Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Special Christmas Gifts

But you must REALLY listen.
No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your response. Just listening.
Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back and handholds.
Let these small actions demonstrate the love you have for family and friends.
Clip cartoons. Share articles and funny stories.
Your gift will say, "I love to laugh with you".
It can be a simple "Thanks for the help" note or a full sonnet.
A brief, handwritten note may be remembered for a lifetime,
and may even change a life.
A simple and sincere, "You look great in red", "You did a super job" or
"That was a wonderful meal" can make someone's day.
Every day, go out of your way to do something kind.
There are times when we want nothing better than to be left alone.
Be sensitive to those times and give the gift of solitude to others.
The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone,
really it's not that hard to say, Hello or Thank You

Gifts You Can Give Year Round
~ ~ ~ The Gift of Praise ~ ~ ~
Appropriate mention, right in front of the other fellow,
of superior qualities or of a job or deeds well done.
~ ~ ~ The Gift of Consideration ~ ~ ~
Putting yourself in the other's shoes and thus providing
your genuine understanding of his side of the case.
~ ~ ~ The Gift of Concession ~ ~ ~
Humbly saying at just the right point,
"I am sorry, you are right and I am wrong."
~ ~ ~ The Gift of Gratitude ~ ~ ~
Never forgetting to say "Thank You"
and never failing to mean it.
~ ~ ~ The Gift of Attention ~ ~ ~
When the other fellow speaks, listen attentively.
If his words are directed to you personally,
meet his eye squarely.
~ ~ ~ The Gift of Inspiration ~ ~ ~
Plant seeds of courage and action
in the other person's heart.
~ ~ ~ The Gift of Personal Presence ~ ~ ~
In sickness, in trouble, or in great joy, there is nothing quite
equal to your personal expression of sympathy or congratulations.
Resolve to give these gifts each day. You will be pleasantly
surprised at what you will receive in return.

"Gifts You Can Give Year Round" was shared with me by a teacher at the school where I work. As far as I know, there is no copyright. The author is unknown. Please share these words with everyone you know this holiday season.

~ Cinnamon Ornaments ~

3/4 cup Cinnamon (ground) 1 tbs Allspice (ground)
2 tbs Cloves (ground) 1 T Nutmeg (ground)
1 cup Applesauce
Combine first 4 ingredients, blend well. Stir in applesauce and mix well (mixture will be stiff). Roll out to 1/4 inch thickness on ungreased cookie sheet. Cut dough into desired shapes with cookie cutters, etc. Use a wire hook, paper clip, or poke a hole for a hanger. Dry uncovered for 4-5 days. Store in plastic bags until ready to use. Yeilds 25 small or 18 medium ornaments. These can be used as air fresheners, etc. To renew scent, sand lightly with sandpaper or emory board.

~ Flour Clay Ornaments ~
These fun-to-make ornaments look good enough to eat, but they're for decoration only. When I made these ornaments, I just sprayed them with clear shellac and sprinkled with glitter. They still look as pretty as the day I made them and that's been over 6 years ago. My favorite cookie cutters to use are angels and reindeer.

For the flour clay: To decorate:
4 cups all-purpose flour Fine sandpaper
2 cups salt Clear shellac & paint
1 tsp baking powder Gold cord or wire, glitter
1 1/2 cups water Cookie cutters
1/2 tsp. salt Plastic straw
Mix all the ingredients together by hand in a bowl. If the dough seems too dry, try adding a teaspoon of water. You can also add food coloring to the dough if you want. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out until it is about 1/8 inch (2-3 millimeters) thick. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters. You may also want to make your own shapes. If you want to hang the ornaments, cut a hole in the top of each one, using the straw like a cookie cutter.
Heat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit (121 degrees Celsius). Put the ornaments on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove them from oven and turn the ornaments over. Then bake them for about another hour, or until they are hard. Remove them from the baking sheet and allow them to cool.
Once the ornaments have cooled, you can decorate them with poster paints. Before you begin, smooth each ornament with fine sandpaper and draw whatever pattern you want on the ornament with a pencil. Then paint it. When the paint is dry, you can spray the ornaments with clear shellac to protect the paint. Try sticking on sequins or gold glitter, too. Then string gold cord or wire through the holes, and your pretty ornaments will be ready for hanging!

~ Christmas Candy Train ~

- glue a pkg of life savers on top of a pkg of big red gum
- glue 4 candy wheels to the gum (round pepermints look great)
- glue a hershey's kiss to the top of the lifesavers for the smoke stack
- glue a mini reese's on the top for the back

~ Candycane Reindeer ~

- twist a brown pipe cleaner around the top of a small 6 inch candycane
- shape each side of the pipe cleaner (two v shapes) to look like antlers
- just below the antlers, hot glue on little wiggle eyes
- add a small red pom pom ball for the nose
- leave the clear wrapping on the candycanes so the hot glue will stick better

These make great gifts to give for kids classmates at Christmas and as party favors.

Special Recipes

Molasses Cookies - at Lamp Unto My Feet
Honey Chipolte Pecans - at Lamp Unto My Feet
Pecan Tassies/Mini Pecan Pies and Secretly Blessing Neighbors
Zucchini Bread - at Lamp Unto My Feet
Spicey Pretzels - at Lamp Unto My Feet


Denise said...

Wow, such an awesome post my friend.

Marsha said...

Great gift ideas! I'm gonna keep this one.

Missy will be all over the other ideas.

Have you been over to my place yet today to see Marmi's Little Elves?

Sharon Brumfield said...

Well, we have done the cinnamon ornaments and you have some other great things we have not tired.
I wish I had my old pictures here on this computer....several years ago I did reindeer cup cakes for my daughters Christmas party. THey came out so great and the kids loved them.
I'll have to mark this post for some ideas during the holidays.

Jennifer said...

Wonderful post today...I printed it to keep. Thanks!

He & Me + 3 said...

I think we all needed to read those this holiday season. It is more than just gifts under the tree, but time and love...much more important. Great post!

bp said...

I love the candy train idea! It sounds fun to make. We've made the little reindeer before, they're cute.