As we bounce along toward the holiday season, I got to thinking about the many meanings of this time of year to families around the world. That consequently led me to think that for many, the month of December may not include the “gift-giving and merrymaking” that I grew up with. A simple Google search took me to articles about the 9 days of religious observance in Mexico (Las Posadas) and the celebrations of the winter solstice in Hong Kong, among many others. I realized anew that each festival is unique; special to that culture and to those that hold it in their hearts. I then felt compelled to share why mine is special to me.
My family celebrates Christmas in the manner that many families in the United States do, with a tree decorated with ornaments collected over years and decades, fresh baked sugar cookies on Christmas Eve and singing carols on doorsteps around our small town. But more than the traditions, what I look forward to most is the warmth of waking up on Christmas morning to spend precious time with those that I love. Always more than gifts, the small touches of our family celebration make the day memorable.
Far from home, the weavers have invited me into their homes and families, showing me kindness well beyond what I had ever dreamed. Shown here is Angela Milo Huallpa, an incredibly skilled and gentle woman from the community of Totora.
We’ve never been much for gifts anyway, and when exchanging them, it’s always more enjoyable to give than receive. My brothers and I are now professionals in our respective careers yet without question, we will find plump stockings hung along the fireplace that my father has lovingly filled with our favorite sweets and fun trinkets. They are small things but they mean much more. And this year, I’ll be beginning my own gift-giving tradition by sharing pieces of Peru and Threads of Peru, also small things that have a very profound meaning.
Young and precocious, David lives in the community of Pitukiska in the Mapacho River Valley, that TOP was introduced to through our partners at Q'ente. He will certainly be looking to holiday festivities this year!
Each day working in Cusco is an eye-opening experience of learning and growing, of better understanding the everyday reality of far too many wonderful men and women that struggle to support their families and preserve their way of life. Each purchase you make from Threads of Peru directly benefits the success of their hard work, as well as the continued practice of an ancient tradition that may otherwise be forgotten. And we assure you that any one of our 100% handwoven, organically dyed textiles will only contribute to the specialness of your holiday celebrations, as I know they will for mine!
Pictured from left to right - Santusa, Demesia, Francisca and Andrea - are all working mothers from the remote Andean village of Chaullacocha.
Visit our online store today - to browse our beautiful selection of 2012-2013 textiles that will work for any budget - especially now with all products being offered at 10% off! With many thanks to our friends and partners at Awamaki, the Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development and Q’ente, we have more variety than ever before, particularly if you’re looking for those small “somethings” for stocking stuffers that always make my Christmas mornings special. And even if your family will not be celebrating the same as mine, your purchase from Threads of Peru will be a gift to cherish for many years to come.
Only two of the beautiful knitwear pieces now in stock from our friends at Awamaki!
The traditional and fashion forward ILLAWA bag, from fellow NGO Q'ente, was designed by Master Weaver, Andrés Sallo, from the small town of Huaran.