the {holiday} season

 

Happy Monday friends~

What a wonderful long weekend we had here on the farm.  Family visited, #1 returned home to celebrate and give thanks with us, 12 of us sat around the table to enjoy a feast and share what we were thankful for and the rest of the weekend was spent doing exactly what we wanted to.  For me it was a mix of outdoor projects when the sun was out and movies with my boys when it rained.  We ate all of the delicious things one eats when the refrigerator is filled with left-over turkey and fixings and pajamas were worn more often than not.  It was, in a word, perfect.

 

 

Now that Thanksgiving has passed my head is in full holiday mode.  I am excited to create some grape wreath and evergreen wreathes for the front doors and barn with things I will find on the property.  There is so much baking to do with the boys- spritz cookies and peppermint bark, meringues and sugar cookies, and let’s not forget how much I adore anything with molasses!  A tree will be cut, decorations will be brought in from the barn, and Christmas music will play- although that already began this weekend.

I am also finding holiday joy and inspiration in a few other ways this season.  My thoughts have been drawn to alternative ways we can find happiness this season- by giving to others, gifting experiences rather than material items and finding joy in our time together rather than in opening a box.  This year, more than ever I want to find ways to impart love and happiness in a bigger way- by doing things that mean more than simply exchanging objects.  So, today I thought I would share the ideas I have come up with so far.  I would LOVE to hear what you think, as well as hear any suggestions that you have or things that you do with your family and friends along these lines~

 

 

~My friend Kara and a group of talented friends have created this beautiful and inspiring gift wrap guide, complete with endless ideas for wrapping your holiday parcels.  The best part?  She has generously offered to donate part of her profits to my mom’s orphanage in Uganda!  You can buy a copy or have a peek at it HERE  

~I have supported Kiva for some time now, and have a number of entrepreneurs around the world that I have assisted in getting themselves to a better place by starting small businesses of their own.  In $25 increments you can make the difference for someone who will pay you back so that you can then pass that $25 on to another who will put it to good use.  It is an amazing cycle and something that I have loved being a part of.  I would like to gift a few people on my list a start to this wonderful program.

~Another thing I have been trying to do is gift those who could use a pick-me-up with an unexpected parcel in the mail.  I have friends who have done the same for me in the past and it always came at such a perfect time.  In an attempt to “pay it forward” I am trying to do little things to bring joy to others when they could really use a bit of happiness.  When is the last time you too part in a random act of kindness?  Trust me when I say it really does make a difference.

~One thing I love to do around the holidays is gift food.  My friend Kate does Pie-bys where she bakes pies and randomly drops them off at people’s houses.  How fabulous is that??  So this season I plan to use my 6-6 inch cake pan and make six little cakes that can randomly be dropped off in a box, frosted and ready to enjoy.  I also want to do cookie boxes for people- a little unexpected treat during the holidays~

 

So, those are what I have so far, but I am hoping that you will share your ideas so that I can add to mine!

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14 Responses to the {holiday} season

  1. Ange says:

    Drop an anonymous note in a friend’s letter box :) Pick up their groceries for them. Drop over food as you say – all wrapped up and pretty.
    Best yet! Send them on a treasure hunt in nature or even in town! Takes a little preparation but it’s so much FUN!!!! Leave notes with little tiny gifts that lead your friend to you and a cup of coffee or glass of wine as a surprise :)

    Love

  2. Lysa says:

    Sometimes I think it is even as simple as acknowledging people with a smiling. Opening a door for someone as they enter or leave a store. Saying please and thank you while you make eye contact with a person working at a till. Extremely simple gestures of kindness can go a long way, which I think we sometimes forget in the busyness of life.

  3. Lisa LaFay says:

    I get invited to a few holiday parties each year, and this year I’ve started a new tradition. I put together a hostess gift that is filled with breakfast foods and hot cocoa/tea/coffee for the morning after, when my hosts are probably too tired to cook. I tried it just last week and got the sweetest text the next morning!

    P.S. I need a spritz cookie recipe – what do you use? :)

  4. Missy says:

    I love these suggestions, Kim! I have a friend who loves to deliver things in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve. Its so much fun to open the door on Christmas morning and there is a surprise from the little elves! I have also chosen to write long letters to important people in my life sharing why I appreciate them so much and what they’ve meant to me. Expressions of gratitude. Lastly, I love to gift experiences over objects. One of my favorites is to give people gift certificates from Restaurants.com. Its rather affordable for the giver (especially if you get on the discount email list) and particularly for long distance friends, its like I chose a nice restaurant and took them out along with their local friends. For friends who live nearby, I might take them to an exhibit they’d love or out for tea. Time together is completely precious!

  5. Peggy says:

    I love doing this all year long but especially when holidays are so near… since we don’t live near family we like to get packages together things together for friends and families who are active in Christian ministry with young children. We usually mail out two boxes… one for the parents and one for the kids… gift certificates for groceries, tins of their favorite homemade snacks, coffee, artisan soap & bath scrub. For the kids new pjs, socks, hair ribbons or barrettes, a movie plus microwave popcorn, hot cocoa or cider packets, and treats. Often times they are so busy with everyone else that they overlook themselves…. We also pick up toothbrushes, combs, small sized toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, wipes, tissues, and all the samples we’ve collected over the year and put them in pretty bags to take to the local shelter for both the workers & those who pass through their doors.

  6. Donna says:

    My niece and her kids and my kids and I get together and play Christmas music and bake over 200 cookies. We have fun decorating them all and make plates for the people in our area that are alone for the holidays, widows and elderly. We drive around that night and the kids go up to the door, give them a plate and wish them a Merry Christmas! The smile on those folks faces makes my heart melt. Our kiddos learn compassion and giving. Priceless.

  7. kristin says:

    i love the suggestions kim…i want to do small acts with great love this christmas season. unexpected kindness can have a huge impact on others, i think at this time of year so many get caught up in what they believe they {have} to do and forget the reason for the season. kindness, love, grace, and humility…
    i recently learned of the passing of a friend from georgia who was larger than life…his parting words the day before he past on, “a smile will do more good in life than anything.” i hope i can put these simple words to great use this holiday season…

    xoxo
    kristin

  8. Lori says:

    There are some great ideas here and once I week I try to buy a coffee for the person behind me in the drive through line. I pinned a list that someone had with suggestions over the week-end and I need to print it out and put it in my little book. I have been picking up little dip mixes and mini whisks to give as little gifts ~ it’s something so small but the thought means the world to some. I will be back to see what other ideas that people have. So glad you had all your family around you for the holiday. Hugs xo

  9. Raajii says:

    A little late, but happy thanksgiving!

    As always the photos are wonderful :-)

  10. Mikal says:

    I LOVE all these ideas! It truly is better to give than receive!

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