Back-to-School “Teacher Gift”

Want to start the year off right with a new teacher?  Then, don’t wait until the END of the year to give them a little gift… do it now, at the beginning!

I know – giving a “year-end” gift is the usual tradition most people practice and it’s certainly well-deserved, especially by that point, because of the countless hours they’ve spent nurturing students all year-long.  But, if you also consider a reasonably priced and useful gift on “Day 1”, your thoughtfulness will surprise them and show your eagerness to establish a good relationship (right away), thereby setting a positive tone for the entire school year. 😉

And here’s my (useful) gift suggestion…. a lunch kit!  This kit idea came to me when I had to come up with a “thank you” gift for 2 VIPs I recently helped host at a charity event.  Both of these ladies are hard working career women and I know a lot of people are watching their diets today by making & taking their lunch to work.  So, I thought a gift of lunch necessities and recipe ideas would be something they would appreciate and actually use!  The kit consisted of: an insulated, re-closeable lunch bag with their name attached (I used a Vera Bradley luggage tag for this  *found on clearance!*, which created a dual purpose BONUS GIFT!), creative lunch ideas cook book, package of napkins, 2 unique & reusable food containers and for those stressful days… some snacks & gum.  Cost: less than $20.  Value:  Priceless!

MORE IDEAS!  You could also add S & P shakers (I found a bright, polka-dotted pair at Walgreens for $1.49!), yogurt bars, instant drink mixes (like Starbucks VIA and Nestea Blueberry Pomegranate & Honey), recycled & reusable bamboo utensils, etc.  And if you find out they are on a restrictive diet (Gluten free, etc.), you can probably locate a cook book with those recipes.  Whatever you choose, keep in mind that a co-worker, relative, friend or sibling would also love to receive a gift like this!

P.S.  Click HERE to check out my Back-to-School Wreath too!

Enjoy the Creativity!

Eileen

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Last Minute Gift Idea (for Birthday, Grad, Mother’s & Father’s day, etc.)

This (last minute) gift idea would be fun to give just about anyone!
One of my sons lives in a different state and is the Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach at a college located there.  Because his busy season runs into spring, he hasn’t been able to come home and celebrate his birthday with family in a long time.  But this year, his season ended early, enabling him to head home for his birthday (as part of  trip to scout local, stand-out high school players) and I was able to give him a HUGE hug and wish him a HAPPY BIRTHDAY, in person…. YAY!  The last minute dilemma: I had already decided to pitch in on a birthday gift he’ll receive once he returns, which left us without a small gift to actually hand him on the one year he would finally be with us…. figures! LOL

Anyway, not to be defeated, I thought of something creative & fun, but as low cost as possible I could pick up for him… last minute.  Remembering my umbrella gift idea (https://seasonalhome.wordpress.com/2010/08/16/one-of-the-best-traditions-in-my-book/), I came up with a new twist on it!  Because they are always open, I ran up to our local convenience store and purchased the same amount of scratch-off lottery tickets as the age he was turning.  Then, using double-sided tape, I temporarily adhered each of them along the length of a long piece of curling ribbon.  I cut the ribbon end and tied it to a balloon weight (you can find these at dollar stores, if you don’t have one hanging around)  and placed that into the bottom of a gift bag, feeding the ribbon ‘o lottery tickets in behind it.  Then once I was done, I tied the other end of the ribbon to the top of my gift bag and added a note of “what to do” instructions, made on my computer using clip art and a text box.

 

Needless to say… he really liked it and that made me happy too!

Enjoy the Creativity!

Eileen

A Snowman Breakfast

[Click on any photo for a larger view]

Often, I receive requests for fundraiser donations and here’s one that turned out cute, so I’m sharing! 🙂  And I’m posting this holiday gift idea early so you’ll have time to gather the ingredients.

This would be a great gift (basket) for a family, like a relative, friend or neighbor that you want to “gift” with a new tradition.  This idea started when I came across a set of very reasonably-priced, Snowman themed dishes (by Debbie Mumm), titled “Snowflake” & “Snowman”.  P.S. they’re on the internet (eBay) if you like them too.

I thought about how hard it is to corral young ones at the breakfast table (Christmas morning) with so many wonderful gifts tempting them under the tree.  But, I think this “Snowman Breakfast” idea could solve that problem by creating FUN and MEMORIES!  The basket contents provide the main items a family would need to make & serve Snowman-shaped Chocolate Chip pancakes on Christmas morning, followed by a cozy, winter beverage.  YUM!  What child could resist, and this would be a fun, Christmas morning tradition for a family to enjoy for years to come! 

In the basket, I placed:

Not shown in basket:

And here’s the finished product:

Enjoy the Creativity!

Eileen

A “Heritage Wedding Gift” Tradition

See the WEDDINGS Category for details about the Wedding Gift Box, pictured on the right of the gift basket

This year, I attended a wonderful wedding and as expected, the gifts (guests brought for the Bride & Groom) were all beautifully wrapped, in a sea of silvers, golds and white on the reception table.

 

Click on any Photo, for a larger view

But, there was one gift that caught everyone’s attention.  It was SO unique , not only in its color and gift wrap, but also in its contents.  It was brought from Holland by the Dutch relatives of the Groom’s Mother. 🙂  Before these relatives traveled from Holland to attend the wedding, they purchased and then, stuffed their suitcases with every possible Dutch product they could fit in.   The gift basket overflowed with all of their thoughtful goodies… things like a clock and cups, with the traditional Dutch Delft pattern on them.  But, there were also many traditional Dutch treats (cheeses, chocolates, tea and crackers, etc.) that the Groom was familiar with because his mother made sure he was continually aware of his heritage, while growing up.

I was fortunate enough to be a small part of the gift when the Mother of the Groom asked me to put the finishing (gift wrap) touches on her family’s gift by arranging it in the basket, wrapping it up and making a gift tag and bow to add.  I remember thinking what a great idea this gift was because it not only pleased the Groom, but also provided him with everything he needed to share the story of his heritage and childhood traditions with his new wife.  So, if your family consists of relatives from another country (either in this generation or one in the past), keep this idea in mind when someone in your family gets married.  Consider the idea of beginning a new tradition by giving them their “Heritage” as a wedding gift.  It will be remembered for many more years than a blender, I promise you!

A Sweet Easter Story-Basket

This is a gift idea I’d like to share with those of you who also have an elderly parent.

My Mom will be 87 in June and I am blessed that she is also healthy enough to enjoy living in her own apartment.  When my Dad was still with us, the two of them were so much in love with each other and always had a running joke (between them) that he was her “Baby Duck”… they even used a cartoon voice when they’d say it to each other.  It was hilarious and adorable!  Now that my Dad has passed, I have tried to make sure the holidays are cheerful for my Mom, so I made a tribute Easter Basket (for her) this year… a tribute to the L-O-V-E between she and my Dad – her Baby Duck.

Mom & her baby duck... my Dad

The basket has a pair of boy & girl rubber Baby Ducks (to represent each of them), also a vintage, porcelain Baby Duck Easter ornament (to represent their era & add a decoration to her apt. living area), a Baby Duck-shaped little bar of soap (something fun for her apt. bath), a plush Baby Duck named “CUDDLES” (to represent how my Dad loved to hug her), a Baby Duck plant spike (to go into the potted plant by her front door (so my Dad can help her “welcome” guests too) and finally a Baby Duck watering can (because she loves to tend to her many plants on her apt. porch).  And of course, I added a few Cadbury chocolate eggs to represent Spring’s new life.

Let’s face it… when our folks get in their 80’s, they don’t need a lot of “things”, but they love their “memories”.  And since that is what I and my book are all about, I wanted her Easter basket to reflect her memories.  So, if you want to make a little Easter basket for your parent(s), consider my idea (of creating a theme) to represent and celebrate a special part of their past .  I know my Mom’s going to love this… as a matter of fact, it will probably make her cry, but with tears of joy.

“Gifting” FAMILY MEMORIES

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The world is SO uncertain these days.  That fact, alone, places renewed importance on FAMILY and creating memories.  Of course, my readers know how much I (personally) treasure memory-making, but I also LOVE to give memory-making “Starter Kits” (as gifts) to encourage it in other families… new or established!  So, keep this creative idea in mind as a unique gift for:  New Baby, New Neighbor “WELCOME!”, First Christmas, Baby Shower, First Halloween, Birthday, Mother’s or Father’s Day, First Easter, etc.

In the past, I’ve created some fun-to-give New Baby, New Grandbaby and FAMILY-themed “Starter Kits”.  And these gift baskets always include my book because it contains year-round ideas for making memories plus some great seasonal decorating ideas too!  Below is a basket from another previous post that focused on the family (mainly CHRISTMAS items) and a new one I just created that features year-round family fun:


My latest basket, which I’m donating to RELAY FOR LIFE™, includes year-round memory-making, family fun:

  • My book- CREATIVE FAMILY MEMORIES & TRADITIONS
  • Birthday Celebration Photo Frame
  • Halloween Plates, Napkins, Cups, (boney hand) Salad Tongs & Spooky Sounds CD (to recreate my SPOOKY DINNER family tradition)
  • Hallmark Christmas Ornament and Book Combo
  • “FAMILY MEMORIES” Ornament/Sign

Look at the fun Dollar Tree “find” I added as gift basket topper!

A “Creative” Gift for Christmas!

Recently, a fan of my new “How to Decorate a Tree for Christmas” DVD came up with such a great idea, after she watched the creative decorating ideas I added in among the basic decorating information.  It is such a simple and clever idea that I just had to share it with my readers.

This young woman has a couple of Aunts, for whom she buys Christmas gifts each year and she struggles for ideas every year.  But this year…  she hit the bull’s-eye!  Evidently, both of her Aunt’s holiday decorations have not been revamped in many years and are, therefore, looking a little tired.  So, she purchased each of them one of my DVDs along with the inexpensive supplies to create one of my easy decorating projects (featured in my DVD).    It has reawakened their creativity with new and easy inspiration.  And best of all, they had the instructions (in my DVD) and all of the necessary materials so they were able to dig into the project right away.  I thought this was very creative and thoughtful, so I’m passing it along for those of you who have similar gift situations/dilemmas.  Here’s a photo of the items she sent each Aunt:

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