Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Are you NEW?
In past years DD's school has done a mitten tree around Christmas. Basically it is a christmas tree that is decorated with mitts and hats donated for needy children. Some adult size pairs find their way there as well. Parents send new pairs of mittens, gloves, hats to be placed in the tree (no scarves. The poor lowly scarf has gone the way of the peanut in schools these days. All but banned because apparently they are a strangulation hazard). Most years I have kept my eyes open on dollar store trips and grabbed pairs of those little stretchy mitts, or more recently polar fleece hats and gloves. This year I had some gloves and mittens that I crocheted and knit to try patterns, but had no recipients in mind, so decided to donate those. They came BACK. With a note. We are sorry, we only accept donations of NEW items. Huh? These are new. Double check to make sure DD didn't drop them in a puddle or something, and nope. So this morning I brought them in myself. And the head of the social committee curtly informed me those gloves could not possibly be new because they had no tags. Seeing as I had already explained that I made them myself, it took me a moment to process what she was saying to me. "Of course they have no tags. They did not come from a store. I made them with my own two hands, out of yarn". I might as well have told her I gave birth to them, and even at that she wanted nothing to do with my tagless mittens! What has the world come to when stretch gloves that cost a dollar (and last maybe a week under use) are given more value than something home-made and hand crafted? When bake sales are restricted to store bought cupcakes and boxed cookies? When kids aren't allowed to bring treats in to the classroom to share with their classmates for a holiday so as not to offend the others that do not celebrate that particular way? It is about more than mitten trees, my friends. I could have argued that my mittens and gloves had just as much place on that tree as anything else but frankly I was worried she would put them up just to make me go away, then take them off and jettison them afterwards. My mittens will eventually come to good use, they always do. As do the countless pairs of slippers that don't seem to fit anybody "today" and the lap blankets I make to see how the pattern looks made up but with no recipient in mind. These items have a way of finding their own home. And I guess that home isn't on the mitten tree!