On the second day of Christmas, we took the girls to Tanzania. Wrapped in a scrap of leather and tied with jute twine, we gave them leather pieces we’d punched last year or them, thinking they’d maybe like to make up their own games with them. Those pieces were put into a box we made made from a cereal box. We also included a store-bought kit for making pom-pom and chenille twist animals, and a jump rope made from rubber bands, which we’d found at goodwill. We tagged it all with dove cutouts I made base on inspiration from WhipUp, and also tied on a card from the heifer project, about support we’d donated in the girls’ parents’ names, to plant trees in Tanzania. As we all gathered around to open day two, I explained that children in Africa and—Tanzania as a country of Africa—sometimes make their own toys. (It’s actually in Malawi, which borders Tanzania. Not too bad for a guess.)
Happily, the girls came through and immediately wanted to make the animals. They loved the jump rope, too, and even surprised me by wearing the scrap of leather (the wrapping) as a skirt. I showed them pictures of the Serengeti (we didn’t do too much geography, so forgive me if we lumped too many African themes into one country’s borders, but I refused to have every day be a specific place but day two be a continent. Bad enough that most people do think Africa is a country… So we gave the destination a country’s name based on the heifer gift, and took liberties with which features may lie within those borders) and also gave them some big game beanie babies we’d found at good will. Some freaking nice good wills up here, btw.
Day three was France. The girls were patiently waiting for us and were excited to see the sticker we could put on the suitcase. It was lame (an old card I’d saved that happened to have three feathery angels on it. I’d also punched it and used it to tag day 2. On the back I wrote “oui …are totally French”. Ugh. Kill me before I pun again.
We had found two kid-sized aprons we thought the middle girls could draw on (they did) and help their mom bake on the silpats we got her. For dad, we got a used copy of the Bourne Identity. See? Set mostly in France? For the oldest niece, I knit up a hat base on a hat I found on Ravelry: the Irish hiking hat. I followed that for the brim and did my own thing for the rest of it, so I figured I could call of what I want now. At least for the gifting. It is now the Maud Gonne hat. It’s got the Irish walking roots with a random stab at a French connection, a pun on mod, and knitted up for a tall beauty, just like Maud.