Taking on 2013 and hoping to revitalize my life

Posts tagged ‘Gift’

Unexpected Surprises

What a great holiday this has been. (I’m not counting the blow-outs with my teen as those are temporary and eventually we will outgrow them… hopefully before I run away from home.) But the rest of the holiday has been grand.Tree

The few days leading up to Christmas were a rush of last-minute organizing, shopping, crafting and wrapping but it was all worth it. We even had some family photos done on the 23rd and although I expected none of them to turn out we actually ended up with a couple of really nice ones.

Christmas eve included chilli for 4 (with my kids and ex) and then off to an inter-denominational church service. By the time we got home there was time to open one Christmas present each, track Santa’s progress and get jammies on before hopping into bed and dreaming of sugar plums (OK, probably not sugar plums, more like Monster High dolls and a new cell phone).

Christmas morning began at a leisurely 6:50am with my ex knocking on the door. The kids were already awake but waiting patiently in their rooms for their father to arrive. Then began the flurry of unwrapping, laughter, happy children, games, turkey and movies. All in all, everyone had a fantastic day and I didn’t even mind having my ex in my house for 10 hours.

On Boxing Day we packed up the car and headed out to visit family for a few days. My sister always hosts the whole crew and it started out with 10 people then up to 13 who needed beds for the night. There are always loads of games, food and drinks to go with the newly added abundance of teenage hormones and attitudes. In spite of the latter, a good time was had by all and it ended much too quickly as per usual.

We got home last night to a lot more snow in the yard, luckily I had my ex call a plow so the only shovelling was the deck and walkway. Once inside, I rushed like a madwoman to get ready for my date with Sven. Dinner was a little later than expected but we had a nice time.

We had planned to see each other before Christmas but those plans got cancelled so I took his present to him last night. My kids thought it was a lame gift but he had mentioned wanting a cast iron frying pan so that was what I bought him. At least I knew he would like it.

I actually bought it expecting that I wouldn’t get anything in return. I just didn’t think that Sven would think to get me anything. I was wrong. He bought me a lovely pair of earrings with a matching pendant. I was so surprised at his thoughtful gift. Did I mention I didn’t expect him to get me anything? We didn’t discuss exchanging presents, I got him the frying pan because I wanted to. I guess he got me earrings because he wanted to. For all of the complaining that I do about Sven, this is definitely a +1 for him. We even have plans to get together this weekend even though he doesn’t like to make plans. Hopefully no one will have to cancel.

And tonight is New Year’s Eve. I thought I would be spending it by myself  but a dear friend of mine has invited me over. I’m not sure who I will know there but I have accepted the lovely invite as one of my final ways to put myself out there in 2013.

Creating Christmas Magic

I have one child who still believes in Santa. And once she no longer believes, Christmas will be a little different. Slightly less magical.

But this year is not that year. This year I have written her a letter from Santa regarding some Littlest Pet Shop toys that I got second-hand. These toys are obviously not new but still have many years of life left in them. Someone was practically giving them away so I had to take them. However, I knew that I couldn’t wrap them up like the other gifts so I decided to do something a little fun.

 

Letter from Santa

 

I hope this letter helps to create a special memory this year. Christmas is about creating magic and my heart wishes for excited laughter and smiles, which sounds magical to me.

 

My 7 Days of Gifts

English: A gift wrapped in yellow and green paper.

English: A gift wrapped in yellow and green paper. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of my actions for last week was to give 7 gifts in 7 days.

The idea started way back in March when I read the book 29 Gifts by Cami Walker. In the book she gives 29 Gifts in 29 Days and she found that it changed her life.

The premise is that giving gifts to others forces you to take the focus off of yourself. So instead of focusing on her illness and negative thoughts, she was able to invite more abundance and positive energy into her life. This changed her perspective and helped to improve her health.

So I decided that I would do a watered down version of the challenge. I have so many things going on at the moment that I didn’t think I would be able to keep it up for 29 days so I tried it for 7 days. I was almost successful but I forgot all about my gift on the last day. I was going to give it on the 8th day but forgot again. One of the keys to the project is that your gifts must be mindful and authentic, I think I failed the mindful part at the end.

Anyway, here is a run-through of what I did manage to give:

Day 1 – Sven does not have a car, so my gift to him was to take him to get groceries. It may sound silly but he appreciated the fact that he was able to pick up more than he could physically carry home as we were driving instead of walking. I even helped him carry the groceries up the stairs to his place.

Day 2 – I was having a bit of a bad day and yelled at my oldest daughter when she wasn’t helping like I thought she should. Once I finished yelling we managed to talk about what happened and I gave her the gift of an apology. An apology may not sound like a gift, but sometimes we as parents do not always admit when we make mistakes. I over-reacted and apologized for doing so.

Day 3 – I took Sven out to lunch and bought him a bottle of wine as a house-warming gift. You probably are not supposed to give the same person more than one gift but that was how things worked out.

Day 4 – A week or two ago I had told my youngest that she could babysit herself for about 30 minutes while waiting for her father. Things happened and she never got the chance. She was disappointed that she couldn’t show how responsible she was. So on day 4, I went for a 20 minute walk and left her home to look after herself. I gave her the gift of feeling responsible.

Day 5 – We were at the mall shopping for some jeans and we had some coupons for 25% off. We had 4 coupons actually. So we gave away 3 of the coupons to customers in line at the check-out. People were very happy to get them and it was nice that they actually got used and didn’t go to waste.

Day 6 – I’ve been wanting to purge some of my daughter’s old, but still good toys for ages, stuff that is really too young for her now or that she doesn’t use. I snagged a good one and gave it to Sven for his daughter. He has a new place and no toys or things there for the kids so I thought she might like it. He thinks she will too so we’ll see.

Day 7 – :(, I forgot to give my gift. My youngest’s school is looking for some books for their library so I was going to take a couple in. I’m still going to do it, it just didn’t happen on day 7.

All in all, I’m happy with the way things turned out. I think I’d like to try it again and perhaps even work up to the 29 day challenge at some point. It is a great way to turn your thinking towards how you can help others. One of the changes I’d make for next time is to gift to a wider variety of people.

I dare you, my lovely readers, to try giving 7 gifts in 7 days. As you can see by my example, they don’t all have to include money, but they should all be mindful and authentic. And if you want to do the full 29 day challenge, one of your gifts should also be of an item/thing that you find scarce in your life. It’s not a big challenge but small things can make a difference.

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