Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide

Abbott and Cal helping with preparations for a community lunch (for the hungry), 2006

preparing pet food for hungry pets

In this season of giving, please consider giving of yourself and your time as well as possessions.

Please consider finding a way to give back to your community. Shovel your neighbor's walk in addition to your own. Take food to a food bank. Contribute to a toy drive. Make an extra batch of soup the next time you make some for someone who could use it.

Consider giving the gift of time to family members. This can be done in a variety of ways, such as giving tickets to see a play or concert together (and supporting the arts in the process).

Handmade gifts are special; the biscotti I posted yesterday makes a great gift alone or paired with some tea or coffee and/or a mug. Here is another great idea I saw today.

If you aren't making your own gifts, please consider buying handmade.

Remember others such as house cleaners, childcare providers, teachers, and letter carriers. Consider giving them gift certificates for groceries, haircuts, massages, dry cleaning, restaurant meals or video rentals. Tickets to movies and concerts make great gifts.

If you plan to give to any senior citizens, bus passes and coupons for transportation or taxis are often helpful. Consider giving a subscription to a magazine. My aunt suggested stationary and stamps as a gift for my Grandmother who recently had to move into an assisted living facility.

The holidays are often a sad time for those who are alone. Consider inviting someone you know who is alone for a meal with your family. Loneliness is the ultimate poverty.

I welcome your thoughts and suggestions for holiday giving in the comments section.

13 comments:

Joyce said...

Amen sister!
A very beautiful post Lecia!
We have adopted families over the year buying tree decorated, meal and gifts.
The last couple of years we have adopt a boy's group home where my one CASA (court appointed special advocate for abuse and neglected childrene)child lives. Some of these kid's have never had a Christmas gift. One last year was 15 yrs old. To see the the look in his eyes was priceless! We even give them a pizza party for NYE to bring in the New Year.

We also give to our UPS, mail and trash man and senior neighbors.
It is more of a treasure for me to give then receive. How many shoes, and clothing can I wear?
Again, thanks my friend for a touching post. xoxo

KPiep said...

Absolutely!

We've decided not to do Christmas cards this year, and instead are going to start making donations to our local food bank and possibly to Heifer International.

In addition, with two recently retired fathers, we decided to switch the focus of our gift giving this year to either handmade items or gifts of time. We're really looking forward to it!

Ina J Offret said...

I enjoyed the link to the Peppermint Bark recipe and copied it. Looks very tasty and easy. Ironically in my post today I too am looking for ideas for the neighbors.. got some simple and nice ideas there from commenters. This year we are paring down as well. Love the Heifer Int'l idea mentioned above. xo

amy said...

thank you for the inspiration! it's good to share the good in our lives with all around us!

Paige said...

Lecia, you are so thoughtful. Thanks for sharing these ideas. Every year I help the kids make gifts and cards for their grandparents, which is a fun and thoughtful thing to do together. We also like to deliver cookies to our neighbors on the block where we live - my son especially likes to be the bearer of yummy treats!

Kwana said...

I think you topped all other gift guides with this one. Just beautiful.

Elizabeth said...

Lecia, you've captured the true spirit of the holidays. It's so important to share our love and good fortune with those around us.

A Day That Is Dessert said...

Thanks everyone for your ideas and kind words! xoxo

citysage said...

A lovely, thoughtful post Lecia. Thank you. It's so easy to forget about these things in the hustle and bustle of the holidays. It's so inspiring to see you teaching your boys the value of giving back.

the laughing mouse said...

beautiful post. Thank you for sharing and reminding us of the important things !

Donna ~Blessed Nest said...

I love this post..it's so refreshing. We posted a gift guide including giving to those in need in the place of your gift - "it's not your birthday" idea...
Have a wonderful Christmas!

Thimbleina said...

What a lovely post!

pve design said...

Well now, you are one special person and mother to give and to more importantly to reach out to those less fortunate. I try to do things "unseen" - buy the next person's toll - or if I see an elderly alone, I pick up the tab. Time is also another gift so seldom given.
Wonderful photos-