The ‘homemade’ Challenge

4 Mar

One of the nicer aspects of living in the Middle East is that people generally end up having a fair amount more disposable income than they would do in their home countries. Most often, that extra money is used in one of three ways: to pay off debt back home, to live a lavish lifestyle whilst they can or it is saved.

I have only ever lived in the Middle East since having a child of my own so I may be completely wrong with this observation but it seems to me that kids here receive really pricey gifts from many of their friends for their birthdays’. I  don’t remember it being quite so lavish back in South Africa and I know that it was definitely not so when I was a child.

On party day, I understand the practice of placing all the gifts in a pile on a table for the recipient to open after the party when the kids are as young as mine as it would result in chaos if each gift was opened during the party but I am a little amazed at how many children arrive at a birthday party and immediately set about playing whilst Mom just pops the gift onto the huge pile. There is often no exchange of gift or happy birthday greeting at all. I do understand that little children cannot be expected to uphold all social behaviours all the time but I can’t help but think that the personal side of carefully choosing and giving a gift is sometimes lost.

I have the wonderful privilege of being a stay at home Mom. I spend my days with our child and I have more time to do things with him than many moms. One of the challenges that I have decided to take on, especially whilst I am not working full-time, is to make gifts for Luka’s friends when their birthdays come around. He is as involved in the gift’s creation as his 2-year-old skills allow him to be but obviously still needs lots of help. He has, for instance, full artistic licence when designing and making the wrapping paper and card but sometimes needs help with a few other things.

Here are two of our latest attempts at homemade gift making:

I did the painting for a Hello Kitty fan and very sweet little friend of Luka’s who recently turned 2 and Luka took care of the wrapping and card with paint and potato stamps.

He was so proud to hand it over to her!

Next we bleached out this little shirt for Rafael with his name and a picture on the front and a funny little, “I’m 3!” line on the back. Luka helped with this one as well as making the wrapping paper and card.



I have no idea whether Rafael actually liked the shirt. He may, in fact, hate it and refuse to wear it but I’m sure that with a little time and a lot of practise our gift making skills will become finely tuned.



2 Responses to “The ‘homemade’ Challenge”

  1. OPA & OMA March 7, 2011 at 11:21 am #

    hi pips. even here the presents given are way too expensive so i am soooooooooooo proud of all the lovely things you make. well done !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • dustbusting March 10, 2011 at 4:47 am #

      Thanks. It’s a fun little challenge for us.

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