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Posts Tagged: "family"

Big Brother & Big Sister Gifts

- - Baby Shower, Kids

Jealousy. Bribes. Love. Sounds like the stuff of a soap opera.

big-brother-older-sibling-gift-matchingAdding another child to your family can create a lot of jealousy and drama if you’re not careful.

No matter how young in age, children will notice when they aren’t the center of attention anymore because of the arrival of a new baby or adopted child.

A thoughtful gift for a big brother or big sister will go a long way towards warming up older siblings to the newest addition to their family.

A gift from the baby will help an older child feel loved and excited to welcome their new baby brother or baby sister with open arms.

It’s kind of like a bribe, but how can you not like someone who gives you gifts? It’s very hard and that’s why older sibling gifts are so important and effective.

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Passing Down Family Heirlooms

My husband’s job transferred him to Albuquerque in 1984. It was the first time either one of us had lived more than 10 miles from family. We were excited about our new adventure, and at the same time sad to leave our very close-knit family behind.

great-grandmother's-rose-bowl-thoughtful-gift-idea

Rose Bowl from Germany was given to my grandmother by her mother.

We moved into a new and larger home so I needed more wall decorations.

This was before we had the Internet so I visited several furniture stores, but had difficulty finding pictures I liked in my price range.

We lived several months without anything on the walls until one day I was making room to store old dishes passed down to me by my great-grandmother, grandmother and mother. Continue Reading

LOTTO Fun for the Whole Family

Looking for a gift that is inexpensive but creates a “big bang for the buck?” Lottery tickets and scratch offs are fun and easy on the pocket book if you have lots of gifts to buy for Christmas.

lotto-fun-money-card-thoughtful-gift-ideaA few years ago, my son just started his new job and was digging out of his school loan debts. He wanted to give everyone in the family a Christmas gift, and there are 15 of us.

Braden came up with the idea of purchasing $1 lottery tickets. He placed them inside money envelopes to completely keep the recipient off guard for a better surprise.

At the time, the lottery was sitting at $350 million – one of the largest jackpots in history.  It was all over the news making quite a buzz.

The timing couldn’t have been better to give a lottery ticket of this magnitude. Everyone in my family talked about winning and what they would do with the money!

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Limousine Ride to Look at Christmas Lights

- - Christmas, Experiences, Kids

limousine-ride-look-christmas-lights-thoughtful-giftEvery year when I visit, my nieces look forward to my gift of an experience. They know not to expect wrapped presents from me.

One year, I took them to a Renaissance Fair complete with a live jousting match, and another year I took them to a child-friendly version of the play “A Christmas Carol.” Last year, I surprised them with a limousine ride to look at Christmas lights.

I rented the limousine for three hours. During that time, we rocked out to the radio on full volume, sipped on sparkling white grape juice, snacked on cheese and grapes, snapped group photos in front of pretty Christmas light displays, and ordered food at a Wendy’s drive-thru.

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Bring a DHS Foster Child “Home for the Holidays”

- - Christmas

Imagine spending Christmas Day in an emergency shelter away from your home and family…

bring-foster-child-dhs-home-holidaysNow imagine yourself as a child spending Christmas Day in an emergency shelter away from your home and family…

You’re probably wondering why in the world would I have you imagine such horrible and depressing things. Why?

Because it’s not make believe.

Innocent children do spend Christmas Day in emergency shelters separated from their loved ones as they await foster homes. You can open your heart and your home to these children by hosting one of them for Christmas.

Through its “Home for the Holidays” initiative, the Oklahoma Department of Human Services seeks people interested in opening their homes to these children so they can spend the Christmas holiday with a family instead of in an emergency shelter.

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Handwritten WWII Letter Screen Transferred on T-Shirts

My husband found a handwritten letter from his dad dated May 5, 1943 from when he served in the Army during WWII . The letter was written to his parents and sister describing his day and how he missed his wife, Betty.

handwritten-WWII-letter-on-t-shirt-thoughtful-gift-idea

An old handwritten letter my husband’s father wrote by having parts of the letter screen printed on t-shirts.

Randy’s father had beautiful handwriting, and I thought the letter should be shared with his brother, Kyle, and sister, Lesa. But how? Copies seemed so blase’. Then the idea of having the handwritten WWII letter transferred onto t-shirts came to mind.

I found a local t-shirt screen printing business and selected different sections from the letter to create three different shirts. Each shirt also featured the postmark showing the date of the letter and their dad’s signature, Sgt. Eugene Drew. Continue Reading

The Giving Plate | A Heartwarming Tradition

No one likes to show up to a social gathering empty handed. After all, the more food the merrier!

Make a lasting impression by giving the host or hostess a gift called “The Giving Plate.”

The heartwarming tradition of The Giving Plate is that you bake a treat and present it to someone on the plate. The recipient could be a friend, family member, church member, neighbor, teacher or co-worker. Once the treat is gone, it’s time for the gift recipient to pay it forward by passing The Giving Plate to someone new.

giving-plate-gift-pay-it-forward-tradition

The Giving Plate makes for an especially touching gift during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

You can find a variety of styles of The Giving Plate on Amazon.com or you can find other designs on Etsy.com. If you’re artsy, you can make your own using food-safe porcelain markers or paint pens on a blank plate or platter.

The Giving Plate I like contains this special message that explains the tradition in a beautiful poem.

The Giving Plate

This plate belongs to everyone
wherever it may go… with each new sharing
of its gift, the love and blessings grow,
So fill it up and pass it on to
family and to friends… to start
the circle one more time,
love’s journey never ends.

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Old Family Photos Made New on T-Shirts

What to do with old family photos? Since my grandparents and parents have passed, I have become the keeper of old photos. I have thousands of photos in albums, boxes and drawers. Some are even dated back to the 1800s.

old-photos-mom-dad-3-kids-thoughtful-gift-ideaI wanted to create something new from old family photos for my two brothers and myself as a Christmas present. I found a wonderful photo of our parents in their early years of marriage and chose a cute picture of the three of us as young kids.

Picking the photo was no easy task since my mother took hundreds of pictures of her three children. She wanted to capture every moment of us growing up.

I used a local t-shirt screen printing business that transferred the pictures onto t-shirts. Since I gave at Christmas time, I chose long-sleeve t-shirts.

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Wind Chimes | Sympathy & Condolence Gift

- - Condolence

When someone you love passes away, it’s like a piece of your heart has been taken. We’ve all experienced it, and appreciate those who want to ease our pain.

condolence-wind-chimes-thoughtful-gift-ideaSympathy cards are usually the number one item sent. Thank goodness for Hallmark and other companies that make cards that eloquently express how we feel.

But for those times when you want to do more than send cards or flowers, what can you do?

My mother’s cousin passed away not too long ago. Bob was our favorite cousin hands down or should I say hands up because he was one of the few who knew sign language and could converse with my mother.

Bob, his wife, Ann and their four children, Larry, Beverly, Denise and Mark were intertwined with our family all our lives. We have many wonderful memories and my brothers and I wanted to do more than get a sympathy card. Continue Reading

Bird Feeder & People Feeder | Unique Gift

For a birthday gift, I received a beautiful mosiac glass bird feeder. It was too pretty to let the birds poop on it so I made a decision to turn it into something else – a people feeder!

bird-feeder-people-feeder-thoughtful-gift-ideaWe love having celebrations at our house for birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, Christmas, and all the holidays in between. Food and games are the center of our family celebrations.

On the kitchen table, I placed my decorative bird feeder filled with peanut and plain M&Ms. My family and friends loved the idea of nibbling from the “people feeder.”

Because the bird feeder aka people feeder was such a hit, I decided to give something similar as a gift.

I purchased a beautiful bird feeder and a giant bag of M&Ms and called my gift “Birds of a Feather Flock Together” since it’s perfect to use for get-togethers with family and friends.

It’s also a thoughtful twist for a unique housewarming gift. It can be used immediately for a delicious snack and a fun conversation piece!

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