A Heart-Felt Gift

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It was the month before my sister's birthday, and we were wandering through the mall, at a complete loss as to what to buy her. Samantha, ever the generous and giving child, kept seeing things she wanted to buy her aunt, things that I knew would crowd my sister's small Manhattan apartment or that she wouldn't really want, though she would certainly never say so.

That afternoon, we went home empty-handed, and Samantha went to work on making her third felt doll. She had learned to sew these dolls at a summer workshop, and we'd invested in large pieces of felt to make more when the workshop was over.

"Maybe I can make Aunt Margie a felt doll," she said as she threaded a needle.

"Actually, Aunt Margie loves to sew," I said. "Maybe we can make her a felt doll kit so she can make her own felt dolls!"

Samantha loved that idea and set about creating a kit, filled with the items she had used to make her own dolls. We cut out the pattern for the front and back of the doll, then tossed in some yarn for hair, and thread for sewing the eyes and lips. We also included the pattern and felt for making a dress, a button to hold it closed, and rickrack to adorn it. Then we put it all in a tiny bag.

My sister loved the kit, and much to Samantha's delight, made the felt doll soon after she got it. The following Christmas, we put together kits for her other aunts and grandmothers, too.

The felt dolls were definitely different from the usual gifts that Samantha had given her aunts in the past, which were usually pictures she had painted and drawn, or chocolate candies we had made. With the doll kits, Samantha was able to share a passion — sewing — and offer a gift that was uniquely hers.

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A Heart-Felt Gift

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