There’s Another Way To Show You Care

I may have mentioned I’m drowning in stuff. Therefore I do not need more stuff. So I’m wondering, do others need more stuff? Particularly stuff they haven’t requested?

When did buying something ‘to keep’ become a good way to show you care?

I haven’t always had this mindset, I’ve done this, purchased things for others ‘to keep’. This is how I was raised. Even Easter consisted of me receiving a chocolate egg in a mug – something to keep (I ended up collecting aka hoarding mugs as a teenager but that’s a whole other story!). But it was a different time. I didn’t have a lot, and what I did have arrived at Christmas and Easter – interestingly! My birthday’s apparently were relatively present/gift dry. Although I don’t remember that, I just reminisce about the fantastic parties I had each year. My Mom later told me she couldn’t afford to buy gifts and host parties. My memories would suggest she made a good call.

What I did have lasted for years. There wasn’t a constant influx of stuff.

I’m resolute. This year will see even more of the gifts I give being consumable and when my skill base allows home-made.

It’s already begun. So far we’ve gifted a Birthday cake

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…and a dinner voucher. With home-made card

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After school tonight we are headed to Pizza Hut for a treat. That was my daughter’s birthday gift to her friend a week or so back.

In fact I quite like the idea of a little challenge. How far into 2013 can I get with consumable home-made gifts?

This isn’t going to work for every recipient. My Kids are going to expect a toy or two on their birthday.

But for others, surely my imagination is the only limitation?

How about you? How will you be gifting in 2013?

(Whilst pottering in the kitchen last night I watched a little of New In Town made all the more enticing by the fact Harry Connick Jr was playing the male lead! There was an awful lot of baking as gifting going on. I probably should move to that tiny town in Minnesota)

{ 28 comments… add one }
  • Live and Learn January 10, 2013, 1:32 pm

    I sure that all of the older recipients will really appreciate your consumable gifts. (You’re right. kids still want toys sometimes.)

  • Live and Learn January 10, 2013, 1:32 pm

    I sure that all of the older recipients will really appreciate your consumable gifts. (You’re right. kids still want toys sometimes.)

  • Sharron January 10, 2013, 6:42 pm

    Fab idea Jo, we have already decided that we are not enforcing OUR choice of gift on someone else, we are giving cash/giftcard/experience as presents this year. We lost my husbands Mum in November and when we were sorting out her things we found gifts that i, and her daughters had bought her unused, not read, and unopened. The charity shop did well that day!! She appreciated them, said thank you etc but she never used these things, i bought her a (i thought) a beautiful designer scarf last christmas. She never wore it. we would much rather have taken her for a meal and spent time with her. Life lesssons.

    Sharron x

    • simplybeingmum January 11, 2013, 12:37 pm

      Hi Sharron – firstly I’m so sorry to hear about your Mum in Law.
      I’ve heard this said before, that when people’s items are gone through there are many unopened gifts. Time is the most precious thing of all, and the greatest gift you can give anyone. As you say – Life lessons…

  • Sharron January 10, 2013, 6:42 pm

    Fab idea Jo, we have already decided that we are not enforcing OUR choice of gift on someone else, we are giving cash/giftcard/experience as presents this year. We lost my husbands Mum in November and when we were sorting out her things we found gifts that i, and her daughters had bought her unused, not read, and unopened. The charity shop did well that day!! She appreciated them, said thank you etc but she never used these things, i bought her a (i thought) a beautiful designer scarf last christmas. She never wore it. we would much rather have taken her for a meal and spent time with her. Life lesssons.

    Sharron x

    • simplybeingmum January 11, 2013, 12:37 pm

      Hi Sharron – firstly I’m so sorry to hear about your Mum in Law.
      I’ve heard this said before, that when people’s items are gone through there are many unopened gifts. Time is the most precious thing of all, and the greatest gift you can give anyone. As you say – Life lessons…

  • Cindy Rogers January 10, 2013, 8:14 pm

    Jo, I started reading your blog when I was in the midst of purging stuff for our move overseas. Sentimental clutter is my kryptonite also. Your photos and posts gave me inspiration when I thought I couldn’t face another drawer, closet, photo, etc. But we managed to eliminate A LOT and move without an abundance of stuff.

    Now my daughter’s 9th birthday is approaching next week, and when I saw your comment “My Kids are going to expect a toy or two on their birthday.” I just had to respond. This child learned the meaning of 20% as she pared down her LIttlest Pet Shop toys, keeping 1 for every four she put in the “Not Keeping” box. She has noted how much easier it is to keep her room tidy with less stuff to put away.

    As we were planning her party (to be held at home), she told me flat out she did not want any gifts. After a little more conversation, she came out with the fact she wanted to help endangered species, particularly tree frogs. So we thought about asking for donations. It turns out that it is bad etiquette to print that on invitations, but it is perfectly acceptable to TELL people that when they ask for ideas. This idea also provided a great opportunity for the two of us to learn more about frogs in our area and local projects that we may be able to help with.

    Never underestimate what your children are learning from you! 🙂

    • simplybeingmum January 11, 2013, 12:43 pm

      Cindy – what a lovely story. I’m so glad your move was successful! I’ve been over to yours and seen your beautiful photographs. I’ll keep popping by now I’ve found your blog.
      Your daughter sounds one sensible, switched on nearly 9-year-old. And also compassionate. Her choice of ‘gift’ is perfect in my eyes. I hope she has a lovely birthday! Please wish her a great day from me.
      My daughter also mentioned an animal adoption – but it wasn’t in replace of something – so that’s an area we can work toward. However she is getting a mighty fine declutterer – she has started purging her own stuff. Which makes it easier for me, time wise and also in making decisions on what to keep. She’s also started on her little brothers stuff – not so good!

      • Cindy January 11, 2013, 8:33 pm

        I love it! Sometimes it is easier to delutter another’s belongings… No emotional attachment. 🙂

        Adorable cake, by the way.

  • Cindy Rogers January 10, 2013, 8:14 pm

    Jo, I started reading your blog when I was in the midst of purging stuff for our move overseas. Sentimental clutter is my kryptonite also. Your photos and posts gave me inspiration when I thought I couldn’t face another drawer, closet, photo, etc. But we managed to eliminate A LOT and move without an abundance of stuff.

    Now my daughter’s 9th birthday is approaching next week, and when I saw your comment “My Kids are going to expect a toy or two on their birthday.” I just had to respond. This child learned the meaning of 20% as she pared down her LIttlest Pet Shop toys, keeping 1 for every four she put in the “Not Keeping” box. She has noted how much easier it is to keep her room tidy with less stuff to put away.

    As we were planning her party (to be held at home), she told me flat out she did not want any gifts. After a little more conversation, she came out with the fact she wanted to help endangered species, particularly tree frogs. So we thought about asking for donations. It turns out that it is bad etiquette to print that on invitations, but it is perfectly acceptable to TELL people that when they ask for ideas. This idea also provided a great opportunity for the two of us to learn more about frogs in our area and local projects that we may be able to help with.

    Never underestimate what your children are learning from you! 🙂

    • simplybeingmum January 11, 2013, 12:43 pm

      Cindy – what a lovely story. I’m so glad your move was successful! I’ve been over to yours and seen your beautiful photographs. I’ll keep popping by now I’ve found your blog.
      Your daughter sounds one sensible, switched on nearly 9-year-old. And also compassionate. Her choice of ‘gift’ is perfect in my eyes. I hope she has a lovely birthday! Please wish her a great day from me.
      My daughter also mentioned an animal adoption – but it wasn’t in replace of something – so that’s an area we can work toward. However she is getting a mighty fine declutterer – she has started purging her own stuff. Which makes it easier for me, time wise and also in making decisions on what to keep. She’s also started on her little brothers stuff – not so good!

      • Cindy January 11, 2013, 8:33 pm

        I love it! Sometimes it is easier to delutter another’s belongings… No emotional attachment. 🙂

        Adorable cake, by the way.

  • EcoCatLady January 11, 2013, 2:42 am

    I so totally agree. If there’s not something that I KNOW the person really wants or needs, then I try to give consumables or experiences. Gift baskets filled with special goodies are always popular, or even flower bouquets. One year I got my brother, the opera buff, a gift certificate to the National Opera and he totally loved it – he got to go to the Kennedy Center and see a live opera, something he probably wouldn’t have treated himself to. This year my present to my parents is a streaming device that will allow them to watch Netflix on their TV – well, that along with my services setting it all up! CatMan LOVES gift cards to his favorite bike store, but I think the best thing I ever got him was an antique gold coin. It was sort of a cross between gift and investment – he was blown away, and it’s one if his most treasured “things” – plus, if he ever decides he doesn’t want it anymore he can sell it for 2-3 times what I paid for it! 🙂

    • simplybeingmum January 11, 2013, 12:45 pm

      Cat – we are on the same wavelength without a doubt. I’m just about to order some flowers for a girlfriend of mines Birthday tomorrow. I did hampers at Christmas with goodies in. But ,like you, if there is something they actually want I would buy that. But adhoc impulse purchases – no way!
      (the coin sounds a fab investment – and I presume it’s small in size – win-win)

  • EcoCatLady January 11, 2013, 2:42 am

    I so totally agree. If there’s not something that I KNOW the person really wants or needs, then I try to give consumables or experiences. Gift baskets filled with special goodies are always popular, or even flower bouquets. One year I got my brother, the opera buff, a gift certificate to the National Opera and he totally loved it – he got to go to the Kennedy Center and see a live opera, something he probably wouldn’t have treated himself to. This year my present to my parents is a streaming device that will allow them to watch Netflix on their TV – well, that along with my services setting it all up! CatMan LOVES gift cards to his favorite bike store, but I think the best thing I ever got him was an antique gold coin. It was sort of a cross between gift and investment – he was blown away, and it’s one if his most treasured “things” – plus, if he ever decides he doesn’t want it anymore he can sell it for 2-3 times what I paid for it! 🙂

    • simplybeingmum January 11, 2013, 12:45 pm

      Cat – we are on the same wavelength without a doubt. I’m just about to order some flowers for a girlfriend of mines Birthday tomorrow. I did hampers at Christmas with goodies in. But ,like you, if there is something they actually want I would buy that. But adhoc impulse purchases – no way!
      (the coin sounds a fab investment – and I presume it’s small in size – win-win)

  • Jo H. January 12, 2013, 6:11 am

    We try to buy only what we know people want or need, and if we aren’t sure we always tell them it can be returned and something else of their choosing can be picked out. But I love getting new ideas, so I’m looking forward to any that you post about. I like everything you’ve done so far!

    • simplybeingmum January 12, 2013, 8:06 pm

      Thanks Jo – your comments are always so kind. I have a lot running through my mind regarding gifting and will definitely be sharing at some point! In fact I bought some hessian today – I have a plan for a Grandma gift….

  • Jo H. January 12, 2013, 6:11 am

    We try to buy only what we know people want or need, and if we aren’t sure we always tell them it can be returned and something else of their choosing can be picked out. But I love getting new ideas, so I’m looking forward to any that you post about. I like everything you’ve done so far!

    • simplybeingmum January 12, 2013, 8:06 pm

      Thanks Jo – your comments are always so kind. I have a lot running through my mind regarding gifting and will definitely be sharing at some point! In fact I bought some hessian today – I have a plan for a Grandma gift….

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