Recommended Enrichment Reading: The Language of Gifts, by Deanna Washington. This rich resource of symbology from cultures and religions around the world and throughout history come together to help you give a deeply meaningful gift for any occasion. Author Deanna Washington illuminates the meanings behind everything from trees, scents, flowers, animals, and much more!


Recommended Quilting Project: Quilts From The Quiltmaker's Gift, by Joanne Larsen Line, Gail de Marcken and Nancy Loving Tubesing, is truly a delightful quilt book that takes you quilt by quilt through the storybook "The Quilt Makers Gift". The quilts are designed to enchant children and adults alike with the bright colors and the promise of rewarding quilt making.

Celebration: It's The Thought That Counts!

By Mary Jo Saavedra

Whatever happened to this idea of "It's the thought that counts."? Well, we are giving new life to it in my family. As we all struggle to simplify our chaotic lives, at the same time, we also yearn for more substance and meaning in the activities we choose to keep in our family lives. Gift giving is one of those activities I love to do. I want to have it in my life but I want to add more meaning to the gifts I give and to have fun in the process. So, for the past few years around the holidays and birthdays, my family has tried some new ways of giving gifts. We have found that with the following ideas our gift giving has been more fulfilling and less stressful.

  1. Give the gift of your time. Make a gift certificate giving your time to the person in a special way. Give them lessons in what you do best. Take them out for an evening or to the park for a picnic. Maybe your special gift recipient would love a foot massage or perhaps a week of you doing the cooking. This is a great one for children to give too!
  2. Give the gift only you can give ~ your talent! Bake a batch of your world famous cookies and package them beautifully; make a special quilt; make a cassette tape of you singing their favorite songs; or give them a flower arrangement every month in spring from your garden. Be original and unexpected.
  3. Give a personal keepsake. Why wait until you are old and gray to give your family and friends a special keepsake? And if you are already old and gray, why wait any longer to make a special gift of giving that heirloom you cherish to that special person so you can enjoy the look on their face and their appreciation? That's a gift back to you!
  4. Give a gift that gives again. Make a donation to their favorite charity in their name. Make a handmade card or buy a special one to say where you have made the donation and give it to them with a bottle of wine or sparkling cider. Check the Wisdom Quilts' Children's Charities button for more ideas. Heifer International is one of my favorite gifts because for as little as $10 you can give a share in an animal to a child for their birthday and your money will be used to sustain a child somewhere in another part of the world.
  5. Give a gift of experience. Whether together with you or on their own, give a hot air balloon ride, a rafting trip, lessons on how to play the xylophone or cooking Indian food. The list is endless. How about if your family doesn't buy gifts this year nor has a party but instead takes a small trip like going camping on the beach or a big trip cruising to Alaska?

By now, you get the idea and I am sure you have many more of your own. Whatever you give, wrap it up with clever thought; maybe use some old vintage linen or a creative vessel. Sometimes not going to the mall shopping is a gift to yourself, all on it's own. Plus, I love when someone takes the time to know what would really give me joy. The thing I love most about gift giving, is figuring out that perfect gift for that special someone. It's the thought that counts!

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