Weather Forecast


Gifts from the heart

Recently, a lady from the church I attend gave me an early Christmas present at our book club gathering.

Cindy, an art teacher, is very creative. She made every woman in the group a bookmark with unique designs and different colors in the shape of a cross.

While I marveled at this beautiful handmade glass bookmark and at her creativity, I was also touched by her thoughtfulness and by this very special present, created specifically for each one of us.

What a great idea and a special present, I thought.

I like the idea of giving gifts from the heart and I like presents that are handmade.

Likewise, I know there are people who think it is cheap to give presents that are not store bought but handmade. They put a value on the present based on the price tag.

I know people who complain about presents they receive that are handmade. Because handmade presents usually don't cost much in monetary value and don't have a price tag, some people think they are not worth much, therefore they are not valuable.

For me, it is not the price of the present, it is the thought that counts.

For people who share the same value with me, here are some gift ideas that can be handmade and special.

If you like to write, you can write a letter or a poem to someone. Instead of sending a Christmas card with just a signature, write something personal. Share your thoughts and memories about the person. Elderly people will specially enjoy this kind of presents.

If you like to knit, you can make hats, scarves, mittens, socks or sweaters for people.

If you like to sew, you can make reusable fabric gift bags. Make them in the shape and approximate size of pillowcases out of fabrics, and use any leftover fabrics to make small bags.

You can reuse these bags every year for giving presents to your immediate family members. This will eliminate all wrapping paper, bows, tags, boxes, etc. year after year.

Other people will also appreciate receiving reusable fabric gift bags as presents.

If you like to do quilt, make a quilt for someone. It does not have to be so elaborated like the ones you see at the state fair, you can make a small and simple quilt.

Another lady with the name Sandy in the church once made an outfit for my daughter's doll and also gave her a small quilt and tiny pillow for her doll. They were special gifts for us.

If you like to take pictures, you can make blank cards or a calendar using the photos you took yourself.

If you are good at working with digital photos, you can create a photo collage or a movie for people using their old and new photos. As it is often said, "A picture is worth a thousand words," this is a great way to show someone's life in pictures.

If you like to do scrap booking, make a photo album for a family member.

If you're an artist and like to draw, make a picture or a portrait for someone.

If you like gardening and planting, give people plants that you have cut and grown from your own plants.

If you like to bake, bake come cookies, a cake or bread for someone.

If you like to cook, prepare a meal for a friend.

If you are a handy man, you can give someone a gift certificate for future repair and service in the area you are good at.

Everyone has a gift, a God given talent. We are all creative in our own ways. We don't have to be artists to be creative.

If you really can't think of anything creative or don't know what you can create, how about creating coupons that offer free babysitting for a young family, or housework, yard work, cooking or snow shoveling for an elderly person or a get-together with a lonely person?

I wish to live in a culture in which we value handmade items, where we don't judge people's heart by how much they spend on us and where we do not feel embarrassed to give gifts that do not have a price tag

I want to be in an environment where we can cultivate more creativity and eliminate more spending and wasting, where we are encouraged to give what we have in us, not what we buy in stores.

I hope we can get back to the true meaning of Christmas and get away from the materialistic view of today's world.

Gifts, which do not come with price tags, can be priceless and more precious.