Have you ever given a gift “just because”, and have you ever received one? There’s something pretty special about receiving a gift from someone when it isn’t your birthday or Christmas or for graduation or a housewarming. I would say that gift giving is at the top of my list of love languages. I’m not sure if it’s the way I most feel love given to me, but it’s definitely how I show my love to other people.
I think the best part of giving a gift to someone “just because” is that it’s not about how much money you spend. This is 100% a case of “it’s the thought that counts”, right? If you open your front door and there’s a vase with flowers from someone’s garden, it gives you such a warm feeling and nobody is ever wondering if the vase is worth anything! My mother-in-law has a house on our property, so we have the benefit of seeing her beautiful flower garden all the time. She literally has hundreds of flowers, and she spends a large part of her day trimming them, watering and just enjoying what she has grown. She will often text me and say that she just left some flowers on my porch and they always brighten my day. The neighbors all admire her garden as they walk by, and she often will have a vase of flowers ready to hand to one of them when she sees them coming back from a walk. There’s no doubt in my mind that this gesture makes the neighbor feel special.
So many things have changed since the COVID quarantines all started. Life as we knew it has been forever altered. There are hundreds of thousands of grieving families due to this horrible virus. The amount of cases of depression in the United States has tripled since COVID began. So many elderly people haven’t been able to see their families, and people in the hospital are not allowed visitors due to the risk of spreading COVID. I think if there was ever a time for giving gifts “just because” or random acts of kindness, this is it!
As I mentioned earlier, the amount you spend on a gift is not important. I picked out a few gifts for friends, each of them being under $20, but they could have been under $10 and still had the same impact. I also think that the presentation and the note you leave are arguably more important than the gift itself.
I’m going to give you examples of things that I purchased, why I purchased them and then a list of other suggestions you might want to try.
The first gift I bought was a beautiful pop up greeting card from lovepop. I absolutely love this company! I remember seeing them on “Shark Tank” back in 2015, and thinking that their products were beautiful. If you go on their website, it’s like looking at an art gallery. (The links below are for the pop-up cards on their website and for the free shipping.) The cards start at about $13, but you can buy sets of cards, wreaths and bouquets. The even have an entire line of “just because” cards. So I bought one of these cards for a good friend of mine who has had some difficult times lately, and even though we text or call each other when we get a chance, I just like reminding her that I’m thinking of her and hoping something like this card will bring her a smile.
The next gift I bought was a ceramic ring dish from Amazon, that reads, “Good friends are like stars. You don’t always see them, but you know they’re always there.” I have a friend who this may as well have been written for. We’ve been friends since our oldest kids were in preschool, and she’s one of those friends who even if we haven’t gotten together for 6 months or longer, we see each other and it’s like no time has even passed. Our lives get so busy, but we know that we are always going to be there for each other at the drop of a hat, when we are needed.
I have a friend who I see very rarely, but she and her husband are such great friends. We used to live right across the street from each other, so we saw each other all the time. Nowadays, we don’t live far from each other, but it takes more forethought and effort to get together and I’m guilty of not making that time enough. She has a busy job and is raising a great little boy who is growing up so fast. I know she doesn’t take a lot of time for herself, so I bought her a set of bath bombs and shower steamers from Amazon, and I’m hoping she can lock herself in her bathroom with a glass of wine and a book and just take a little time away from her hubby and son to relax. They all smell amazing, and I want her to know that even though we don’t get together as often, I still really value her friendship.
The final gift I’m going to drop off is for an amazing woman I met when my kids were in little league baseball with her son. Her son is in college now and makes her proud every day. She is one of those people who exudes warmth and friendship from the moment you meet her. She has had some incredibly scary health problems and has stayed brave and positive through all of it, and she has faced other personal challenges, as well, but she still thinks about others and is always very empathic. I want her to know that I admire the way she deals with difficulties but remains a good friend to all the people who are lucky enough to really know her. I thought she’d enjoy this Raspberry Mimosa scented candle from Bath & Body Works.
I could keep going with pages and pages of other people in my life who deserve something “just because”, and by writing this blog post, I have reminded myself to actually take time more often to reach out and show those people what they mean to me.
Also, you don’t have to give a “just because” gift to people you know very well. Sometimes, you just know someone enough to know that they’ve been going through something difficult in their lives and could use a boost. Maybe you’ve noticed someone at your workplace who seems to be having a bad week and could really use something to lift their spirits. Or maybe you have a neighbor that you’ve noticed doesn’t really get many visitors, and you worry that they could be feeling lonely. I guarantee that giving any of these people a little “just because” gesture will probably do more for you and your soul than it will for the recipient of your gift.
Here are a few other ideas that you might want to try:
- A small houseplant, some flowers from the grocery store or flowers from your garden
- Fresh baked cookies or brownies
- A little bowl with some candy in it
- A small book with beautiful pictures or inspirational quotes
- A gift card from a place like Starbucks or Jamba Juice
- A card with a list of things you love or admire about that person
- If someone is going through a difficult time, go mow their lawn or pick their weeds without being asked
- Let someone know that they don’t need to worry about dinner that night and then make them a meal or even send them a pizza
There are many more things I’m sure you can add to that list, but I hope it will motivate you to start with just one person and one “just because” gift or gesture. It really will make both of you feel amazing!
HALLOWEEN PARTY PLANNING – PART 4
If you haven’t yet decided on a costume for your party, now is the time to get that done! The Halloween stores are already surprisingly crowded and if you are purchasing your costume, you don’t want to be left without many options or with none of your favorite costumes in a size that will fit you. And if you are making your own costume or putting it together yourself, head to the craft store and/or the thrift store now to start looking for those items that you need to make your costume complete!
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Take care of yourself and celebrate something this week! xoxo