The holidays are the perfect time of year to show gratitude to those you love with small tokens of appreciation. I don’t know about you, but as I get older, my desire for material things is replaced with a desire for moments…laughter…health…friendships and family.
While I was getting my home in holiday mode, pulling out decorations, I came across a few dusty boxes in my garage. Those boxes contained the most precious gifts I have ever received.
They were letters that I have kept since childhood, from grandparents, parents and long-lost friends. Rich letters that seemed to take on a life of their own, with the ability to transport me back to an earlier time.
I could faintly still smell my grandmother’s perfume on the letters she had sent to me since I was a child. Others were sent to me by my dad, after my parents divorce, when he moved to California, which to a child seemed like a world apart from my hometown of Miami. There were yellowed cards marking every occasion, and notes from high school friends.
My grandmother is long gone, as is my father, but with a real letter in my hands, I can, for a brief moment, touch their handwriting and feel their presence, and it brings such great comfort.
The art of letter writing is fading, which is why it’s so important (even if just once a year) to put pen to paper and write a good old-fashioned love letter to your kids, your parents, your friends, anyone who has touched your life, because your words will live on long after a material gift has found it’s way into a landfill. Never under estimate the power of your words, and the positive influence they can have on someone you love.
I wanted to share with you some of my favorite ways to express gratitude this holiday season, and I hope it inspires you to give in a unique way.
- Mini Paper Sculptures – I love these beautiful hand made colorful cards, and receiving one in the mail would make anyone on your list smile. It’s a perfect vessel for your love letters. $10
- Operation Gratitude – This program delivers letters and care packages to veterans. When filling out your cards to family and friends, why not send one (or several) to show your appreciation for their service, it will surely make their day. FREE (Cost of a stamp)
- Make an In-Kind Donation to a Homeless Shelter Most of us have an abundance of excess clothing and household items. Why not donate your excess to people in need. Just Google a homeless shelter in your area, most of them have a page for “how to donate”, with a list of the most requested items. FREE
- Help a Dog in Need Our friends at The Blissful Dog will donate a .15 oz tube of NOSE BUTTER, PAW BUTTER, ELBOW BUTTER or BOO BOO BUTTER to a dog rescue group or shelter (in your name) for every sale made until December 20th. From $5
- Enjoy the Journey Coloring Book – Mike Dooley is one of my favorite authors. I have seen him in person and own all of his books. Coloring books act as a form of meditation, and the messages in the book are so inspirational and uplifting. $10
- One Line a Day 5 Year Gratitude Journal – I love to write, and I understand the concept of how important journaling is, but sometimes all those blank pages intimidate me. I came across this journal on a weekend getaway with Mr. Celtic Complexion. It gives you a few lines to jot down what you are grateful for each day. It sits on my desk, and has now become a nightly ritual for me. $10
- Turn Your Child’s Art Into a Toy – Bring your children’s imagination to life. This is truly a one-of-a-kind gift that will be cherished for years to come. Budsies (featured on Shark Tank) can turn any drawing or picture into a plush toy. $89
- Create a Family Cookbook – Making my dad’s signature dish of stuffed shells, or my mom’s famous orange cake really connects me to them. Food is one of the best ways to bond with your family and friends. Why not create a cookbook, complete with your own recipes, with pictures and stories about the dishes? It will become a family heirloom someday. $30
- Make a Joy Jar – This is one of my favorite things to give, and it teaches us to be grateful for the little things, and over the course of a year, this can add up. It also has the potential to shift your attitude into a more positive way of being. I came across this wonderful blog post explaining how it works. FREE
- A Little Luxury – I am amazed at how a fifteen minute hot shower can bring me so much joy. It seems to wash all of my stress away, especially when I use a bar of hand-crafted soap. This year, I discovered an artisan soap maker on Etsy and her soaps have become my favorite! I buy them by the loaf and give them as gifts too. They are beautiful all-natural golden yellow luxury bath & shower bars formulated using high quality oils and mango butter. It is scented with lemongrass and orange valencia and just a touch of patchouli essential oils. Use the coupon code “celtic” at checkout for a 20% discount. $5
- Chemical Free Cleaning – A clean house is something you give to yourself and family. I have never been excited about cleaning my home (but I love a clean house!), so when a friend introduced me to a way I could clean my house without chemicals, I jumped at it. The idea seemed to defy logic, but these microfibers are now a staple in my home. I also keep them in my car, and I travel with them. They turned me into a neat freak (and I’m not complaining!). From $17
There you have it, my 11 favorite ways to gift! I’ll be sharing the Celtic Complexion gift in the December newsletter, so be sure to sign up for it to get details.
If you have unique ways to gift, I would love to hear them