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!