"Out of Hand...out of heart"

By Missy Schenck

For as long as I can remember our holiday motto has been “out of hand, out of heart;” that which is made with our hands comes straight from our heart. It is the motto that defines our holiday giving and reinforces the true spirit of the season for our family.

Sometime during the fall, our family begins a creative journey to “out of hand, out of heart” for the holidays ahead. We search craft magazines, websites, memory books, and now Pinterest (check out the GRP site for great nature craft ideas). Our final decisions are always TOP SECRET!!!

As a parent, my favorite “out of hand, out of heart” presents are personal stories written by our children – who are all grown now. These family history classics are treasures I will always love. I’ve saved all of them. A few years ago, I decided to gather all of these stories …ones to me, ones to grandparents, stories written in school, etc. and make a book. I found them everywhere…in scrapbooks, in dresser drawers, in boxes, inside my daily devotional book, and in old school notebooks. My enthusiastic undertaking was a bit larger than I had anticipated and it became apparent that it was going to take longer than initially planned…the holidays were coming on fast. As author and artist, I decided that creative license allowed me to extend the project and so it became a two year “out of hand, out of heart” project! My children were even more intrigued when I announced on Christmas morning that their present was still in the making and it would be another year in the works. I had no idea that this project would become one of the greatest gifts that I gave to myself. I laughed, I cried…I laughed some more, and I cried some more…when I couldn’t sleep, I worked on it…I fell asleep working on it! It allowed me to see life all over again through their eyes.

“Out of hand, out of heart”…that which is made with our hands, comes straight from our hearts." A simple life motto that brings out the best in us during a busy holiday season reminds me of how camp, too, brings out the best in us. Both are gifts that inspire us and remind us of how life could and should be.

Happy Holidays from all of us at GRP….with lots of love and hugs! xoxoxoxo