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How’s your LEON project coming?

September 13, 2015
Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer ( , Estherville News

Remember my column from June 25 about Leon? Noel spelled backward? Leon is a crafted "holiday" marking the halfway point of the year in which many makers and crafters begin shopping for and planning their handmade Christmas gifts? No? My point was an observation of Leon and the opinion that this year I'd love to rise to the challenge of putting more effort and less money (or plenty of effort and a not insignificant but still affordable amount) into gifts for my loved ones this year. And my wish was for a team effort in this endeavor what if we all tried to find fewer more special gifts or experiences for our loved ones (because I'm certainly not a crafter) instead of springing for the latest trendy things the media tells us we must have?

I haven't progressed very far. But my family will celebrate this year in a new-to-us house in our new town with our new friends (I hope).

I watch the videos in which the parents surprise the kids with a trip to Disney World. Or the family surprises Grandma with a visit from a relative she's not been able to visit in years. I don't have anything like that in my bag of tricks.

I'm in research mode right now observing the things my family members say in an effort to deliver something like what they desire. My older son, 22, has complimented me on my ability to help my children envision their goals and dreams and go after them. I'm actually on the road to accomplishing that one as we're about to acquire a 3-D printer which will help him channel his creative talent into a business on Etsy.

I've learned that I don't always listen that well and I procrastinate then rush around getting them things for show that should impress them, but I'm not sure they do.

I'm closest with my eldest, though I like to think our family is all crazy about each other. So many years I thought of great ideas for memorable experiences, but didn't follow through. Half the battle this year will be at least calling around to see if I can make it happen.

I've never felt so challenged by trying to give the best I can do to my loved ones this year, whether it costs a bit of money or not. This could rise to pretending I'm a game show host and flying someone in (or going to pick them up at least). It could mean pulling off the impossible (but I've done it before for myself why not be generous once and do it for someone else?). Maybe for some it will be something simpler.

It's tempting to try to reconcile a conflicted relationship by dreaming up and executing an unforgettable gift, but my belief is that the gift and its giving won't solve the problem, as much as the Hallmark channel would have us believe in it. I'll certainly need practical and technical help to make it happen, and asking for help is one of the things I'm worst at.

I don't want to think about cold and snow and too many sweets and spending extra money just yet, but Leon has made me realize that squirreling away a little here and there, giving up that soda or bringing lunch more often could make a difference for showing my loved ones a great time this year.

It's on.



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