Do give books--religious or otherwise--for Christmas. They're never fattening, seldom sinful, and permanently personal. ~Lenore Hershey
Recently I received a book for my birthday. Now this was not just any old book. This was a book I had in my hands to purchase. It was on clearance at Hallmark--the only one. Eleanor saw the same book and told me about buying it. "I had that book in my hand, but told myself I didn't need it," I told her. When I pulled that book out of the gift bag I was so touched. (Given with a box of sugar free Russel Stover's chocolates was a bonus.) Not only did my friend remember our conversation, she gave up the book for me. Like Lenore Hershey said, Permanently personal.
We all know that the best gifts come from the heart. These gifts also come from listening. When I hear someone state a preference, I write it down in my journal (or on bulletins, slips of papers and offering envelopes) as soon as I can. I might forget that Katie loves *fudge, but my journal reminds me. Emma Jean sends out many cards... (good thinking-of-you gift...and sometimes it's fun to add stamps to the envelopes)... Connie likes Bath and Body Works' moonlight path scent... Ken likes nuts and my pumpkin roll.
And likewise, Lorna knows my delight in beautiful goblets, Renae remembers my love of all things scented for my home -- and Tazo tea, and Matilda supports my craving for 12-egg angel food cake. Last year when Emily was overwhelmed with a full schedule, Janelle surprised her with a day book. It wasn't just a lucky guess that these women gave personal gifts. They were listening, caring and remembering. I am so blessed.
Julia remembers the day a new friend brought her a bag of mint sandwich cookies to church. She said, "A sweet lady came into church this morning and gave me a big hug then handed me a bag of mint sandwich cookies. What really touched me about this gift of kindness is the fact that this lady had not been attending our church very long. I'm not sure how she even knows that I love, love, love mint sandwich cookies. Somewhere along the line I must have told the ladies about my cookie love. But it feels so good to be loved and have some desire to know me enough to pay attention to the details." Know your friends!
How like our Best Friend who gives us good gifts daily. Underserving gifts. Good and perfect gifts. Our sweet Landon is in a wedding this afternoon, pulling two little girls in a wagon. His older brother stood watching him open a gift from the bride and groom. "I have an idea, Landon. We could share it." Landon will share, as should we. When God gives good things to us, it is our responsibility--and yes, our joy--to share with others.
*I used the knowledge of Katie's love of fudge to make these fudge hearts. Just pour your fudge on a cookie sheet and cut out with a cookie cutter. Since it was a bridal shower I added the pink icing flowers.
I wanted to show you a project out of the book Eleanor gave me. I set out to find a teacup and saucer but didn't find one I liked. This china Ooh la la cup caught my eye. Such a fun cup. The spoon is pewter colored and at the top of the handle has a band of embossed silver. The cost of the gift? $5.25 plus cookies. I used Amish Sugar cookies because I was making them for another gift.
Amish Sugar Cookies
1 cup sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup margarine
1 cup oil
41/2 cups flour
1 tsp soda
1 tsp cream of tarter
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
In large mixing bowl, cream sugars, margarine, oil and eggs together. Sift dry ingredients together, then add to creamed mixture. Blend well. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets, flatten with a glass dipped in sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Makes about six dozen.