For many of us the approaching holiday season means a lot of thought about gifts and maybe even the nature of giving. I know it has been on my mind a lot as I try to juggle an increased work schedule with my yearly drive to make things for people. I am a creative guy and I get a lot of pleasure out of making stuff for my friends and family, especially stuff that they wouldn’t find in a store. One year a friend got a hand-screened t-shirt with a stylized Dwarf’s face and “Bring your pretty face to my axe” written in runes. One of my projects for this year is for my sister’s little boy Kaden. The guy is a big fan of Robin, the Boy Wonder. So I took Robin’s R logo, changed it into a K, cut out the pieces from felt, and sewed it on a shirt for him. Not the fanciest job of sewing (my aspirations outreach my talent in that area) but he’s three and I think he’s going to flip for it. I’ve got four different craft projects going on right now, with two others thankfully finished. I’m dying to show them off but my wife reads the blog so I’ll have to keep them secret until after the holiday.
Since giving has been on my mind I did a quick search of the Eddas to see what they have to say about giving. There are several mentions of bride-gifts and we are told that poetry is called Odin’s gift, but I think the best reference comes from The High One’s Lay. The High One is Odin and he sets out various rules and maxims for people to follow. I found this one particularly appropriate for this time of year:
“To his friend a man should be a friend, and gifts with gifts requite. Laughter with laughter men should receive.”
I hope you are all have a happy holiday season and a great new year.