Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Bedtime Story (12/12/2018)

Homemade gifts have a special place in my heart.  I love receiving something that someone has made for me and whilst I'm not the best when it comes to creative endeavours, this year I have made something for someone!  This story is for everyone who has ever made a gift themselves, or who treasures a handmade present from a loved one.

To listen to this story as a podcast, click here.

The Homemade Christmas Presents

Lola had covered the dining room table with everything she would need.  Scattered across the surface were bottles of glue, pots of glitter, sheets of paper and card, paints, pens, ribbons, beads and a whole lot more besides.

Dad frowned over the top of his newspaper.  "What on Earth are you doing?"

Lola smiled.  "This year, I'm going to make you and Mum a special homemade present to give you on Christmas Day."  She leaned forwards dramatically, trying to hide everything she'd gathered on the table.  "You're not allowed to look," she ordered.  "Or it'll spoil the surprise!"

Dad chuckled to himself and returned to his reading, leaving Lola to get started.  She hadn't quite decided what to make yet, but she knew that it should be sparkly.  It was Christmas, after all!  Drumming her fingers on the table, Lola thought about the picture Mum kept stuck to the fridge.  It was of Mum, Dad, Lola and Branson the dog, all sitting at a picnic table in the sunshine.  Lola decided she'd make a frame for it.

Reaching across the table, Lola grabbed a sheet of brightly coloured card.  She'd never made a photo frame before, but she guessed it couldn't be too hard.  All she needed to do was put some decorations around the edge of the card and then stick the photo in the middle, didn't she?  Mum would definitely notice the picture was gone from the fridge, but Lola was sure she would be pleased on Christmas Day, when she saw it looking really special.

Lola opened a bottle of glue and tried to gently squeeze some onto the edge of her card.  It spurted across the whole sheet, leaving it sticky and wet.  Lola frowned.  That wasn't meant to happen!  Using her fingers, she tried to wipe the glue away, but that just made her hands all sticky, too.  Besides, the more Lola wiped, the thinner the card seemed to be getting.  Before long, a small hole had appeared right in the middle.

Lola let out a long sigh.  This wasn't quite going to plan.  Not that she'd had a plan...

After a minute or two of frustration, Lola decided to carry on as best she could.  She grabbed a pot of bright pink glitter and pulled off the lid.  With a flash of colour, the glitter exploded from the pot and rained down onto the table, the card, Lola and everything else in sight.

"Is everything okay back there?"  Dad called, putting down his newspaper again.

"Yes, Dad," Lola called, pulling a face as she desperately tried to sweep all of the glitter back into the pot.  It stuck to her gluey fingers, leaving them pink and sparkly.

Lola looked down at her photo frame.  It looked okay; maybe a bit dog-eared and overly glittery, but she could rescue that, she was sure.

Lola leaned across the table to take a handful of beads.  As she leaned over the frame she was decorating, her clothes stuck to the glue.  To Lola's horror, her jumper was covered in glitter and the frame she'd been working on had lots of bright red fluff all over it.

Lola groaned as she tried to pick the fluff off the frame, but all she succeeded in doing was making her hands even more glittery than before.  She let out a sigh.  "Fine," she said to herself.  "It'll be a glittery and also fluffy photo frame."

She began to add a little more glue, so that she could stick beads onto the frame, but the card was now wearing ever so thin and soon, there was so much glue around the edges that the whole thing began to bend.  Worse still, the glitter Lola had poured on earlier was starting to drip all over the place as the glue ran.

Lola started trying to mop up the glue with a sheet of kitchen roll, but it stuck to the glue and soon her photo frame was a soggy, slightly ripped mess of glitter, fluff and bits of kitchen roll, plus one or two stray beads.  "This is rubbish," Lola sighed.  "I'll paint a picture, instead."

She leaned over to grab a bottle of paint, but as she squeezed the bottle, paint spurted out all over the photo frame.  It was the final straw.  Lola held her head in her hands and stuck out her lower lip.

"Oh," Dad said, as he appeared behind her.  "You've made a...  Um...  It's a..."

Lola rolled her eyes.  "You weren't supposed to see it until Christmas Day," she tutted.  "It was going to be a photo frame," she added, with a sigh.  "But it's no good."

Dad shook his head.  "I don't agree," he told her.  "I think it's great!  And your mum will really love it."

Lola frowned.  "But it's all messy and there's not a nice, clean space for a photo!  It looks like I've just chucked a load of paint, glue and glitter at the page and then got my clothes and a load of kitchen roll stuck to it.  Which...  I sort of... Did."

Dad chuckled.  "But when you stick a photo in the middle, none of that will matter," he said.  "It'll just look like funky decorations around the sides.  And your mum will know that you made something special, all by yourself."

"I was going to use that photo we took in the summer," Lola explained.  "The one Mum keeps stuck to the fridge.  I know she loves it."

Dad disappeared into the kitchen and came back with the photograph in his hand.  He gently stuck it in the centre of Lola's handmade photo frame.  "There," he said, stepping back.  "It looks brilliant."

Lola gazed at the photo frame and then back at her dad's broad smile.  The frame was still messy and it didn't look anything like Lola had imagined it would, but her dad didn't seem to care.  Lola wrinkled her nose.  "Don't you think it should be prettier?  Or at least neater?"

Dad shook his head.  "I think it's perfect as it is," he insisted.  "Because it was made with love.  That's all that matters, Lola.  You wanted to do something nice and you put a lot of thought into it.  The very best Christmas presents aren't necessarily the ones that cost a lot of money.  They're the ones that show how much someone cares."  He smiled at Lola.  "I think this will be your mum's favourite present, this year."

Lola beamed up at him.  "Thanks for making me feel better," she whispered.

When the frame was dry, Dad helped Lola carefully wrap it in sparkly paper and together, they placed it underneath the Christmas tree.  Lola knew that it wasn't the best photo frame in the world, but she also knew that that didn't matter.

You wouldn't be able to find another photo frame like it, even if you searched all over town.  Lola's photo frame was handmade with love.  And that made it extra special.


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