The Best Gifts

by : Arleen M. Kaptur

Malls are everywhere - in every town, city, village and nook. They house thousands of storefronts and assorted units. The products they stock are numerous and the array is mind-boggling.
There are items for the home, clothing, jewelry, plants, furniture, and gift assortments to pick and choose from. All these offerings lack one very special component - a personal touch. There is absolutely nothing wrong with purchasing a ready-made item - we are not all carpenters, gardeners, and artists. All people are not gifted with the same talents and abilities. We are unique and what we produce or create is a shadow of ourselves. But mass-produced items are nameless, and machines will never add that very "special" touch that makes a gift item or home decor piece something that reflects the person who bought it, the person it is intended for, or the lifestyle it is to be a part of.

The key to all this - the best option, of course, is to make an item for someone else yourself. If you sew, quilt, write, or draw you have the potential of dispersing treasures that are not duplicated, but are a memory in the making.
With time restraints and family and job commitments, many times making "things" yourself is out of the question, or basically impractical.
So, what does a person do then - simple, add a "touch" to whatever you buy whether for yourself or someone else. Look at your purchase as a base, a canvas that is incomplete and needs a little "help" in becoming a beautiful gift or addition to your home.
Just adding a ribbon, or ornamental "pick" that matches the Holiday Season or a touch of nature, such as a dried flower or leaf arrangement, will allow your purchase to cross over to "special".
There is a coldness to just buying something, wrapping it up and handing it to someone. Take the time, just a moment or two, and write a short verse, a favorite saying, sign a book with a date and the occasion, etc. A simple, affectionate "touch" that will add so much value to whatever it is you are giving or placing in your home. a quick tuck here or there, a touch of glitter, or sparkle, and you have a "work of art", a symbol of friendship, or a token to hold near to the heart.

You are blessed with imagination and creativity. It is your own special style - it is an outward gesture of who you are and what you want to convey. Use this precious endowment - otherwise, even imagination will tarnish and lose its shine. It is, however, very easy to bring it back, to instill new life in creativity, and to put your personal "stamp" on everything that crosses your path.
Holidays are especially great times to start a journey back to taking a "cookie cutter" environment and placing feeling, friendship, and love in all you do for yourself, family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc.

This Holiday Season give a little of yourself in gift items, decorating selections, and simple touches that show that you cared enough to take the time to personalize, or add "love" to everything. Even mealtimes are potential moments to show how blessed you are to have a family member, a friend, or someone you care about. A simple garnish or a colorful napkin and it is no longer a "time to eat" - it is a moment to share food, funPsychology Articles, and laughter.
?Arleen M. Kaptur 2002 October