Cue Stephen Sondheim…
But seriously, art isn’t easy or everybody would do it. For me, it’s been about making mistakes, facing my fears, bearing my soul, finding my truth, discovering what’s holds me back, and, slowly, becoming free.
As I was searching my basement this weekend for suitcases, I found myself in a nostalgia detour. My inner procrastinator happily combed through boxes and Ziploc baggies brimming with the past, and as each vessel surfaced with archives of long-lost treasures (treasures maybe a strong word for old pictures, “Welcome Home Baby” cards, baby teeth and hair, positive pregnancy tests from my first and second born–yes, I kept them–and umbilical cord stumps, but one person’s treasure is another’s trash) another hour was almost surely lost. But then I came across something else quite unexpected.
I heard someone use the term “dream maker” the other day, as in: everyone needs a dream maker. It immediately resonated with me and, of course, I agreed completely. We all need a dream maker, a champion, a partner-in-crime…
To me, a dream maker is someone who helps me see beyond the physical and non-physical obstacles that come between idea and actualization, between a seed of belief and full-on faith, between “this could be” to “this will be..and here’s how.” I thought about the dream makers I’ve encountered in my life–family, teachers, friends, bosses, colleagues–and I have a list of about five so I am fortunate that each one taught me something different adding to the tapestry of actualization, faith, this will be and how… But the biggest piece, the final piece (and–for me at least–the hardest) is more ongoing: knowing my value.
If you’re a regular or semi-reader of Gifting Whisperer, you may be left wondering “what the heck” while reading a few of my last posts. I mean, they had a more personal tone–not that my other posts aren’t reflective and personal, they are. But where were the gift list? What about the pictures of stuff to buy? What about the connection to commerce? What’s up with that?
I’ve been contemplating transformations a lot lately. There are ones that take time, courage, wisdom and energy to step into–and sometimes we do a dance stepping out of them until we can call them our own. Then there are the ones that are sudden, perhaps because circumstance foists them upon us or we force immediate change. Regardless, transformation can be scary, daunting, invigorating and inspiring…not only us, but those around us.
This Holiday season I have a total of ten kids to buy for (one is still in-uterero), and that’s before I get to my own two. I love shopping for kids…no really, I do. What I don’t always love–but actually do appreciate in a weird kind of way–is how brutally honest kids can be about whether a gift truly is cool or not. They have no filter at all and don’t feel the need to pretend to love those argyle socks and brown braided belt. Why should they…psst: don’t get a kid a belt and socks from Crewcuts when they want a Transformer from Target. Anyway, I went on a search for some cool kid-picks that could pass-muster with even the most brutally honest recipient and I have to say I think there might even be one or two adult cross-overs in contention, (does that make them automatically uncool though??). *Sigh*
Call me old-fashioned but there’s something about a reading a text with a cover and a spine that can be folded back and dog-eared that is so comforting. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve read a number of books on my iPad and that was a great experience, but sometimes I need a real tactile read–I guess I’m book-polar. These books are some new and new-ish picks that make great gifts, and–as the title of this post suggests–ones you may also want to get for yourself: one for them and one for you.
If you’re anything like me, you believe the best gifts come in small packages. That’s why I LOVE buying stocking stuffers. When I was a youngster, every year I knew that there would be one very special gift in my stocking among the little fun things that were also there and it was always so much fun anticipating where it would be–under the chocolate Santa…after the silly putty…before the socks? Below are some fun and unique stocking stuffer ideas (some links are also available to see some of my picks for each) meant to inspire and delight your recipients…and feel free to add your ideas in the comments below.
Before the in-flux of posts about what to give and what to get kicks into high gear, I thought I’d write about something that doesn’t have to cost very much–gifts about writing. The idea for this came from my son the other night. After a particularly tense evening between him and his sister (and me), my son asked me for a notebook. Just an everyday, lined notebook for him to be able to jot down his thoughts and maybe the occasional doodle. I was so inspired that my digitized nine-year-old wanted such a simple creative outlet for his thoughts that it got me thinking about how some of the sweetest gifts I’ve ever gotten (and given) have been similar.
If you’re anything like me, you start holiday shopping in October so get ready for tomorrow…because it is ON. As luck would have it and as I do at the end of every month, I’m rounding up the the top toys — by popularity and rating as tracked by Amazon.com — across a number of categories and I’ve already earmarked a few ideas for my Christmas and Chanukah shopping lists. Featured below are selections from: action & toy figures, dolls and doll accessories, construction & blocks, arts & craft, outdoor gym & swing sets, learning & educational toys, play vehicles and games. Bear in mind, the prices listed are “List Prices” however, on Amazon you can often find items deeply discounted (many of these featured items are), so make sure to check.
PS – Stay tuned for special Halloween posts coming soon too. Happy Fall!