Gift of Time—Best Gift of All
Gift giving ideas from the heart instead of the pocketbook.
"What to buy for Susie, Johnny and all the others on my list?" "How can I make my budget stretch as far as I want it to for all the gifts I want to give?" Oh, the joys and stress of the holidays are now upon us. I also believe there's another question to ask. "What truly determines the value of a gift—the price tag or the heart of the giver?"
An excellent example of this attitude from the heart is the Holiday Bazaar recently held at Woodie Fite Senior Center. These "elves" make items all year long and sell them at the beginning of December. Their focus is for children to be able to afford gifts for family; however, I definitely left with items to give as gifts. The pictures give you a glimpse into what you can expect from them next year. Put it on your calendar now, so you don't forget! It's a great way to help the center and is also used for Alzheimers research.
With this inspiration in mind, I decided to look for creative gifts that require more of a focus on personal time and thought rather than a checkbook. Many of these are gifts I've given before and some are new discoveries. They can all be made with children in mind as great helpers!
* Baked goods and other holiday treats. Two of my favorites have been banana nut bread and apple butter.
* Powdered hot drink mixes such as, hot chocolate and spiced mocha, with holiday fabric on top of the jar.
* Handmade scarves and blankets made from fleece. These are extremely easy to make.
* All kinds of kits found at craft stores. I've done wall hangings, ornaments, magnets and pictures.
* My husband Stan's Mother has place mats made from special cards she received throughout the years glued onto heavy paper and laminated.
* For those who want to take care of the birds for the winter - gather pine cones, cover in peanut butter or honey, roll in bird seed and hang on a tree or deck railing as a bird feeder
* Our grandchildren love to give us their special "art work" for us to put on the refrigerator. Why not have children create a picture and have it framed? Evenutally it will come off the refrigerator, but not when it's a wall hanging!
* Have children write IOUs for various services they can do for family and friends. This is a great way to teach strong work ethics and the value of helping others.
* This is probably my very favorite. Years ago my in-laws and Stan's aunt videotaped Stan's then 100 year old grandmother while she answered questions about her life from childhood to "great-great grandmotherhood!" She lived to be 106 and it is a priceless look into the history and life of a wonderful woman. My brother also did the same with my Mom on what would have been my parents' 50th anniversary had my Dad lived. These can never be replaced and are truly priceless! This is the best gift a family can have to pass on to future generations - the history of a life.
Another suggestion is to attend classes offered by local businesses. Some of these, to name a few, are: Home Depot, Hobby Lobby, Michaels and Cornerstone Sew & Vac. These are offered throughout the year.
For those who love making jewelry, a couple of choices would be Cool Beads on Chapel Hill Rd and party planners with U Design Jewelry. Pam Fox, an Independent Design Representative with U Design Jewelry, says she especially loves working with children. How special for that child to be able to give Mom, Grandma or another loved one a "one-of-a-kind" present!
Teaching our children and granchildren the joy of giving from the heart is another way to strengthen the value system of our community.