It's December. Can you believe it? Which means that the shopping season to find that perfect gift for the loved ones on your list is in full swing. And maybe you can find the perfect gift. Maybe they gave you an exact list of what they want this year. But we're here to challenge what gift giving has come to mean.
You know we love our history. So let's take a journey back in time and explore gift giving.
Did you know that gift-giving is one of the oldest human activities and goes all the way back before written records? Before we were even an advanced civilization, actually. Humans are innately geared toward giving gifts - to show emotion to the recipient. Whether that emotion is love, appreciation, affection or more. My, how far we have strayed!
The psychology of why gift giving is so rewarding is simple - it's all about connection. The giver of a gift expresses their feelings and emotions by giving a gift with the hope of being able to share with the receiver of the gift. The receiver of the gift in turn receives the feelings and emotions and with this a connection is made. Making connections with people around us gives us a sense of purpose and feeling of satisfaction. This feeling is one that enlightens the soul and brings out the best in us. There is an old saying “it is better to give than receive” and it has a special meaning especially when the realization of the benefits that it provides to those who give.
Giving our loved ones that perfect gift makes us feel SO good! It's the act of giving. Showing someone you care. But retail now drives our gift giving. Headphones, video games, Instant Pots (YES!), more, more, MORE!!
In a world where we feel more connected to our technology than to our friends and family those thoughtful gifts can sometimes be the most meaningful. Taking the time to hand make a gift is meaningful. Maybe not everyone can appreciate them as much as some of us, but that time and care put into that little jar are meaningful.
This year we challenge all of you to think about small, handmade stocking stuffers. No, they won't replace the cell phones, Rescue Pets or $500 unicorn statue that you saw on vacation that melted your heart (mom, if you're reading this...) But they will make a connection in a different, more elemental way.
Here are a few of our favorite ways to make a handmade food gift extra special:
· Tie on the recipe with pretty ribbon or holiday colored twist ties. That way they can make it again if they love it!
· Use fun jars. Ace Hardware is our best suggestion for canning supplies in bulk.
· Find an inspiring quote to tie onto packages or add a handwritten note with a memory that you love with that person. Remember that time...Grandma didn't know how to use the canned whipped cream and sprayed herself in the face? Add whipped cream and serve! (true story - she had never seen canned whipped cream in her life!)
· For your own ease - pick ONE recipe and package it all the same. It will save you time, stress and money!
· Practice. Do a quick dry run to make sure you know the sizes of packaging that you need, how it needs to be packaged, etc. You don't want to be surprised on the day that you set aside to prep and start cooking.
· Make it fun. Don't take on another task if it becomes to stressful or not fun anymore. If it becomes a chore for you it defeats the purpose. Take this one from someone who knows.
And here are some fun recipes to get you started: