Can you think of any gift better than the gift of company, conversation or comfort?
The Gift of Company and Conversation
This was Sue Wagner's Christmas gift to her neighbor. Straight from Regina Brett's Plain Dealer morning column - May You Find Your Christmas Moment.
"I went out and bought a box of different tea bags, wrapped them and gave them to my 90-year-old next door neighbor yesterday. I wrote a Christmas card that said, 'This tea is for you and me. Let's make some dates when I'll come over and we can have tea and get to know each other better. I really look forward to this.'
"So, I dropped it off at her front door. When I got home, there was a message on my answering machine. She said, 'This is the best gift I ever got and you don't need an invitation to come over, just come.'
"So last night at about 8, I called her and said, 'Hey, would you like to have a cup of tea and visit for a half hour or so?' She said. 'Yes, please come.' We had the nicest visit. She had my tea bags under her tree and said, 'Should we open them?' And I said, 'Absolutely, this is our box and every time I come over we will try a new flavor.'
"She said she was so happy I came. No one ever comes to visit her. She spends 99% of her time by herself. Her 86-year-old sister and best friend just passed away in November.
"It was a wonderful evening and what a blessing to me. I ended up coming home at 9:45. The time just flew. I know this is what Christmas really means!"
If tea isn't a conversation starter for the person on your gift list--how about some different coffees, some artisan beers, or a single malt scotch sampler?
The Gift of Comfort
When Liz' father passed away recently one of my co-workers suggested we put together a Comfort Basket, just for her, instead of the usual fruit and cheese basket we send. It was the perfect gift! A special tailor-made selection of personal items that said, "We care about you & want to send you a little comfort."
It was filled with:
- Warm cat socks (she's a cat lover)
- A can of shaved chocolate for hot cocoa
- A cat mug
- Nuts & dried fruit mix
- Lip balm, hand creams
- Scented candles
- Bubble bath
- Real good dark chocolate
- Special scented essential oils
- A CD of music she would like
- An assortment of special teas
I copied the idea in November and sent a Comfort Bag to my Aunt in Iowa. I wasn't able to be there in person to give her a hug, cook her a meal & just sit and talk.
A basket was going to be too bulky to mail, so I bought a colorful reusable shopping bag at Trader Joe's and filled it with everything I knew she would like: real dark chocolate, cashews, El Rio Coffee candy, chocolate-coated tiny mints, lavender scented creams & body wash, orange-bergamot scented air freshener, teas for calm & relaxation, lip balm and more. She loved everything, including the bag!
Everyone's basket or bag is going to be different--and they are much more fun to put together than ordering a fruit basket. It could include magazines, DVDs, CDs, beef jerky, barbeque potato chips, halvah, Joyva's Chocolate-covered Jellies, chocolate-coverered raisins, Good and Plenty or Humphrey Popcorn Balls. Just thinking about what would go into some of my family's baskets.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO EVERYONE!