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Raindrops on Roses: My Favorite Things

Happy Sunday after Thanksgiving, Friends.

How far along are you in your holiday planning? My mother has completed all of her shopping, ordered her wrapping paper, and has the rest of this season to relax.

We have our tree up, but hubby and I are only now starting to talk about gifts we want to give the loved ones on our Christmas gift list. Some are pretty easy; my brother-in-law and his wife will receive their annual shipment of pears, which they really enjoy and works very well for Christmas during a pandemic. Others are going to require a bit of thought. I think I'm up for the challenge.

I am not much of a shopper for myself, but give me a list of someone's favorites, their passions, and a good budget, and I will shop like a madwoman for them. Over the years, I've had quite a few hits...some misses too, but mostly hits. I've also acquired a list of favorite gifts to give. I've listed 5 of these to help if you're fresh out of ideas:

  • This is number one on the list because it is my very favorite gift to give. Perhaps, because my love language is words of affirmation. For the lover of words in your life, buy beautiful paper from Michael's or Office Depot, hand write a letter to your loved one telling them how much they have blessed your life. Snail-mail it to them in a beautiful envelope.

  • I am here for creating or giving experiences to my loved ones. I have given my husband a flight lesson, the opportunity to drive a Lamborghini Aventador, 4 weeks of drum class, which he enjoyed so much, he signed up for a semester, and would have done more had COVID not disrupted that plan. Groupon is great for finding reasonably priced experiences for adventurous loved ones.

  • One of the best gifts I ever received came from my daughter, Kayla. It's a book she found, called, "Your Mother's Story." It's filled with (literally) hundreds of questions for mom to answer. Once she has answered all the questions, she gives the book back to you as a keepsake. The absolute best gift for a daughter to give a mother.

  • Trust me on this, your grandmother has more than enough sweaters, blankets, and slippers. What she wants is time with her family. Give her that. You and your extended family create 12 themed gift boxes; each box represents a monthly gathering where you, and as many of your family members as are able, gather at grandmas for a time of togetherness. One box could be game-night themed, decorated with playing cards and glued on monopoly pieces. Place a homemade gift certificate with the date and time of the gathering, a new game for the family to try together, and a framed picture of the family branch which decorated that box inside that box. Another box could be the bar-be-cue box, wrapped in an apron. Place inside the box the recipe for the family's secret marinade sauce, barbecue utensils, and a gift certificate with the date and time of the family gathering, along with a framed picture of the family branch which decorated the box. Do that for 12 planned family gatherings. Get creative. If grandma likes dancing, book a ballroom class for the family. Has a book full of family recipes? Book a family recipe cook-off. Buy a golden spoon to give the winner. Create boxes for grandma's birthday, holiday, reunion, movie night, and soul food gatherings to get you started.

Speaking of time... how many of you feel like there are just not enough hours in the day? If you feel that way, you can bet your loved ones do as well. Help them create much needed margin in their lives. Give them a gift certificate for a homemade meal at the time of their choosing. Or, if you're able, hire a cleaning company to clean their home during spring cleaning.

Of course, if you are looking for great gifts for the bonus moms in your life, check out

Stay tuned for a few more of my favorite gifts to give. What are some of yours?

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