Forget boxes of chocolates, gift cards that never get used and please, please, please forget the tchotchkes. (And I think I speak on behalf of all teachers when I say especially the tchotchkes. I bet we could build a whole new school with all the apple themed mugs, plaques, ceramic bells, ornaments, wall hangings, etc. that end up in the landfill every year.)
Here are some gifts I like to give that may be perfect for new friends you are just getting to know, old friends you’ve run out of ideas for, your kids’ teachers, and even for you. Bonus - they are all relatively friendly to mama earth. None of them need end up in a landfill.
Danielle LaPorte has an amazing free Desire + Fire Gift Bundle. This is almost too good to be true but if you know Danielle, you know better. It contains The Desire Map audiobook (6 hours), The Desire Map workbook, the Fire Starter Sessions workbook, some digital wallpaper and a $10 gift card. And it is all digital, which means no mall, no wrapping and no post office queue. And did I mention that it’s FREE? I’m giving this to all my friends and clients, because why wouldn’t I?
For your new friend, old friend, work colleague, supervisor:
Download the PDF of the free ebook What is Dying to be Born? onto a flash drive (link is in the column to the right), take it to Staples of Kinkos or your local copy shop and have it printed in colour and bound. Should cost less than $20. It feels personal but has also been used in professional development workshops at some big organizations. It manages to walk that line between personal and professional. Beautiful and thought-provoking and an original gift. (ask for enviro-friendly paper for printing and cloth or wire binding is more eco then plastic)
For your kids’ teachers:
Either of the two inspirational books Teaching with Heart or Teaching with Fire. About $15 each, any teacher will find renewed passion for their work inside these pages. I received Teaching with Fire as a gift and used it so heavily that I was thrilled when I got chosen to contribute to Teaching with Heart. I’m happy to say it’s as good as the first.
For someone who appreciates the handmade touch:
I like to make custom prayer flags with images that commemorate a shared experience (for example, I once made a set of prayer flags for each woman who was on a small retreat with me) or reflect the personality of the recipient. I either find or create simple black and white images on my computer (5 is a good number) and print them onto cotton fabric and then sew or glue them to a piece of cord or twine. The directions here are good – though I like to cut the fabric a bit smaller all around then the sheet. For extra love, sew a little pocket on the back of one of the flags where written intentions can be tucked and then carried on the wind. I hang these in my yard and let them weather away.
For your hippie, mystical, earthy friend:
I buy a wonderful rose & moonshine infused honey from Nao Sims at Honey Grove. Start with the fact that honey is love in jar - can it get better than that? Truly, as Rudolf Steiner teaches, “The bees suck out their food — which they then turn into honey — exclusively from those parts of the plants that are centred in love; they bring, so to speak, the love-life of the flowers into the hive.”
You can make your own version of this as a gift or for yourself. Find a local beekeeper who makes a light tasting honey and then infuse it with any dried spice or herb you like. Great instructions here. During the infusion time, set it in a window where it will get the light of the moon during the night – leave it through a full moon for the strongest infusion. The next full moon happens to be on December 25th. (Nao leaves hers for 3 full moons beside a rose quartz crystal, but that requires some planning ahead and a little more witchiness than I have.) Make a little card to go with it describing the infusions and the love.
If you buy a gift but you still want to give it a little heartful touch, add some nature. I like to gild wishbones and acorns with gold leaf but even a simple shell or a pinecone adorning a gift feels more special to me than a plastic bow. It's sharing a little piece of your world.
give with love, all ways xox Lianne