Under the Christmas tree, Rebecca found a doll's crib. A wooden doll's crib, painted white, with pink accents, and little doors that opened beneath the bed to reveal a storage cupboard. The bedding is made of a light pink print with rose buds. I know all these details, because I made it. Rather, I found it sitting beside the garbage bin one day, picked it up, and fixed it (which involved disassembling it, replacing some of the wooden parts, giving it a good scrub and a fresh coat of paint, and making the bedding from scratch). It's a beautiful object, if I do say so myself, and Rebecca is enthralled.
She'd been wanting a doll's crib, but a nice and non plastic-y one was out of our budget, and anyway too big for our house. When that crib appeared at the garbage bin, though, it seemed like Christmas magic, and I collected it without hesitation. As I watched my little girl's sparkling eyes when she received it, I felt quite clearly that the gifts that are the most satisfying to give are those we've invested time in making (or at least fixing). I wouldn't have felt so pleased to see her happiness if the crib had arrived brand new from a store, and I hadn't developed a connection with it while doing the refurbishing.
The old, battered doll's crib that was just about to end it's life in a landfill is now a fresh, sparkling, and much-loved crib for ... stuffed animals. Who knew a toy could undergo so many transformations? Rebecca has at least temporarily left her mommy of dolls (long) phase for a veterinary phase, and as a vet she's busy rescuing very sick toy animals from almost certain death, and then tucking them away in their cot, which is next to her bed, where she can comfort them during the night - and the other way round.