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Sometimes a Gift is Just Right

Knitting Bowl

Knitting Bowl

My hobby is giving gifts.  When I was a child I liked to give random gifts in order to appreciate someone being my friend.  My sister used to taunt me and say, “You have to buy your friends.”   That was not it really.

I then started working on finding gifts for people that were “just right” and not giving gifts too often, just when it was the right time and it meant something.   Gifts were a new level of connection for me.

My biggest mistake in life is also related to gift giving, I never got paid my worth for any of the jobs I performed.   I gave away my talents and expertise so folks decided they did not need to pay me or give me benefits, because I gave my all.

There is reciprocity to gifts and without that give and take, there is no connection.  Gift giving can just be an action.

I was determined to teach my children about the give and take of gifts and also the magic of gifts.

This year they came through with awesome success, even though I told them I was only going to feed everyone as my gift.

The top picture is of a knitting bowl.  The weight and channel keep the pottery bowl stable and allow the yarn to just be dispensed freely.  Not so good on the floor with a new puppy, but on the table next to the chair and pair of socks are coming along nicely.   IT Girl found this delight on line and she also spent nearly 5 hours rebuilding my computer.  There we were all sharing an afternoon of knitting and using our knitting bowls with ease.  Lots of connections here.

Library Girl and Entrepreneurial Girl are both at new jobs so they went together and celebrated new puppy with a gift certificate to the healthy store in town and each brought a treat and a toy.  They honored my rules of no human treats for the pup and not on beds and added some tricks like “down”, and “sit” to the routine – not to mention hours of play so I could do all the cooking that was needed.
Connections were made.  Just the perfect gifts shared and appreciated – reciprocity.

Here is a big Thank You Hug and Smooch!
Just the right gifts!

Here is the link for Julie Knowles Pottery where the bowls were discovered.

And Mud Bay Pets for Healthy Dogs and Cats.

Related Reading you Might Also Enjoy:
I Knit Socks
Zippity
Merle’s Door

I am thankful for these connecting gifts; do you have a Just Right Gift story to share?  Hope so!  I am looking forward to your great comments below.

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22 Responses to “Sometimes a Gift is Just Right”

  1. Mandy Allen Says:

    Gosh, a gift story, probably not, but one thing I always encourage my friends and family to do is to try to think of something they can DO for someone if they feel they cannot afford to spend money on material things. A nice artistic hand made gift card offering an hour of your time for something specific (a bit like the computer rebuild) is often far more appreciated than another trinket to pop on the shelf. I love being inventive with gifts and make hand made books for my friends. These are always great fun to do and very well received. Sometimes they are funny, sometimes poetic, sometimes informative (a recent one was ‘The A – Z of things you must miss about North Norfolk’ for a friend who now lives away and was planning a visit). I made sew the pages together with wool or embroidery silk and make original covers, this particular one was covered with local sea shells and bark from the pine woods at the beach.

    Enjoy the journey.

    Mandy

    Patricia Reply:

    Mandy,
    You shared a wonderful gift story with your sea shell book for your friend – what a great idea. Thank you for sharing your good ideas.
    I think other folks stories will make this a remarkable resource on gifts

  2. Betsy Wuebker Says:

    Hi Patricia – The knitting bowl is awesome! I love it and I want one! Lovely gifts: youngest daughter’s album of photos taken on our wedding day with an inscription that still makes me cry. She has such an eye for the tiniest details, and until that inscription, I didn’t know what she thought of us getting married. Second youngest daughter presented me with a crystal dragonfly ring she had kept for months after spotting it. Pete’s family tradition is to make gifts; he gives canned sauces, pies or fresh herbs and spices that he has dried – ginger, garlic powder, basil.

    You’re right. Women are givers and sometimes we give, as you say, too much to employers or others undeserving. I’d rather be that way than not be a giver at all, though. Thank you.

    Patricia Reply:

    Betsy,
    You are such a thoughtful person and your stories are lovely gifts about making those connections. Oh and the spices of life in something warm to drink.

    I just heard 5 experts from different religious traditions speak on Happiness – it was awesome for what they all concluded was it was better and more pleasurable to eat and celebrate with others than to study or attempt to practice their traditions – those were the greatest connection tools.

    Yes, I like being a giver personality. I love making connections with people
    Thank you for your good stories

  3. vered | blogger for hire Says:

    I’m not very good at giving just the right gift. My story is actually a story of a very bad gift! I once gave a Starbucks gift card to a coworker even though, month before, he had told me that he can;t even stand the smell of coffee. Blush.

    Patricia Reply:

    Vered,
    Think of giving gifts as when you share your talents with others – like photographs, recipes, blog posts, financial writing, parenting skills – You give to us all the time.

    The Starbucks card is very funny though!!!

    I hardly ever give things any more – just when I know it is the right gift!

    It is helpful not to have any money to increase our awareness of gifts

  4. Talon Says:

    Thank you, Patricia. My Mom is an avid knitter and she would love that bowl. and find it handy even though she doesn’t have a nosey Zip or Stripey in her house :)

    There’s something really magical about the exchange of gifts. And the ones that are thoughtful or straight from the heart are the ones – and it never has anything to do with cost – we remember always.

    My friend and I, when our children were little, exchanged gift cards with hour allotments for times when either of us needed a break from our little ones. We still remember how much fun it was cashing those in and how they saved our sanity (and probably our children’s lives) :)

    Patricia Reply:

    Oh Talon,
    I am glad to share this resource with you for your avid knitter – they are very helpful indeed and just heavy enough not to be tipsy.

    I like the magic part of gifts and I too exchanged child care with several of my friends when kids were young…though, as the person with a special needs child, I most often did the care and had to pay for specially trained caregivers for a couple of weekends away. ( should have done more to not get care giver’s syndrome)

    the money does not matter the lack of it seems to make me more creative.

  5. suzen Says:

    Hi Patricia! Lovely! Random acts of kindness is what I think about – be it a physical gift, or your time or service. Like you said, not having money really does make you creative and I like that! Seems we put more thought into everything. Anyone can go out to stores and buy stuff. It’s not about the money OR the stuff is it? I don’t think kindness has a price tag.
    hugs
    suZen

    Patricia Reply:

    suZen
    You said it well: I don’t think kindness has a price tag.

  6. Dot Says:

    I used to work hard on finding just the right gift, but wasted that work on people who couldn’t see me well enough to determine what the just right gift would be. These days, with no family, I don’t exchange gifts with anyone — at my age, people are more interested in getting rid of things than acquiring them.

    Patricia Reply:

    Dot,
    Yes I think you are right, more folks are getting rid of things at our age.

    And I know just what you mean about hunting and hunting for just the right gift and it not being appreciated or acknowledge.

    I think just seeing and listening to people is a huge gift that can be given with just some time.

    Thank you for coming by – wondering how you are feeling and how the weather is?

  7. J.D. Meier Says:

    I value uniqueness and individuality.

    That means, whenever I give gifts, it’s a bit more of a process because I like to find just the right gift that suits them.

    Patricia Reply:

    JD
    Your blog is quite a gift to so many people and you spot on comments on others blogs. I feel as though I need to keep sending you thank you notes.

  8. Hilary Says:

    Hi Patricia .. I love your story – and the sharing of things we’re good at – rather than just spending ..

    Time is something we can give to others – which can be hugely beneficial and is free … as are our smiles, laughter, relaxation with others ..

    I too prefer to buy/find/do things that are relevant to particular people .. rather than cash value …

    Cheers – enjoy the weekend with Zip and family! Hilary

    PS .. as per Jannie’s blog .. your CommentLuv needs updating .. sorry!! A little more work for IT girl ..

    Patricia Reply:

    Hilary,
    I am having mucho problems with the comment luv – on hold until new computer arrives IT Girl has tons of work to do as she starts writing her thesis…

    I think acknowledging another person and their feelings is sometimes the greatest gift possible

    I just want to be more aware of all the gifts at any given moment – and the abundance of the gifts, which are only occasionally physical

  9. Keith Davis Says:

    Hi Patricia
    Finding the right gift is not a gift that I possess.
    Now my wife… she may be the world champion “right gift finder.”

    She buys presents when she finds them and hides them away until the birthday or Christmas comes around.
    And then… she produces the right gift for the right person at the right time.

    I think it must be in the genes.

    Patricia Reply:

    Keith,
    I think there might be a genetic quality to giving gifts, and I also think it is a learned skill.

    You have a gift with words and sharing how to use words is a powerful way on your blog.

    I want to be able to go from the concept of physical gifts to the idea that LOVE is the greatest gift of all – in a moments notice, so I am practicing and writing about the steps. Recognizing more levels of gifting.

  10. Hilary Says:

    Hi Patricia .. ok no worries .. thought you might know – but if commenters don’t mention it – then you never might be ‘told’.

    Re prezzies .. I had a thought – I hate wool – I’m allergic to it and many other fabrics .. and am not that good at craft .. it’s not a natural, nor art .. but I did have a thought which might interest ..

    I have to get a prezzie organised very soon for a 60th .. and was thinking .. oh oh what .. then the brain hit – how about 60 events on that particular birthday .. if you go to Wikipedia .. there’s day info, births, deaths, Feast Days and Observance .. then we could select eg 60 .. and type them up .. and put them in scroll format ..

    they could be illustrated etc .. can’t say I’m going to have time for that .. by next weekend .. but certainly an idea ..

    I’ve wrapped up 50 prezzies for someone in gold paper, all sort of goldie – bars of chocolate, gold cake decorations, candles, a tray to hold it all … I did it for a man .. on a very hot South African day .. so I couldn’t do food etc .. and didn’t want to spend a lot, so couldn’t be big .. but it was fun .. completely floored the family .. they were bemused ..

    Cheers Hilary

    Patricia Reply:

    Oh Hilary, what a marvelous idea and connection – Thank you for sharing.

    Because I am not IT savvy at all, I often need a kick in the pants to figure out things like comment luv problems. So thank you there too!
    great gifts you shared

  11. Jannie Funster Says:

    Hey! Yes, you are one of the most giving people I know, if not the most.

    Kelly is asking to knit. I do not, but I’m sure I can get her into a beginner’s class. That talent skipped a generation!

    What a simple but ideal knitter’s gift, a bowl like that.

    Was very pleased the simple chin up bar for Kelly doorframe is getting lots of use for what I’d intended – gymnastics bar. Mom installed!

    xxoo

    Patricia Reply:

    A mom installed bar – for gymnastics sounds like a great gift.
    We have knitting classes at our local yarn store – my kiddos liked it a lot but began learning from Gramma – it kind of skipped a generation here – I can not sew or read a knitting pattern – I have to be taught but it helps my fingers

    The bowl is great – just right