Aren’t they awesome? I mean, think about some of the best holiday celebrations you have ever enjoyed. What were some of the things you can remember? The smell of the special food? The sights and sounds? The gifts you received?
Some gifts you remember for a good long time. Two years ago, I got a new stereo for my base-model Toyota Corolla. Because it was built in 2007, no one had given any thought to making an easy connection from an iPod or other digital music device to the stereo. I had tried many different tuners and other patches to try to get the car to play my iPod, but they didn’t really work. That’s when my wife gave me a nice Pioneer sound system, complete with a USB connection. Right after we opened the gifts, I raced out to the car, tools in hand, to install it.
It took some time, but went in with no problems. Today, whenever I drive, I can listen to my music whenever I want to. I see it every day, and I am immediately whisked back to that Christmas morning.
I also have many memories of the presents I have built for others. So, I wasn’t surprised when I started posting about the Last Minute Elf a few months ago, there would be stories about woodworking projects that would be totally heartwarming. One came from reader George Bouchard. It was such a great story, I have to share it with you as he wrote it:
I built my sister-in law a cedar chest for Christmas one year, but told her we had hit on hard times and couldn’t afford much that year. There was a look of total disbelief when she opened up the ugliest pair of socks I could buy, she cried when the brother-in-law and I walked in the room with her cedar chest. We still exchange ugly socks every year for the past thirty years or so.
Now, that’s the kind of memory that will last a lifetime. Remember, when you are in your shop building those projects, you are doing so much more than assembling pieces of wood – you are making memories which may last decades.
Today’s winner tried to get his project in as many different categories as possible. Andrew Arndts told me that it could go in the turned category, or perhaps the greenest project. Maybe a child would like it, but an adult would certainly enjoy it as well. Yeah, he covered the bases. But, this simple cut off of cocobolo, with a chain attached and a simple clock insert certainly makes a handsome pocket watch, and it makes him our winner! Hey, Andrew, you are going to receive two pairs of MicroJig’s Zero Play guide bars for making the jigs of your dreams and a Consulting Woodworker’s two-book combo – Sand Shading and Frontier Log Building – for when you want to build your next awesome gifts!
The gift ideas keep pouring in! There are a lot of friends out there in the online woodworking world who are helping to come up with some great Last Minute Elf ideas. Today’s batch is a Doozy!
- The Wood Lab: Waffle Trivets
- Popular Woodworking: The Last Minute Elf
- Wood Magazine: Holiday Gift Giving Giveaway
- The Drunken Woodworker: Making Wooden Pencil Holders (video)
- Woodwork Guy: Give the the business!
- Woodwork Guy: A puzzling gift
- The Wood Whisperer: Non-Woodworking gifts for the woodworker in your life
- Chris Schwarz: The Anarchist’s Gift Guide (This is just a link to the first of his SIX entries.. more to come!)
- Popular Woodworking: The Hegemonist’s Gift Guide (their counterpunch to Chris…)