Escape the Madding Crowds - Gifts from the Heart

in Silver Bloggers3 months ago

I've always loved the Christmas season, a time when the clan regroups and catch up on the year just gone by; the older generation's topic not surprisingly sways to 'matters of the heart' which has a different meaning for the younger generation, right!
But, there's always loads of fun and laughter at our family gatherings, and all the aches and pains of the oldies disappear like magic.

Laughter is the best medicine after all!

We've grown wiser when it comes to the food which used to have the tables groaning. The menu is planned and everyone brings their specialty, no sweating in the kitchen, this is 2023 after all, the chefs don't want to miss out on the fun!

The Christmas cake should have been baked and well-soaked in brandy by this time; the cookie jars are being filled with homemade cookies and spiced fruit mince pies.

Those are the things I love.

The one thing I hate do not like about Christmas, is the commercialism of gifts, and that last-minute rush where the frustration starts in the car-park, it's too late for online shopping by then!

The idea of the Hive Thrifted Community was based on the online site yaga.co.za, where one sells good quality pre-loved goods. The only difference is that we would do all transactions through our Hive wallet, using or earning HBD.

The concept still has to catch on, and I will get back to that in the near future. 2023 has been a year that's changed my life forever, and my work in that community had to take a back seat.

My perspective on things changed since the loss of my life partner, and I've been thinking about the silliness of forking out money on meaningless gifts.

I always am dumbfounded by the size of those large, beautifully presented gift boxes, filled with stuffing and just a few bottles of toiletries or other 'trinkets'. Yes the boxes are pretty to look at, but it's sad to think about the waste of paper and trees.

Thoughtful gifts away from the Madding Crowds

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Be totally honest with yourself, what kind of gift would you personally appreciate - a commercial meaningless gift, or something treasured from a loved one.

We all have preloved gems sitting in our cupboards, something we will never use, but would be of great value to a sister or brother, or anyone special in our lives.
You may have to revitalize it by giving it a good clean-up or slight refurbishing.

You could also give something you've made yourself, be it something crafty or homebaked cookies or jams. Pack into pretty jars, a special tea cup or bowl, something that can be used afterwards, or use a pretty handmade box, add a little story about the origin of the gift, and bring a smile to a loved one's face?

I challenge you to put this idea to your family and friends, imagine getting your great-aunt's vintage teapot that you admired as a child and has been collecting dust in your cousin's attic.

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I will be putting the concept to my family, and am sure they will love the idea, but whatever the reaction, I am opting for preloved and homebaked goods this Christmas, something that will be way more meaningful, and will help me side-step the awful chaos in the shopping malls!

Top of my gift list, is to have just one more day with the love of my life, but that wish will remain elusive until I reach the end of my journey, but for now, I will cherish the magical special times!


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What a beautiful post @lizelle! I totally agree with you, those types of gifts are more authentic, more meaningful. A hug.

 2 months ago  

Thank you so much @plantpoweronhive, yes I really feel that all the special holidays are way too commercialized. Your message means a whole lot to me, and I felt that hug xxx

I like Christmas too, but not the consumerism of presents. I like the gatherings with friends and families creating new memories to treasure.
Speaking of Hive Thrifted these days I've been sorting through my son's closet and have pulled out some toys he never wanted to get rid of, maybe it's time to give them a new life.
Big hugs!🤗😘

 2 months ago  

I totally agree with you Eli, that's what really matters after all!
I decluttered a while back, and every so often see something else that I have no use for, so it gets added to my yaga store. I really want to see if I can put some life into Hive Thrifted next year. There's just so much happening at the moment.
A big hug to you as well Eli, is your son back home yet?


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 2 months ago  

Thank you so much @plantpoweronhive xxx

Thanks for sharing your creations with us here, those cookies look very nice.

I'm glad your family still has that Christmas spirit and celebrates like never before.

Greetings and a hug for you! ❤🙏🏻

 2 months ago  

Thank you @milagroscdlrr

You’re welcome! 😊🙌🏻

Homemade gifts are the best. They are given with love and appreciated more than anything that can be bought in a store. When one receives a gift of this nature one can feel the love that comes along with it, and you know that they were thinking about you at the time.

 2 months ago  

I so enjoy receiving homemade gifts, definitely means way more, and is so nice knowing they made something thoughtful, and a reminder of the person who made it!

Thank you for sharing your handmade creations! This reminds me that I have to start making some Christmas cookies with my son and oh the ultimate gingerbread house, 😀 I have to look for a simple recipe!

Have a wonderful week!

 3 months ago  

Aha a gingerbread house @purepinay, now that's quite a challenge! Something I've never attempted, but, it's never too late not so!
Enjoy the rest of your week as well.

Good luck to me then! Haha!

Thank you 🤗

 3 months ago (edited) 

Oh yes, your life has indeed changed drastically this year Lady Lizzie, but thankfully you are strong enough to pick up the reins again. Never easy, I know, but we simply have to continue with life, and thankfully you have had a wonderful visit with your son. I like your idea of cherishing the great times, because that's all that we have.
Btw. We don't exchange gifts at Christmas, as we are happy to have each other, until my journey also ends.

!PIZZA and !LUV

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 3 months ago  

Funny, we were the same in our latter years, bought gifts for everyone else, but were happy with the gift of each other!
It's not easy but I will make the most of this new kind of lifestyle.
Thank you for always encouraging me!

 2 months ago  

Sorry, some power cuts here and now in another one. Thankfully the inverter was fully charged and I can work.

I know that you will make the best of things, as that is all that one can do. With time things will work itself out, and you are no quitter.
A pleasure and I know a bit of how it feels.

!PIZZA and !LUV

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 2 months ago  

I need to get that inverter, only have a small one to keep the wifi router going. We use rechargeable globes and lamps, but cannot watch TV. Thankfully the guests are out most of the time and aren't very interested in watching TV

 2 months ago  

True, as it will be a great help, but it also has its limitations, as I don't allow the lithium battery to drain below 80%. So, when it gets to 80%, I switch off. Solar panels are the best investment, as people prefer to buy houses that are off grid, but still too expensive for us.
Good that you have the lighting sorted, and with a stronger inverter, you will have TV .
I am sure that your son will tell you what the best inverter will be to buy.

When we have only one, or two power cuts, the inverter can semi cover it, but now we have 3-4 per day and it's a real struggle.

!PIZZA and !LUV

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 3 months ago  

I have to agree with you on the waste created around Christmas celebrations. I started gifting homemade cookies and bread years ago to family and friends. I do my best to make about 12 varieties of fancy cookies and some biscotti. The cookie trays are so festive and everyone enjoys them. Afterall, at our ages what do we need with more stuff, right? Happy holidays to you.

 3 months ago  

You are so right, I've been decluttering for a while now, and keep on seeing more stuff that I'm not using! Your friends and family are really blessed to get such thoughtful gifts, I simply love getting a homemade edible gift, and biscotti tops my list of favourites! These gifts definitely mean more than all the gold and diamonds in the world as it's been made with love, an ingredient you cannot buy anywhere. Happy holidays to you as well @sunscape

Wow your gift is so thoughtful I love how it was neatly wrapped. I know what you want for Christmas can’t be given to you at this point but I hope you have a lot of fun and this becomes one of your best Christmas season.
Have a lovely Christmas

 3 months ago  

Thank you @beeeee, yes sadly my wish cannot be granted, but it will still be a special time with family and friends!
Wishing you a wonderful Christmas as well.

Thank you so much☺️

Special things for special loved ones. I love those homemade yummy looking cookies and that beautiful teapot for sure make your family feel love and extra specials. I would love to grab some cookies though. 😀🥰

 3 months ago  

LOL @diding, sorry I can't send you some cookies, you'll have to make do with a virtual bite😉

It's not the price of the gifts that matters, it's the effort they make to put a smile on your face.. such a nice idea🥰❤️

 3 months ago  

You're so right, it's the thoughtful gifts that mean a whole lot!

Oh I love this concept ❤️

 3 months ago  

It suddenly dawned on me just how much we rush around at Christmas time, wasting precious time and money. Of course, the children love getting their toys, but I'm sure all the grown-ups will love having a thoughtful preloved, or homemade/ handcrafted gift!

Especially if said gift tastes yummy and is made with love 😋😋🎁🎁❤️❤️

PIZZA!

$PIZZA slices delivered:
@papilloncharity(2/15) tipped @lizelle (x3)

Love the idea of using china and other items as packaging - a two in one gift!

 2 months ago  

Yes that is the bonus, and it could be special china you have sitting at the back of your cupboard, no need to run to the stores ;)

I remember going to see my grandmother and being given little presents - an Edwardian casserole, six silver teaspoons, a pickle fork.