Probably one of the best feelings a person can experience is seeing the look on another's face when he or she opens a cherished gift.
Now is the season of giving, and if you are anything like me, you are wracking your brain for that perfect idea for a present to give someone you love. It may seem like the people you know already have everything they need and you are having a hard time figuring out what to buy them.
Well, perhaps I can help you out. Christmas has been so commercialized over the years that sometimes we think that the only way our gifts can be appreciated is if we spend a lot of money and get the best thing there is in the store. But sometimes it is the simple things that count. It's not all about who can get the best present--it's about showing your love and appreciation to the person you are giving to.I have a few suggestions about just how to go about doing that.
The Jar of Appreciation
I really like this idea, and I am actually going to do it for both of my parents this year. All you need to really do is get a jar of some sort. You can do whatever you want with it: either leaving it as it is or decorating it however you see fit. If you want, you can even lable it "Jar of Appreciation". Next, get some slips of paper and write little notes of appreciation on each one, things that come to mind when you think of the person you will give it to. Here are some examples:
"I love the way you laugh."
"You give the best hugs ever."
"I'm so blessed to have you in my life."
When you are finished, simply slide the notes into the jar. They are sure to bring a smile to the face of whomever receives this sweet gift.
A Memory Book
This can contain anything you want to put in it. You can fill it with your favorite pictures and quotes, or maybe you want to put a few handwritten pages where you recount your best memories with the gift-receiver. Make it your own creation. Decorate it with your drawings and doodles, ribbons and bows--anything that catches your eye! It should be special, just like the person you will give it to. And I am sure it will become a prized possession of theirs. I know I would love to have a memory book handmade by my best friend or one of my siblings.
Do you love to bake and know just what sweet that special person absolutely loves? How about you make it for them, then? Surprise your dad with his favorite double chocolate chip cookies that he adores, or tickle your mom's tastebuds with those snickerdoodles she loves so much! Does your best friend love fudge? Show up at her house with three fresh batches!
Okay, maybe not that many.
You get the point, though, right? People love food; especially so when a loved one makes it just for them.
Personalized Picture Frames
By painting and decorating a frame for a certain picture, you can be creative and have fun while making something meaningful. Go with whatever sparks your imagination! Have a favorite picture of you and your brother or sister? What better way to make it even more special than by making a frame just for that? You can even go a step further and make the frame magnetic so it can be enjoyed everyday by sticking it on the fridge.
Listening and Affection
These gifts can be given freely without having to worry about spending too much money or worrying if they will be appreciated. Everyone is worth being listened to, and a loving hug or a gentle smile can warm anyone's heart. Give a listening ear to someone who needs it. Be that daughter that is not afraid to hug and kiss her parents in front of her friends.
Remember, Christmas is a time for giving and celebrating Jesus. It is not about the gifts you receive or the fun you have, but the joy you can give to others. I hope these few gift ideas helped you out in your search for some truly heartfelt ways to show your love and gratitude to those closest to you.
Oh, by the way...I love freshly baked chocolate
Did you know that Hogan loves cats, but she's not a crazy cat lady?!
Did you know that Haylie's cat Jake was originally her friend Kamen's?!
Photograph property of Lilies Among Thorns Magazine. Photograph taken by Haylie Gregory.