Simple Holidays

Now let’s get down to SIMPLE basics…  Last week I wrote to you about simplifying your electronic life (with wires, hair-pulling IT problems, inconsistency, etc.) with the wholly integrated system offered by Apple.  Essentially, yes.  It does simplify the life you are living now in order to maintain that life; but what if you wanted to REALLY simplify? I mean, ditch the electronic leashes and actually reconnect with the world around you and in your backyard?

Here are a few simple hints to fill that time you are now spending in front of your monitor with gratifying pastimes that actually augment your life and those around you.  It’s the gift-giving season so let’s think about how you can make your personal stamp on those you choose to shower with material items.

Did you plant a garden this year?  How about drying some herbs and filling a lovely bottle with olive oil and some of those wonderful home-grown herbs. Just remember to leave them on the stem for the best display in the bottle.  Finish off with a lovely bow of thin ribbon or raffia and you have some of your personal effort gifted to a loved one.

Do you enjoy baking?  Put together the ingredients for a special recipe in a mason jar with a hand-lettered instruction sheet. This is great for co-workers who always comment when you bring in those fresh baked goods and gives them the opportunity to spread their kitchen wings to do the same.  One of my favorite things to give is a coffee mug.  No, not just a plain old mug, but one dressed up with a couple of packages of instant hot cocoa and two plastic spoons that have been dipped in enrobing chocolate. Put the spoons and cocoas packages in the mug and wrap with cellophane. A nice curly bow finishes it!

Remember the popsicle stick jewelry box you made for mom when you were a kid? Make a few popsicle stick sleds and gift them to others for their tree decorations.  I have one that someone gave to me over 15 years ago and I truly treasure it – it comes out every year for the tree.

Don’t have the materials necessary to make anything? NOTHING is more precious to give than the gift of quality time. Make a coupon book for a loved one with special items like, “I will wash the dishes tonight” or “Free Back rub.”  Read a book to a shut-in. Go visit the elderly lady down the street and sit and have some tea.

Simple is not expensive and almost always is very gratifying.  Enjoy your holidays with memories of a simpler time and carry those traditions forward.  Happy Holidays, everyone!


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