Today I wish sing praise to the unsung. What I perceive to be the warmest, most clever, most creative and most meaningful gift one friend can possibly give another. Some may find Friendship Bracelets are immature, puerile and childish. They are indeed appropriate to give to children and teenagers; or for children and teenagers to give to one another. Heck, when I was a kid I wore friendship bracelets and gave them to my friends, who were them until they fall off. But now I am an adult, and you know what? I still wear a friendship bracelet. I still love to make them. And I still trade them and love to give them to my friends.
Yes, it is true. Friendship bracelets are most popular with the pre-teenage crowd. They are especially popular among adolescent girls. But that does not mean that just the pre-teenage crowd and especially adolescent girls where them or may wear them without feeling like a freak. Actually, friendship bracelets aren’t just for kids. Adults too, senior citizens included, really people of all ages can enjoy, collecting, trading, wearing, making and giving friendship bracelets as gifts.
Others who are often seen adorning friendship bracelets are people attending Phish concerts, Deadheads, Rainbow Family Gathering participants and other smelly hippy types. Such friendship bracelets are also commonly seen on the wrists and ankles of both male teenagers and female teenagers, surfers, and of course camp counselors. The latter are the first people I ever saw wearing friendship bracelets and incidentally the first people I ever saw listening and dancing to the Grateful Dead.
The amount of thread used to make friendship bracelets can and usually does vary from size to size and from pattern to pattern, of course. The smallest known pattern, which is a double chain knot, requires no less than two strings to make. The candy stripe may have as few as three strings and as many as forty. This, of course, is based on thickness and pattern. Because of the versatility found among the different versions of friendship bracelets, they are worn by both males and females of all ages. They are not for kids only. Have I mentioned this yet?
The hand weaving and knot craft used in creating traditional patterns of friendship bracelets actually have its roots in Native American and Central American handcrafts. This is another reason why friendship bracelets are not for kids only. According to this indigenous tradition, the person who receives a friendship bracelet must wear it until the cords wear out and then naturally fall off. The main idea is that the friend paid for it with all the love and hard work which made it, and the recipient repays the friend by honoring the work. By the same token, removing the bracelet before it falls off naturally is a sign that the friendship has actually turned sour. Another variation of this tradition is that the recipient of a bracelet is entitled to a wish. After the bracelet wears out and then falls off naturally, it is said, the wish will come true. And this theory has been proven true by me, time and again!