Over the past few years, after my parents passed away, many of their possessions made their way to our house. Some furniture, some paintings, dishes, vases, photo albums, the list goes on and on. Frankly, I was and still am overwhelmed by all of this STUFF. I even wrote an article entitled STUFF. One thing I have figured out, is that as time goes on, I can see these treasures with less emotion, and I am giving away more and keeping what is really important. Who to give these things to….that’s a whole other story.
I’m getting to my point, I promise. As a result of the influx of all this STUFF, I told my family….I didn’t want any gifts that needed dusting. I’m into practical items that I can use.
So I recently had a birthday, and there was not much I wanted, except some celebrating with family and friends. But one of my daughters surprised me with quite a lovely gift…..a gift from the heart.
I am a big tea drinker and have a drawer in my kitchen full of teas. Black tea, green tea, herbal, tea bags, loose tea, you name it, I have it. My daughter measured the drawer and ordered inserts and canisters. She organized my whole tea drawer, by category, and labeled the canisters. It is a work of art. No more digging around, I can find whatever I need. When my friends came over last night and went to my tea drawer, there were lots of oohs and aahs.
I am so touched by this gift…..it is a gift of creativity, time and thoughtfulness.
This story would be meaningful to me any time of year, but it is especially meaningful as we approach the holiday season. And the holiday season is juxtaposed with so many difficulties going on in our world. The main thing that I personally struggle with is the lack of concern for human health and human life that has made its way into the world of politics and our society in general.
The last couple of years have been difficult. Living through covid, quarantining, lockdowns, and social isolation has had an enormous impact on people of all ages. The lack of civility shown by some members of our government is the antithesis of what we expect from our nations’ leaders. One can feel powerless with all of this dissention going on.
So what can we do? I have coped by trying to tune into the small stuff of daily life. Thinking in terms of small, random acts of kindness. Helping someone at the grocery store reach something high on a shelf. Buying a thanksgiving meal for a family though the program that Jewel Foods runs each year. Saying thank you. Giving a compliment. Listening to someone who needs to talk. Reaching out to friends who are having health issues or a happy family event. I see others around me do these acts of kindness and it’s amazing how you feel as a recipient. You don’t have to spend a lot of money or be extravagant.
So when you do your shopping for the holidays, don’t forget that there are many ways to show you care besides material goods. Give someone a cooking class that you can take together. Buy play tickets for a performance that you can both attend. Buy supplies for an art project that the whole family can do. Or organize someone’s tea drawer. They will be very grateful every time they open it.