Little Gifts

In the last week two friends have presented me with little gifts. No it's not my birthday, but I'm still feeling lucky.  By way of explanation, it's not always easy to catch up with friends when young children are involved. Civilised venues like coffee shops can be unsuitable - too cramped, too expensive, too frowny cause you're making too much noise/mess etc. Parks are no good if the weather's bad and play areas almost always end in tears (kids AND adults, or is that just me?)

So I've been inviting friends to come over for a coffee, or lunch or whatever suits us both at the time. And two friends brought me little gifts.

Little gifts make my heart sing! I may be over-reading it (a common tendency of mine), but to me little gifts that appear out of the blue, speak to me. They say things like: Thanks for having me over;  Thanks for being a friend; I was thinking of you; Knew you'd love this as much as I do; You're a kindred spirit...

One gift came in a little brown paper bag with handles and it had a gold ribbon and a silver star pinned to the top. I love brown paper bags that can appear austere, minimalist or dashing with touch of opulence, depending on how you decorate them. I have a stash behind a kitchen cupboard (eek!), and I've used them for party favour bags in the past.

I loved making these for Arch's first birthday:

Back to the little gift in the brown paper bag. The little gift-giver had stopped by the supermarket, and this is what she picked up for me (along with that night's dinner for her family): A packet mix of Easter Lemon Cupcakes, a packet of small chocolate blocks, and a gift box of Easter Cupcake decorative paper cases and toppers. It was so kind, thoughtful, and out of the blue. 
The other little gift from a different friend was a piece of delicious home baked chocolate cheesecake brownie (I'm getting the recipe, it was fabulous), and a nifty shopping list grabbed as a freebie from a local shop. (I am always hunting around for pieces of paper to write lists!).
Found this one on pinterest that looks just as tasty - yum!
It made me think about the power of little gifts. Little gifts ideally should not cost you much in money or in time/preparation. They can literally be something you've picked up in the supermarket on your way to a friend's house. Here are some other ideas:
  • A small posy of flowers and greenery from your garden.
  • A little notebook/shopping list 
  • A tea towel (preferably new and not used/wet/dirty)
  • A gift wrapped soap
  •  A small box of herbal teabags
  • A magazine your friend would like, with a packet of their favourite biscuits - something that says, put your feet up, relax, enjoy!
A posy like this from my own yard? Sigh, if only..
If you don't know their fave magazine, buy them your favourite -
hopefully they'll lend it back to you sometime..
Little gifts are not dependent on a special occasion. They can be delicacies you've whipped up yourself, or little treasures you've had stashed away, or some thing you just happened to spot when you were doing something else entirely...
They are meant to bring instant enjoyment and are not to be kept forever or add to your clutter. They are a temporary injection of pampering, deliciousness, usefulness or luxury to an otherwise ordinary day.
Little gifts don't demand reciprocation, and they definitely should not elicit embarrassed overreactions of gratitude or guilt.
I love giving these sorts of little gifts because they can provide such an unexpected bright spot in someones day. And I love receiving these sorts of gifts because they are a tiny bonus to the main pleasure of having friends with shared likes, who share parts of your life journey just as you share parts of theirs, who have taken just a little moment out of their day to show they care...


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