Ghosts of Christmas Future #5: What wood you do?

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Blog entry by scottb posted 12-20-2010 05:30 AM 2095 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: the ornaments Part 5 of Ghosts of Christmas Future series Part 6: Ornament evolution »

This is the entire gift under the tree:

Approximately 1 board foot of red oak.
Label attached reads:

What WOOD you make?
What WOOD you do with this?
Whatever WOOD this be?

My question or challenge to you, my fellow LJs, is not what would you do with it, but:

Would you dare offer this as a gift yourself?

- to a school-age (not adult) child?

- NOT as a joke gift?

- to your daughter?

For better of worse, anyone would certainly remember it for years to come. Unlike that, ummm… what was it? last year.

Would your child remember it fondly?

Would they think it’s a joke, even if you didn’t?

Would they think you Scrooged them out of getting something really cool?

Would they absolutely love it, or hate you for it?

Would it provide them material, if not inspiration for their creativity, or simply something to hit you with?

When I dreamt up this idea, and ran it by my wife, she agreed that our little one (our second grade little girl), would think it’s just about the best thing ever. A funny label promising future shop time with dad, making whatever she wants and can dream up… and she has QUITE the imagination.

at least I hope she dreams up something to MAKE with it. Earlier shop visits had her drawing on anything and everything she could find in the scrap bin… (Not that I EVER did anything like that at her age.)

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

11 comments so far

View Karson's profile


35210 posts in 5008 days

#1 posted 12-20-2010 06:35 AM

Sounds like it will be a challenge. I’m glad that your wife is in agreement – That way you are not out standing in the cold alone.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4768 days

#2 posted 12-20-2010 11:37 AM

I think it is wonderful – coming from a woodworker to future woodworker
AND it also sounds like it means time in the shop with you. Priceless. (oh, you said that. )

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View rivergirl's profile


3201 posts in 3446 days

#3 posted 12-20-2010 02:15 PM

My kids would likely kill me with it- then toss it into the woodburner. They don’t care for woodworking. Neither does Len. But it would be a nice gift idea for a budding woodworker. I ain’t got nun them in this ‘ere ‘ouse. Nope. None. Zero. zip. zilch. ;)

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View SPalm's profile


5334 posts in 4490 days

#4 posted 12-20-2010 03:49 PM

Nice for the right person. My kids show no interest. So to them, not so much.
But the shop time with Dad is one of the coolest things I can think of.
I prefer maple :)


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3464 days

#5 posted 12-20-2010 03:58 PM

My kids wood love it.
So would all of my family.
Thanks for the idea.
I wonder if I will get away with it for HTMBO? :)
Great idea.


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3723 days

#6 posted 12-20-2010 04:58 PM

that will be the best suicide article in the news paper in the next ten years ….LOL
I wuold not dare to pull this trick …even thow my daughter love to spend time in the shop with me

but for the right person …yes

Merry chrismas to you and your fammely

View Ken Waller's profile

Ken Waller

91 posts in 3778 days

#7 posted 12-20-2010 05:24 PM

If it’s the only gift (besides socks and underwear) I think you’re treading on thin ice. As an extra gift it has great potential. I might add a note that your time is her time in the shop to help her with whatever she wants to make.
I once gave my wife a beautiful block of maple burl with a note that a exquisite bowl was hidden inside and any competent woodturner (a job I volunteered for) could release the bowl. I had been working on gifts for the rest of the family and hadn’t been able to get to hers. She took it well but I was glad I had other presents for her under the tree.

-- Ken in Sharbot Lake, Ontario

View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 4038 days

#8 posted 12-20-2010 05:34 PM

The closest I have come was to pre-cut up some bird houses for my grand sons. Did all the cutting and drilled the hole. Supplied nails and sandpaper, and blueprint. They had their dads help assemble them. (All were a little young to attempt without guidance.)

They loved them.

-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View RobS's profile


1334 posts in 4914 days

#9 posted 12-20-2010 08:28 PM

Great idea. I’m sure whatever comes of it, it will be terrific.

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

View rivergirl's profile


3201 posts in 3446 days

#10 posted 12-21-2010 12:16 AM

Now scrappy- that’s a pretty cool idea- make a pre-fab kit and force their parents to participate. :)

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View StumpyNubs's profile


7799 posts in 3408 days

#11 posted 12-21-2010 02:57 AM

I never got Christmas presents as a child, but even I would have thought that was one crappy gift. COME ON PEOPLE! As mature adults we see it as something good, something that’ll build character, something that’ll be a great memory to cherish forever. But a kid will just see a square foot of wood.

Kid’s don’t want memories, they want I-Pods.

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

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