I realize that I am deviating from my latest writing topics; however, it just seemed time for a different kind of post. I plan on blogging more often in the upcoming months if my brain will allow the words and topics to not only develop, but also come out onto the page in coherent form. We can hope!
Because it’s that time of year, I’ve been thinking about the holidays and gift-giving. This year is different because I’m not really feeling that my closest friends and family will mind if I don’t get them the perfect present or even if I get them a present at all. I love gift giving and have been known to hit home runs with presents in the past along with my share of strike outs. We all know it’s tough to buy for some people, and it’s even tougher when the budget is limited, you are insanely busy and stressed, plus you have so many for whom to buy.
Actually, my favorite part of the gift part of Christmas is filling stockings. I spend all year gathering little odds and ends that are meaningful but not too expensive. I try to customize each stocking to the individual with things that are fun and useful and not just a bunch of sugar! Last year I did homemade things or bought from companies that somehow “give back”. They had everything from Bombas (THE BEST SOCKS!!!) to homemade lip balm to peanut butter. I know my family thinks I’m a little crazy, but they also secretly love that I go overboard on stockings. Since our stockings are all in storage in Houston, and I’m not really in a stocking filling mood anyway, I decided to do a Quendy’s Best Gift Ideas list to possibly help someone else hit a home run. Think Oprah’s Favorite Things without the possibility of the product going viral and selling out!
- TIME – This is one that hits home with me particularly this year, and without going all therapist on you, just know this is MOST important. You know it is, and yet…….. JUST DO IT! Turn off the damn phone already and TALK to each other, take a walk together, play a REAL game where you have to look at each other, hold hands, go to a movie (like in a theater), listen to some good music together, cook a meal together, read a book together, visit your __________ (family member) who drives you crazy but loves you. Anything, as long as it’s together, and YOU are present!
- Berkey Water Filter – If you don’t know already, most tap water is awful for you filled with awful things. One of the easiest ways to get rid of a lot of the chemicals we are exposed to daily is to drink and cook with filtered water. Check out your city’s water department website. They are required to post what is in your water, and think about this….even if the poison is showing up at “an acceptable level,” is that REALLY acceptable?? Remember “Erin Brockovich”? Berkey’s are easy to use, long-lasting, and VERY good filters. They are SO much cheaper and better than buying bottled water, and SO much more effective than most filters on the market. I love mine. As a plus, if we had needed to do so during Harvey, we could have filtered flood water. They are THAT good!
- Young Living Premium Starter Kit – I’m sure you knew this one was coming, and the link goes to my YL website or you can also go HERE to the YL part of this blog. For $160, you get a medical grade diffuser, 11 of the best multi-tasking essential oils, and some other great samples, plus a huge community of oil users to help learn. This is a great gift for anyone. I truly turn to my oils before anything else when it comes to my health and well-being. From supporting my immune system, to dealing with stress, to skin care and more; my list goes on and on with the ways I use oils INSTEAD of synthetic chemicals/medications/toxins. And if you would prefer, there is also a starter kit to begin with the Thieves line of cleaning and home products that is also $160 or a Ningxia Red kit that is $170 and will get you started on this amazing superfruit juice to boost immunity and promote wellness. Help someone you love get rid of all the toxins in their life with products from a company that you can totally trust to be the best at what they do. There is no reason to buy cheap oils from a company that doesn’t grow, distill, or bottle them correctly. It defeats the purpose of using them.
- Books! Reading is something that we ALL need to do, and there are still so many beautiful books being written. My husband was a voracious reader with his Kindle Paperwhite as a constant companion. An E-reader would make a great gift as would lovely page-filled bound volumes. A couple of my favorites that I read this year that would be great for anyone dealing with “life” and figuring out what is important are Robyn Roberts’ Everybody’s Got Something and Paul Kalanithi’s When Breath Becomes Air. If you like John Green and YA fiction, his newest Turtles All the Way Down is terrific. I just finished A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis, and while it is very different from other books he wrote, it is beautiful, thought-provoking, and the perfect read for me at this time in my life. For the music lover of a certain age, Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen would be an excellent gift. Bruce has a way with words, and his autobiography is no exception. Journals also make a great gift. As a bonus books come in all tastes and price ranges too!
- Savvy Minerals Makeup – Another one that I’m partial to not only because I happen to sell it, but also because I can’t think of a better gift to give to a young woman just starting on a lifetime of cosmetic use. NO harmful chemicals, NO ingredients that you can’t pronounce, NOTHING that could cause cancer or mess with hormones. This product line just came out this summer, and it is amazing! The colors, the coverage, the flexibility of the products….enough said. Great gift!
- Old Pictures/VHS converted to digital – There are a lot of companies that do this, and it is SO worth it!! I’ve had some done, and I’m going to try to do more. I wish I had converted those albums full of old pics that got wet during the flood. Also, don’t just get them converted, but WATCH THEM! TOGETHER!!!
- A pet. Ok, I know. Every kid wants a puppy for Christmas. And NO, every kid isn’t responsible enough for a puppy, and every momma and daddy doesn’t want a puppy. However, there is NOTHING more comforting that a dog (or cat or pig or horse or rabbit ???) who gives you unconditional love, doesn’t argue with you (much), and is just there no matter what. ALWAYS adopt from a shelter or a rescue organization, and get an older animal if you don’t want the chewing and craziness a young one brings. A full grown pet is a perfect gift for an older person or someone who lives alone. Even a fish is good company if a dog or cat seems like too much responsibility.
- TRAVEL – I know what you’re thinking: too expensive. But it doesn’t have to be. Travel can be tickets to a minor league ballgame or a play. Nosebleed seats at an NBA game are really not that expensive for most games/teams. It’s just SO important to spend the time together, create the memories, and have that experience. Do you know how many wonderful state and national parks there are out there? Have you seen the ones in your state? Make up a card that says that the family is going on a trip down the Buffalo River. Buy your son and daughter-in-law a gas card, a night in a hotel somewhere within a day’s drive with a promise to babysit. Take everyone to lunch (lunch is cheaper) at a restaurant where you’ve never been. Get your teenager concert tickets for them and a friend or maybe for you too. Rent a cabin in the woods or condo on the lake on HomeAway or Airbnb and have some family time. Do a beach vacation with your whole family…..I promise you won’t regret the money you spend. I can think of lots of things that I regret buying over the years, but not one trip, not ever……NOT one.
So, I hope that I’ve given you some ideas or at least food for thought because life is short, and our gifts should be more about what we can do to help each other, live healthier, and make each other’s lives richer rather than having a house full of “stuff”. It’s all pretty worthless if we don’t have our health or the time to spend with those we love.