Last year by this time I had our entire families shopped for, wrapped and under the tree. This year everything is completely different, but not necessarily bad or negative. We haven't had the funds to purchase gifts as we had in the past. You could say everything is from the heart this year. I'm giving gifts of knowledge and food. :-)
After our trip to the Whole Foods Market tonight, I will begin working on making homemade breads, pretzels, old fashioned fudges and a few other goodies. One of my nephews favorites is the giant chocolate chip cookies I make. The boys are ages 3 to 7 and the 15 inch giant cookies are quite cool and awesome to them! I always make two giant cookies at one time. Here is one from the last batch I made:
I'm also giving the gift of knowledge this year. reading is such an important role in our daily lives and spirituality. Books are a perfect gift for almost anyone of any age. A few years back I was lucky enough to find a wonderful website with thousands of discounted books. This year I have purchased several books on sustainable living, survival, how-to, thankfulness and much more. I even found kid gardening books for my nephews! The boys seem to love to work and help out in our organic garden. One of my favorite summer memories is the boys picking peppers and snapping beans! I feel compelled to share this book website with all of you, even though I am of no affiliation. Their bargains are unbeatable! I spend almost $100 and have over 30 high quality and usable books that I know my friends & family will enjoy and benefit from. Had I spent retail or even sale prices on places like Dealmaker or Amazon, I would have spent over $380. WOW... now that's a savings! Besides, can we really put a price on knowledge? Not in my mind you can't. If you get the time and are a book lover, I believe you will highly enjoy www.BookCloseOuts.com The deals are spectacular and the selection almost seems never ending. I was fortunate enough to come across a couple of signed copies by the authors.
I do have other gifts that didn't start out as gifts. In the past we had purchased several household items to add a little beauty to the place and property. Know that we know we are going to be moving, we will not be using these new items. The great part is I am a bargain hunter a heart. I never and I do mean never pay retail for anything. I have a couple beautiful iron hanging baskets for on a porch that are still new with tags. originally they sold for $19.99 each but I bought them at $1.50 each! I also have a beautiful black iron plant or light hanging thing. Same deal, I paid maybe $1 for it and it was almost $20 originally. Only one family member has a porch that these will work on and they enjoy sitting on their porch in the summer evenings. These will make the perfect gift for them! We bought a new sink faucet as well. Originally it was almost $300, brushed nickel with all the expandable goodies. We have less than $20 in it so I am trying to think of someone that could use a new kitchen sink faucet. I also have a brass porch lamp that is stunning and still brand new in box. Again we have less than $20 in it and the retail was around $180. I'm hoping I can think of someone in the family that would really enjoy such a nice hanging porch lantern/light. We have other stuff we have used so it is gently loved. I haven't decided what I am doing with those things as of yet. One is a nice 10x10 metal framed canopy with a canvas roof. I used it the past two years in the summer for the produce stand outside. We lucked out a few years back and found one of those giant portable 8 foot umbrellas with the base that you can tilt. We paid around $45 for the entire thing that originally sold for over $250. These are the type of bargains I seem to find. I know my parents would love the umbrella on their patio and since we will be moving and no longer need or have room for it, I am thinking they would enjoy it.
The point of this post today was to show how much I love to give. Giving in its self is a gift. I do not care if I receive anything from anyone. That has never mattered. Honestly Tom & I haven't bought for each other in the past few years becasue of financial issues. This year will be no different and it doesn't matter one way or the other. We are thankful that we can still give in some shape, way or form. When it comes to our 'gifts' for each other, it has never been about money. We don't find happiness in the items we receive or don't receive from each other. It's no different than how I feel about romance. I find it romantic when Tom does the dishes, cleans the table off or does some other domestic chore. Our gifts to each other are simple but appreciated. When all else fails, we take our 'gift giving' with each other to the bedroom. You just can't go wrong with giving to your spouse in the bedroom! ;-)
Give this year without any expectations or hopes of receiving. Feel the the true gift... the gift of giving. Giving from the heart is always better than giving from a commercial shop.
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