Will Keep On Giving
An additional benefit a gift might have is its longevity. By
this I don’t necessarily mean that the gift itself
lasts a long time... though certainly there are many that do,
and that can be a valuable asset in the eyes of the receiver.
There are many ways to aim for gifts that keep on giving...
A book, of course, might be re-read, or used as a reference,
many times. Music will certainly be listened to over and over
again if it hits the spot. A magazine subscription lasts the
whole year. A food dryer might be used hundreds of times to
great effect! ...Clothes worn. ...Potholders held. ...Rosebush
blooms beheld and smelled. A family portrait added to the wall.
...Beautiful crystals gazed on. ...And so on.
Are you the holder of old family photos that others would
enjoy? - have copies made and give them to all the family
members. Or translate the family letters to/from the Old Country
for those in the new generation to enjoy. Perhaps you could
fictionalize the story of that earlier generation's emigration.
Or write a story about a child/grandchild/niece/nephew visiting
the Old Country - or about succeeding at something that
a creative idea that you can spread to a whole group of people -
family, friends, maybe even those in a workplace: Make up a
cookbook of favorite recipes with
stories to go with them - stories about ancestors who passed the
recipes down?, about your own cooking flops and successes?, about
events associated with the foods? Author Suzanne Beecher has set
up an online application that allows you to do this, adding photos if
you like: http://www.muffinsandmayhem.com/cookbooks/all?page=95. You can print it out and/or send it to an on-demand publisher to have it printed and bound (in 8.5x11" format).
What about consumables - tough luck? Not necessarily...
A gift of food might come with a recipe that lasts forever!
(What about a batch of Grandma’s favorite cookies plus her
recipe/s, for all your grown siblings?) Or it might be such a
new and marvelous taste treat to the receiver that it gives her
great ideas for menus or gifts she plans to make. A gift of an
herbal salve might provide lasting relief from a troubling skin
problem. A bottle of whole-leaf gingko biloba might perk up an
Then, the meaning of a gift to the receiver might last
on into the future...
A phone call to a lonely relative in lieu of a gift might
lift his spirits for months where a bottle of his favorite
aftershave would have minimal effect. Being able to look forward
to an event promised in your gift certificate heightens the
pleasure of the gift. A gift that reminds the receiver of a
special time you had together is treasured for more than its
intrinsic worth. Enabling someone to do something she’s
absolutely longed to do and thought would never come about -
that will never be forgotten. That someone would spend the time
to carve a beautiful bird for a far-off friend, to remind her
that love has wings - that will last the rest of her life, even
if the carving is lost.
...Look for the layers!