Gifts of Nature

Seaside Christmas decorations

Happy holidays!  I hope the season is one in which you find great delight, even with our current covid limitations.  It can be an exhilarating time of year, with colorful decorations, extra-special meals and treats, and fun gatherings with loved ones.  And gifts, of course!  

Gift-giving has been a popular custom for hundreds of years.  Initially, small gifts to help the poor were given at this time of year across many religious traditions.  Unfortunately, this compassionate practice that epitomized holiday spirit has been all but lost; somehow, receiving gifts has become more important than giving.  It is my prayer that this perception is changing as a result of the plight of those who have lost their jobs or homes due to covid.  (Approximately 4 million Americans have been out of work for at least 6 months.)  The winter holidays are a perfect opportunity to share the love in our hearts with everyone we know.  By tapping into Natureโ€™s abundance, we can give extraordinary, heartfelt gifts to those in need as well as friends and family without breaking the bank.

Scenic drive near San Diego

Experiences, in my opinion, are so much better than things in most cases.  Give the gift of fun!  Take a long, scenic drive together, an epic hike, a trip to the local arboretum or state park, take a picnic lunch and go fishing at a nearby lake, visit a butterfly garden, or create an itinerary for a post-covid trip!  Camera and binoculars in hand, this might just be the holiday gift that never stops giving.

Let’s fish here!

Home-cooked meals and baked goods make lovely gifts.  Although I was expecting the opposite due to the pandemic, fewer and fewer folks seem to be preparing their own meals.  Home-cooked dishes are superior in quality and taste to frozen, pre-made, and oftentimes, restaurant food.  One of the delights of the holiday season (in normal times) is going home for a meal made by Mom or Grandma, right?  Iโ€™ll bet you know someone who seldom – or never – eats a home-cooked meal.  What could be a better gift for them than a prepared-from-scratch soup with some freshly baked bread?  

Bok Choy soup

Another beautiful food gift is a home-assembled fruit basket.  Dress up a reusable basket with ribbon, glitter, paint, or whatever you have, and fill with your choice of oranges, pears, apples, wine or mineral water, small bags of nuts, cookies, or good-quality chocolate.  Wrap it all up in cellophane (or donโ€™t!) and remember to include a card!

Nature photo gifts are a winner, as well.  Create a calendar, make some greeting cards, or put together a small photo album or scrapbook of a natural area your loved one wants to visit.  Collect actual photos and cut-outs from online sources and magazines, including the articles, and add quotes and colored stencils to jazz it up!  A great way of communicating heart-to-heart without speaking a word.

Finally, the best-smelling gift: a chai simmer pot kit!  Gather the aromatic ingredients for chai, add a beautiful, fat orange and some fresh cranberries for color, print out the recipe (or write on a small card), and tie it all up in a clear bag with a festive bow.  The tea tastes marvelous, and the kitchen will smell like the holidays after it brews!

Homemade gifts are often appreciated beyond measure.  Pouring your love into something for the benefit of another is what giving is all about.  This holiday season, show your heart to your neighbors in need, friends, and family with simple gifts of Nature that communicate the true reason for the season.

Hiking in Sedona

Holiday Blessings,

Lisa

The content of this article is for educational and informational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice. Please consult with a qualified health care professional before acting on any information presented herein. Any statements about the possible health benefits of any subject discussed have not been evaluated by medical professionals or the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.

54 thoughts on “Gifts of Nature

  1. Hi Lisa,
    I was just thinking “I bet Lisa should be posting a post soon” and YIPEE lucky me, here you are.
    I love the lights but not the mess and I have shifted things a lot this year. I’m going to gift a single client/friend dinner and bring it to her on xmas, I’m giving walnuts from our trees (if i can get my husband to start cracking faster ๐Ÿคฃ).Sew Eye pillows if I can figure out how to work the sewing machine… ๐Ÿคช. Love all of your pictures and your sweet sentiments always. โค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธ Cindy

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Such a beautiful blog for the holidays! I absolutely agree with your sentence in which you stated, โ€œreceiving gifts has become more important than givingโ€. However, WE as adults can change this mindset one person or group of people at a time if one is willing to commit to making a difference. Regardless of how much or how little an individual is able to give to others, each individual has the power within to touch the life of another person, family or community. Remember, GIVING does not necessarily have to be monetarily. When people give their time, talents or other resources to others they are making a difference in their lives through ways you may never be aware of. I am one of two sponsors of an โ€œAnchor Clubโ€ at a Middle School in North Alabama. Nation wide these particular school clubs are sponsored by local Pilot Clubs. The sole purpose of our Club is to teach our members the IMPORTANCE OF giving back to the community! Our projects each year include hosting and recruiting donors for 2 blood drives, conducting an annual can-a-thon, visiting nursing homes to sing songs and provide treats to the residents, which unfortunately we cannot do this school year because of coronavirus, assisting with Special Olympics and a couple of other projects. These are just a few of MANY projects these 6th, 7th and 8th grade students do each school year! I would like to challenge each your readers to find a way in your community to teach others the IMPORTANCE of giving back! Just think what a better world we could have overall!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I’m a big fan of Sedona. And I am also a big fan of your photos as you know. I enjoyed your photos in this blog and your sentiments about giving. I’m grateful for your reminders and for your friendship, the best gift ever.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your “About” doesn’t allow for comments, so I’m leaving my comment about your “About” here. The words at the top of that page, along with others often attributed to Chief Seattle, unfortunately weren’t uttered by him. Here’s what snopes.com says about the passage that contains the supposed Chief Seattle quotation:

    “Though undeniably beautiful, the preceding speech is not even remotely authentic. Rather than issuing from the very real Chief Seattle in 1854, those moving words were written by a screenwriter in 1971.

    โ€œChief Seattle is probably our greatest manufactured prophet,โ€ said David Buerge, a Northwest historian. The real Chief Seattle did give a speech in 1854, but he never said โ€œThe earth is our mother.โ€ Nor did he say โ€œI have seen a thousand rotting buffaloes on the prairie, left by the white man who shot them from a passing train.โ€ There were no bison within 600 miles of the chiefโ€™s home on Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest, and trains to the West were years away.

    The words Chief Seattle has become famous for were written by Ted Perry, the screenwriter for Home, a 1972 film about ecology. They have since been widely quoted in books, on TV, and from the pulpit. A childrenโ€™s book, Brother Eagle, Sister Sky: A Message From Chief Seattle, sold 280,000 within the first six months of its 1991 issue.”

    You can find the full analysis at https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/chief-seattle/. The larger passage by Ted Perry is blacked out there, probably for copyright reasons, but I discovered that if I drag through it with my mouse the words become visible.

    Like

      1. You’re welcome. I’ve made a point, whenever I consider repeating a quotation I find on the internet, of trying to check its authenticity. Many “quotations” on the internet appear with incorrect wording or with an incorrect attribution. Socrates, Confucius, Mark Twain, Einstein, and some other people get a lot of things attributed to them that they never said.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to HensBlooms Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: