The Gift of Giving

Times are tough, money is tight, so how do we deliver in such a time?

Everyone is feeling the brunt of the economy. So how do we stretch the extra love without breaking the bank or having to do the “no gifts game” I respect the lets not pass gifts, i understand it. Money is tight, groceries, are high gas prices are through he roof. We all feel it. But I will honestly say the “no gift exchange” kills someone like me because I am such a giver at heart. I love to spoil and give rather than receive. So how do we do this without splurging or disrespecting the no gift rule? I’ll tell you how I got around it this Christmas.

Some of the thoughtful things you can do on a budget without breaking bank and the rule of no gifts (because you don’t be inconsiderate of this) is a simple Christmas arrangement. The other day I went to Walmart and bought a wooden box for five dollars and stuck a plastic planter inside it which was under five dollars. I went out in my backyard I cut down some pine branches, holly, birch bark, and whatever kind of sticks iI could find. I collected some pine cones and found an extra ribbon in my Christmas storage box. I put this together and delivered it to my dearest relative. It didn’t cost me more than ten dollars it was from the heart, and it felt so great making these arrangements for the ones I love.

This is the time of year to be spending time with family and friends. It is about appreciating and recognizing those you love. It shouldn’t feel like so much pressure around the holidays, but unfortunately for a lot of people it is. It can be pretty overwhelming for some.

There was an incident I had recently witnessed at an event. My friend was the guest of honor at a milestone birthday celebration and one of the members of the party was unable to provide a gift due to lack of expenses. The guest was nervous and embarrassed and lied stating the gift was in the mail and would arrive at a later date. The gift never arrived and the host was frustrated with the guest. Now she wasn’t frustrated for not receiving the gift, but for the untruthfulness behind the situation. I can understand both sides. I’m sure the person attending the event felt shameful and embarrassed and the host understandably was annoyed because no one wants to be fed “word salad.”

Firstly, in most cases your family and friends just want YOU! Beautiful, perfect, YOU. They want your company, your love, and your PRESENCE. Not PRESENTS! What this guest could have done was made a home made card for the host. A picture frame from the dollar store with a photo in it would have been perfect (the guest and host were closely related) or even an empty frame saying I can’t wait to make a memory with you, with the intent of that memory going into the frame. A little checklist of gestures that the guest could to do for the host. The perfect gift would have been free night out for the couple by offering a coupon to the couple for a night of babysitting the guest’s children. Anything thoughtful would have made the guest and host feel better about the situation. It doesn’t need to be about the money, but the effort behind it goes so much further.

Every year my brother and his wife host Christmas Eve with her side of the family, and I spend it with my significant other’s side of the family so I don’t see them that day. We also don’t exchange gifts because we keep it for the kids. But it doesn’t stop me from going to the dollar store and getting a Christmas platter and filling it with their favorite Christmas goodies that I baked from the heart. It’s something I do with my kids and that way I can show them the art of giving and being thoughtful, showing them that thoughtfulness doesn’t always have to come in the form of a gift. A simple Christmas ornament, a card, a letter of appreciation, flowers, any small gestures can really warm someones heart and go a long way.

Enjoy this season with your loved ones. We are not promised tomorrow. Enjoy your loved ones. Be present, be kind, be thoughtful, and spread love and cheer to all of those around you. It’s so easy to lose track amidst the chaos. slow down and hold the door for the person behind you, ask the cashier how they’re doing, smile when you walk by someone. Remind yourself with a little daily affirmation. “You are not promised tomorrow, appreciate your life and those who share it with you. Spread love, and kindness, welcome love, and kindness.

“My Christmas Platter Baking Checklist”

(Comment for the recipes)

Memere Lou’s Banana Walnut Bread, Christmas Pecan Tassies, Ooe-Gooey Oreo Brownies, Assorted Cookies, Christmas Bark.

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