Guest Author - Michelle Anne Cope
As part of many holiday traditions, we give gifts to the people we love and care about. Life is full of surprises, some of the most unexpected and stressful ones are usually financially related. Iíve been there, really, I have.
Donít stress. Presents are a reflection of ourselves and with each gift we give, we give a little of who we are and what we do. This year, look at your talents when you contemplate your gift list.
Writing Ė One of my favorite things to do is write short song fiction stories. Find out the name of your gift recipientís favorite song. You can easily find the lyrics online, or at the library. Do you see a story? It can be funny, sweet, and sad . . ., whatever you want it to be. Donít copy the lyrics word for word; just use them as a guideline to write a story. You can also write a short description of a place youíve both visited or a memory that you share. Doodle as you read through the words, anything you think of while reading the lyrics can be used. Itís okay if this is a story that only the two of you will get. That makes it all the more personal. You can handwrite it or type it on plain or pretty paper.
Art Ė No, Iím not talking about a Picasso, Andy Warhol, or Norman Rockwell creation. Iím talking about your art. Whatever style, shape or form it may take.
Libraries are good about looking for someone to take their old magazines. You can generally find them in the front area in a bin or ask at the reference desk. You can gather a few of the entertainment magazines and clip out some pictures of your friend or loved oneís favorite music artists and bands. Make a collage or use the pictures to make personalized CD covers. You can usually find a pack of the inexpensive sturdy white paper CD envelopes at most stores.
If you draw, draw a picture of a music artist or band as your gift. The whole idea is to use your art: collage, sketch, sewing, woodworking Ė whatever ďyouĒ do, and give it a musical theme.
One year, I made bookmarks for all of my friends. I went to the hardware store and picked up a few of those paint sample chips and they were the perfect size for a bookmark. They already had a great background. I simply used a permanent maker and wrote song and CD titles on one side and the artist and band on the other side. I also cut words and pictures out of magazines and added them as well. They were loved!
Baking Ė You donít have to be a Martha Stewart. You donít always have to bake from scratch. You can use those premade sugar dough rolls that you find at the grocery store. Also, pick up a few of those little tubes of frosting (they are easy to write with). Bake the cookies and write one word from the title of a song or two on each cookie. (Look to your gift recipientís favorites). Make sure the frosting is set before you pack them up to gift and then let your friend have fun spelling out the titles. Just make sure they donít eat a random cookie. You might want to add in a few blanks ones.
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Itís About the Spirit
No, itís not about being cheap or cheesy, itís about using your own talents and gifts to create something special for someone you really care about. And, it will make you feel a little more of the holiday spirit as well.
Let me know what you make. Iíd love to see some pictures.
Have a great week!