Today I don’t bring you any tutorial, however, my post has much to do with creativity. With creating something for good cause, to make someone happy, which eventually made me even happier.
The project is called Ježíškova vnoučata (Jesus’ grandkids) because in the Czech Republic, baby Jesus is the one who brings the Christmas presents. I stumbled upon this project online one day and found out it works like this: The nursing homes and similar establishments register the Christmas wishes of elderly people who have no one, no family member to spend the Christmas with. Anyone can pick a wish and make it come true. I saw many touching photos of people who delivered their presents in person. I saw how happy it made the elderly (the visit probably more than the present) and I saw how good it made the donors feel. And they were right to feel so, they changed someone’s Christmas from lonely to happy.
The wish list was getting shorter (great, looks like everyone gets their wish granted) and I kept looking for some “creative” wish. And then I found it. “My” grandpa Karel was very modest, he wanted only a cushion with floral embroidery. Can do! I had been wanting to learn the Amish stumpwork that I wrote about here. I embroidered a cushion, bought him winter cap, scarf and socks (in my family the adults always get warm socks for Christmas) and you never go to visit without food if you are from Moravia, so I packed some honey, chocolate, homemade jam, gurkins and Christmas sweets. Lily already understands where and why I was going so she drew him a picture.
You can ship the present for free with DHL but I was inspired by the other grandkids who delivered their presents in person. It’s true that a lonely person might long for a visit more that they want a present. And if it’s even a little bit possible, you should make the effort. To get there in person isn’t such a problem in our small country and for them it can mean a lot. Karel is from Prague and so I decided to make this trip. Best pre-Christmas decision ever. I’m sure one visit was enough not to ever forget him. He’ll be hundred years old in a few years and yet he was a great company, nice, friendly and chatty. We talked about many things – family, his life in the home, where he learnt to sew and embroider…he hugged me at the end of the visit as well as at the beginning. I have to say, although he thanked me several times, I am the one who is truly grateful – to him, the social workers who made this visit possible and to the organizers of the whole project. You can call it cleaning your karma or you can just call it a good feeling, I am simply grateful to have met another interesting person and to have had the possibility to do something for him. Once again I confirmed in my mind something I already know – the elderly are not finished, silly or useless. On the contrary, they have life experience, they stay on top of things, they show understanding and many of them also vitality and they have beautiful life stories if you listen.
I don’t know if I convinced you to participate in this project (there are still enough wishes right here), I just know this short visit gave me a lot. A new friend, a nice experience and a reason to look forward to my next trip to Prague. I will make sure to visit Karel again.
Do you want to learn the Amish stumpwork? The tutorial is here.