mainly bug and virus free, do not smell and only need water once a week and some fertiliser once a month. What could go wrong? In the photo you can see my latest trophy bearing many buds showing the possible shape of things to come. I bought it myself. Of course, I could have said to Mr. Swiss

“I want that orchid.” and he could have answered

“I will buy you one”, but he asks himself what is the point, she will buy it herself.

Not that we are ignorant and avoid social pleasures of the day. It often happens that Mr. Swiss will return from an excursion to the local town and bring a small package of special hand made chocolates from the local chocolate confiserie, These are special chocolates, known as praliné and cost more than twice as normal chocolates, I love them and the gift is very much appreciated. Mr. Swiss loves them as well, so we share.

Giving presents have slowly come out of fashion in my family. If we really want something, we save and we buy it ourself. We have even stopped the Christmas present orgy. Why spend days walking around a crowded shopping mall, looking for something to give as a present? At the same time someone else is secretly doing the same thing and the day arrives when you give the wrapped presents saying “just what I wanted” when unpacking them, so why bother. We decided to rationalise the process. I don’t believe in christmas in any case, the only good thing being that the family might come together and eat a good meal. The human biology needs a few positive effects in life, something to look forward to.

I did not grow up in a do-it-yourself family. The talent was not present. Dad had some good ideas. I remember he once decided to re-organise part of the living room, where there was once a fire, but no longer, being boarded over. It was an old house, and real fires became extinct over the years. So dad had some colourful plastic remainders, known as formica. He cut out shapes of various colours, found some glue and did a sort of mosaic. Mum laughed, I asked if it was finished, and it was the last do-it-yourself job he ever did.

My mum and her sisters loved knitting, so it might often be that my cousins and I were presented with a new knitted pullover for Christmas, or our birthday. Not that we were ungrateful, but you could not play with a pullover or eat it, so these gifts were generally very much appreciated by the parents, knowing that the kids had something decent to wear which cost no money. We kids were not so happy, I had cousins and Aunt Lil knitted them two cardigans – they were twins.

“Oh, look boys they are nice.” said their mother.

“What’s that, Oh clothes” and the pullovers were thrown into a heap in the corner, while they were busy unpacking their favourite car or toy gun (yes these things were allowed at that time).

Swiss schools seem to be completely engrossed in teaching the kids to make things. It might be a book mark, a calendar, even something made of wood shavings which you do not really know what to do with. No problem, we parents pat the kids on the head, say “well done” and try to find a place in the home where it will be seen, but not too much. Shopping list holders are best of all, you can hang them in the kitchen.

Coming to a conclusion I do not remember with nostalgia or otherwise that I ever received anything handmade. Perhaps I did, but it made no big impression on my life.

Daily Prompt: By Hand – no, thank you

14 thoughts on “Daily Post: By Hand – no, thank you

  1. we are alike. not much talent and I buy for myself, wrap it and tell my husband, ‘you can give this to me–it is just what I wanted.’ We laugh about it but it saves the shopping hassles! Good post.


  2. We just get little token for “under the tree.” We do all our shopping post Christmas, when everything is on sale … and we go together, so we get things that we really like, want, and which we know fits because we’ve tried it on! And we don’t have to wrap it all up and look surprised.


    • Our tree is so small – plastic with five electric mini lights, that nothing goes under it, the trees goes under the gifts. We no longer do stress. Mr. Swiss says just something small. Ok, but that gives me more problems than something big, so I say let’s buy our own stuff. simplifies matters.


  3. I stayed in North East for two tears and that place especially Tawang & Sikkim, two states of India have some amazing varieties of wild orchids. I too had grown them in my garden there. Now we have shifted to a warmer place so my orchids plants are decaying slowly, perhaps they will never bloom again. I am trying hard to save the shoots.
    Your flowers are so pretty and healthy. I think your approach towards gifts and Christmas is practical. Thanks for sharing. 🙂


  4. Pingback: Daily Prompt: By Hand | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice

  5. Pingback: Handmade Friendship | My Own Champion

  6. I admire your practical approach, but I can’t help myself . When it comes to gifts, I’m like a child. I like to unwrap a package not knowing what it’s inside. I adore those little surprises. I love gifts , giving and having them.


  7. I no longer have great wishes for this or that. Now and again I find I should replace something, like a new computer or a kindle or perhaps an iron. but I save and buy it. Yes, we are lucky in our world to be able to do that. Today i am glad to have my health (more or less) and that my closest are OK. That is not so self evident as you grow older.


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