We should give as we would receive, cheerfully, quickly, and without hesitation; for there is no grace in a benefit that sticks to the fingers. ~Seneca
Christmas is probably the most exciting time for me because i absolutely LOVE to give presents. seriously. i love it. and in the spirit of giving i thought i’d give you a couple of lists (another thing i love).
jessie’s gift-giving ninja training secrets
1. pay attention – people often say things they like or want in random conversations. i store these in my ninja brain.
2. avoid full-price if you can – thrift stores, consignment stores and “cheaper than department store prices” stores usually have what you want….for cheaper. duh
3. stock up- if you find a lot of amazing, great-priced goodies, but you don’t know who to give them to, buy them anyways!
4. make a gift closet – with the gifts you stocked up on in training secret no. 3, you now have an arsenal of presents to be utilized in any gift-giving emergency.
5. don’t be a hater – if you hate shopping you’ll never have the eyes of a gift-giving ninja. enter stores with hopeful expectation and a determination of domination. (possible mantra: “I will find good treasures”)
6. time and patience – this training tip is most important. make sure you give yourself plenty of time. and make sure you take your patience pills. last minute gifts are not thoughtful gifts. last minute gifts make for normal gift-giving, not ninja gift-giving.
7. presentation is EVERYTHING – using training tip no.6, wrap your gifts with stealth and creativity. save the planet and use recycled materials. i like to buy large old books from thrift stores and wrap presents in the pages. you can also use: brown grocery bags, old sewing patterns, giant atlas pages, newspaper, magazines, recycled boxes, and fabric. tie it up with yarn, ribbon, bias tape, lace, shoestrings, duct tape, whatever!
8. give with your heart – “the manner of giving is worth more than the gift.” ~Pierre Corneille, Le Menteur
and now a list of a few of my favorite gifts i have ever received:
- my first Canon SLR camera – Christmas 1998 (my dad had just lost his job and i knew my parents couldn’t afford to buy me this treasure, but they did anyways. i cried a river).
- my grandfather’s original set of The Chronicles of Narnia – he gave me this when i was 10.
- granny Opal gave me her piano when i was 12.
- on my 5th Birthday my Aunt Kathy told me i could have anything i wanted. although i knew i wasn’t allowed to get my ears pierced, i asked for it anyways……and she took me to get it done. we still break rules together.
- several anonymous packages of exotic feathers sent to my house over a 6 month period. i still do not know who did this. each had a note that read “God knows”.
- on my 13th Birthday i got an amazing pair of speed roller skates called Cobras.
- an anonymous piece of jewelry made by my favorite jeweler with a dove’s feather laced in gold. still don’t know who custom ordered this for me.
- on my first Mother’s Day my Mom bought me a pair of Soma pajamas (if you’ve ever worn Soma pajamas, you know how special this is).
- for my anniversary one year i got a 15 foot sailboat that i named Paikea.
- my friend Jess custom ordered a locket for me with a hand-painted fox and sparrow on the inside. i cried when i received it.
- when i was 11 my Dad came to my middle school and got on the PA system where he gave a speech (to the entire school) about the day i was born and how i had brought so much life and joy to his life everyday since. at the time it was mortifying. but now that memory is sacred and precious. he then got me out of school for the rest of the day and we got milkshakes and cheeseburgers.
- my amazing friend Stephan compiled a beautiful work of art book for my Birthday one year that carried letters from friends and photos and stories of why my friends love me. it has my name written in red, glitter puffy paint. i love this gift.
- 3 days after my 28th Birthday i was given the most beautiful little creature ever. he had brown hair and brown eyes and he stole my heart forever. my sweet Noah Fox is one of the most incredible gifts i have ever been given. a gift i can never even hope to deserve.
- unplanned, unexpected, the BIGGEST surprise of my entire existence, the miracle baby Sparrow Song has been the gift that just keeps giving. she is proof of a loving God. she is living proof that prayer works. Sparrow is the gift i was afraid i may lose. she is my beauty. my joy. her life from the hands of God has taught me more than i may ever be able to understand. holy smokes, what a gift!
and on that note, may you all remember your most precious gifts this season.
Happy Ninja Gift-Giving to you all