23 November 2008

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."

As the holidays near, there's nothing like the warm gestures we give and receive that make us feel as if we were bathed in sunlight despite the bitter winter air. What we give doesn't always have to be something that can be packaged and tied up with string, but rather we can give gifts like love, cheer, hope, and laughter.

Perhaps the greatest gift we can give is love, however love requires something else we often consider precious: time. Saying, "I love you", never says as much as showing you love someone. Nothing speaks louder than your actions.

If anything, we become far more busy, in the holiday season, than throughout the rest of the year, but instead of creating a traffic jam on your calender by attending every possible party, and dashing around department stores for gifts, consider giving those you love more of your time this season.

Give the gift of a listening ear to someone you love, or go the extra mile, and take time to listen to those who are rarely given a voice, such as the homeless, the disabled, the elderly, and so forth. Give the gift of family: invite someone who is unable to be with their family this holiday season, to join your family for the holidays. Give the gift of song and cheer: go caroling around your neighborhood. Mirroring the topic of the previous entry: give the gift of forgiveness, and of acceptance.

Feed a hungry baby for a week, teach a child to read and write, rescue a child from bondage and abuse, transform the life of a disabled child, help fight epidemic diseases, provide clothing for those in need, or give something as simple as milk to boys and girls, who live in poverty, to help them overcome malnutrition. Trusted and established organizations like Samaritan's Purse allow you to give these and many other charitable gifts this holiday season.

While we must realize and remember the greatest gifts don't come with dollar value, most of us still wrap some gifts to place under the tree, and even material gifts can be given having thought and time put behind them. Don't settle for an obvious, easy buy, narrow down what your family and friends might really like to receive this year. Below are some (affordable, because I don't know about you, but I'm not made out of money) gift ideas, that I have found over time to be little gems, and for those who seek visual appeal, like myself, well-made and well-designed too.

1. Books To Check Out: A Journal (best suited for those who like reading, organization, and journaling); 2. Magnetic Poetry (best suited for those who like poetry, songwriting, writing, and words); 3. Blank Coffee Table Sketchbook (best suited for those who like sketching, doodling, and who frequently host friends and parties); 4. Wanderlust Travel Journal (best suited for those who like traveling, journaling, photography, and design - also see other Wanderlust products); 5. Paperchase Mag Bags (for U.S. citizens these are sold only in-store at Borders; best for those who like magazines, reading, bags, and fashion).

6. Flea Market Style by Emily Chalmers (best for those who like reading, flea markets, interior design, and vintage/second-hand); 7. Fingerprint (best for those who like reading, graphic design, hand-made design/elements, print work, and packaging design); 8. Cinematic Storytelling by Jennifer Van Sijill (best for those who like films, reading, cinematography, film method and technique); 9. Much Love Jewelry (best for those who like jewelry, hand-made craftsmanship, costume-like jewelry).

Feel like I've come close to hitting the mark of what your friends or family might like, but haven't quite found what you're looking for? Check out these sites for similar and related products to the ones I've listed above: Chronicle Books, Wanderlust, Michael Wiese Books, Paperchase, Etsy, and HOW Books. And stay tuned, as I'm considering doing a part two to include more products and gifts I adore...

What is the best (or one of the best) holiday gifts you can remember receiving, whether an actual product, or something non-material? What is the best (or one of the best) holiday gifts you've given? Do you get your holiday shopping done early, or at the last minute? Other thoughts? Feel free to share and exchange your own gift ideas when you comment.

P.S. While I've provided links to locations where all the products listed can be ordered, please note that other resources may be available in which you may buy some of the products, as well as, many of these products can be bought in-stores instead of online, or at more affordable prices. Feel free to do some Google-searching to find the best location and price to buy any of these products at. I also own nearly all of these products, and/or know who makes/owns them, so you're welcome to ask me any questions you might have about them.

Title Quote: Winston Churchill
Photo Credits: http://kes-ke.livejournal.com & http://styliste.livejournal.com & www.flickr.com/people/10330100@N06 & Christopher at www.thefashionspot.com.


Brigadeiro said...

Such inspirational beautiful posts you make! This Christmas there'll be no rushing around to attend parties, lunches & dinners. I'm meeting my family in Brazil (where my parents live & where I grew up), and I'm just so happy we'll be all together again, I truly cannot wait!

Hot Bot said...

Here's a pretty long story, but I think you'll like it S-C.

For 8 years, I auditioned and danced in a local production of the Nutcracker. I wasn't enrolled in the sponsoring ballet school, but another. Me; having the younger big ego back then, felt I was a much better dancer than a lot of the girls who were getting bigger roles. I was so over the politics, I took a break. When I came back one last time, I thought that I would for sure get the roles I wanted; I had more training, I went away to NYC to dance at Alvin Ailey, and I thought I killed my audition.

I got one part. A flower.
I was devastated and furious.

My bf at the time came over with an orchid bud with the pot wrapped in ribbon. He told me that even though the bud was small and insignificant, it would eventually become something beautiful. He told me I'd be that flower. It's so cheesy, but I was so touched by that gift.

Just don't tell my current bf I said that ;)

Gosh that was a lot of Internet self-disclosure. Sorry for the novel of a comment.

The Six Six Sick Girls said...

These photographs are breathtaking! Thank you for posting them, your site always serves as a great source of visual inspiration!


Paloma said...

That Tim Walker pic is so.... pf, leaves me speachless.

letslivefast said...

these are such beautiful pictures- i'm speechless! :)

Elizabeth said...

You are so right that many times we loose sight of what the holidays are all about when we are stressed out and caught up in the materialism of Christmas and that charity is most important this time of year. I think more people are becoming aware of this.

My favorite gifts to give are handmade ones. Years ago I sewed throw pillows that had pictures of my sisters and me printed on them. These pillows are very much cherished by my parents still today. I think family, especially parents and grandparents really enjoy handmade gifts.

Elena said...

This post is very touching... You are so right about many things!

Miss Karen said...

First off I just want to say, 'wow!' at the short-haired girl in the B&W picture - I want to be her!

I don't know if it's the economic climate or a more personal epiphany (probably both), but I've become very dissillusioned with materialistic gift-giving. This year, I don't want anything physical, I'd much rather the gift of time spent with friends and family. Which has always been the best gifts I've received.

D said...

this was beautiful,very beautiful im planning on this christmas,the day of going to the shelter and feeding and giving the homeless plenty of clothes,that me and my family no longer have any use for,i believe that i will feel much better than rather leaving them in an un- needed closet,i make an ode to myself to say i love you to the people i know that loves me,because love is all we need to turn this world upside right again,love i believe conquers all

another great post xxxoxoxoxoxo

Endofmarch said...

Oh!, I'm in such a hurry and have to go soon! But I wanted to leave a little comment otherwise I would have forgotten.
I want to say that I agree with you and that this holiday season can be very special if you focus on the right things.
Thank you for all the wonderful links, pictures and words.

Franco said...

the best gift i've ever gotten is probably a poppy.
I love the pics, the tim walker one is just a [no words]
such inspiration

KATLIN said...

With the current economic situation, I really re-thought my gifts this year. I used to want to buy things that showed I spent money on them, which I translated to caring about. But this year I thought about what they want, needed, could use and get the most out of. I got small gifts, but I really like them because they're perfect for that person! I also have told my family and friends to not buy me anything for Christmas and instead donate to the Lokahi Giving Project, a local charity that helps out families in need.

Relyn said...

You choose incredible images. I am full of beauty. You also have a whole lot of wisdom to share. Your post has made me happy. And made me think. A wonderful combination.

I had to laugh when I got to mag bags on your list. I have 3 or 4 of them. I really love them! My seven year old daughter is now working on her own collection of them.

And an aside for Miss Karen... Based on your comment photo, I thought you were her.


It's always better to give than to receive...we reap what we sow... great motto to live by indeed! Great fabulous week to you SC dear!
~Blessings as always*

muchlove said...

Oh, Thank you for including Much Love jewellery! :)

Those images are stunning.

Jennifer Ramos said...

SUCH a beautiful post!! QUITE Inspirational!

Jen Ramos
'100% Recycled DESIGNER Cards & More'

Songy said...

My guy gave me a small pocket book called 'feel better soon' which had small proses in each page with small pictures to cheer me up. That was nice.

I was thinking since your posts are very positive and stuff (no more sucking up this time.. it's getting a little out of hand I thought)
you could get them published. What do you reckon!

Montse said...

Amazing pictures!

i.d. said...

The best gift I ever received was my brother showing up on our doorstep (he lives overseas and didn't think he's be able to make the 24-hour trip).

The best gift I ever gave...well I'm hoping that this year's will be the best. My brothers and I are going to take black and white portraits of each other and have them framed for our parents.

I love receiving presents but I can't remember any of the "things" I received over the years. These kinds of gifts are much more meaningful.

detailsofthefabric said...

what a beautiful concept you have for your blog! =) refreshing and unique and thought-provoking. thank you!

surimay said...

wowww! you did a post on holiday giving! very inspiring :)
i'm not much with the holiday season. i don't know why, but i tend to focus more on birthdays and things like that. but the holiday spirit is awesome anyway. haha. i like thinking of all the things i could do and buy for people :D

my most favourite and touching gift was actually a birthday present given to me when i was 16 from my highschool friends. one fo my friends remembered that i told her (rather sheepishly) that when i was like...11 or 12, having been caught up in harry potter madness, i used to always think an owl would come for me and take me to hogwarts! i was that dumb.
but she remembered and made this little letter with the hogwarts stamp and scrawly writing and everything (enclosed with money and basically telling me i should buy the new book to start studying at hogwarts!). anyway, it was so thoughtful i started crying. haha.
i love my friends! :)

p.s the first image with the boat and the lace sails, absolutely beautiful! i think it may be my new favourite picture!

Martine said...

I like your blog. and as we say where I'm from; "you're the shit!" ;) Come be my lover at www.loungeax.blogspot.com

I'm not good at exclusive relations, but I make the best pancakes ^^

Lavender said...

The light in that first shot is simply amazing. I looked at it for ages.

Thanks for stopping by my blog and making comment.

Theresa said...

your posts are always so beautiful and inspiring,the picture by tim walker is gorgeous

Nita-Karoliina said...

really nice post:) i think we stop and say i love you, i care for you, i miss you too rarely.

DaisyChain said...

The first picture in this post is omgamazing.
And I adore your ideas.

poeta fit, non nascitur said...

The last photo is so beautiful!

Sunshine said...

the first picture is breathtaking!

♥ fashion chalet said...

That's a great title and quote! :)

I am scared of bugs, snakes and frogs. Spiders are OK, as long as they are not on me. But if there were a Tarantula nearby, I would probably faint from fright!!! YIKES.

I can't wait for Thanksgiving (thanks for asking) I'll be with my extended family on my Parents' side in South Miami. Turkey and all the trimmings. I will even be making my infamous Sweet Potato 'Mash' and Pumpkin Soup! How about you? I plan to take more photos with my brother outdoors, as well. :) <3333

FashionSongbird said...

Yes keeping up with blogging is very hard, and I admire that you do such a great job at it :)

The best gift I've recieved was having my brother come home from Europe for christmas. Unfortuantly this year he will not be. I love Christmas time so much and I get my shopping/making presents early because there is honestly nothing better than the excitment of giving someone the perfect gift that comes from the heart and with thought. :)

Sarah Von said...

What a lovely, lovely post. I am a stuff-hater and despair over all the tomfoolery we give and receive during the holidays. Nutcracker stuffed toy? No thanks. Appliqued sweatshirt? Seriously.

I do enjoy buying 'experiences' for friends and family, tickets to a play, a gift certificate to a massage, a subscription to food of the month club.

Cate said...

Ohhh... I really don't think that I can name one gift that was the best one of my life... I appreciate every gift I get when it's given with love.
And I also try to put as much love as possible in every gift I make, and make it perfect for the person it's meant for. So I can't say either which is the best gift I've ever given... I am ashamed to have to admit that I mostly do everything last minute. But in the beginning of November, I made a chocolate cake for my chocolate-loving penfriend from Finland and sent it to her by post, because she had her birthday - and it arrived exactly on her birthday! (I live in Germany, note ^^)

Creaholica said...

I really like your way of telling stories. And thank you for posting these photographs! lovely.

And what about holiday gifts.. something original, something tipicle for that country. Or do you mean something different?

nice nice post. ×

Tuesdai Noelle said...

Heyyyyy S-C

….Love the photos as usual :o)…

“Saying, "I love you", never says as much as showing you love someone.” S-C

“Give the gift of a listening ear to someone you love, or go the extra mile, and take time to listen to those who are rarely given a voice, such as the homeless, the disabled, the elderly, and so forth.” S-C

Thanks for the direction of the inspirational words…I believe you’ve said a mouth FULL…I can add no more than…Thank you :o)

Hope your day is cool ;o)

Tiffany said...

beautiful pictures and beautifully written.

thanks for all those book/gift recommendations. Will be checking them out when I have time.

Ivonne from Self Exposed said...


Just wanted to say hi and tell you that I haven't stopped reading your blog, but I have been feeling too emotional to comment anything at all...
But I still find a great pleasure and inspiration in reading you. Hope that my way of giving back to you can someday equal the lot that you give us readers.

Hope you back and leg are in great shape now!


MOLLY GRAY said...

the title of your post is completely true and i live my life that way, i fill complete when i help people in every way i can, that's what my parents taught me and that is what i will teach my future children..


beautiful post.
truly very inspiring

pay it forward. someone's always in more need than yourself.
and it's more rewarding then any sum of money.


J'Adore Fashion said...

great photos, love the bob & bangs in the black and white picture--i miss my bangs :(
It always feels good to give no matter how small.
great inspiration post as always dear. hope you had a nice weekend!!!


...love Maegan said...

so sweet and so true. great visual candy as well!

A Rose said...

Wow, that is such a beautiful post. I love reading your blog.

Savvy Mode SG said...

i love the first image. i agree with you, the great gift is often trivial in monetary value but priceless in personal/life value.

STEFANIE said...

What a great gift guide! there are definitely some things I really like.
haha the best christmas gift I got was when I was little, I asked my mum for a hamster because I really wanted a pet and well, a fish isn't very nice to play with and big animals weren't allowed in the house. So when I opened my present, I got a bag of hamster food. And at first I was like:'well where's the hamster?' I thought my mum gave me this to teese me because she wasn't planning on giving me a hamster. I was a bit disappointed and well, I just said something like 'oh great, thanks! I guess?' and in my confusion, my godfather went to the kitchen and POOF! he came back with a hamster! haha, now this may sound stupid or so, but at the moment, going from disappointment to euphoria, that made me 10 times happier when I actually got my hamster ^-^

Betsey said...

so amazing
your words NEVER cease to amaze and inspire me!

Miranda said...

i love the quote that is this entry's title and i love the pictures you chose
it's so much more meaningful to make something for someone (and usually less expensive as well :P) but i can see why material things are given so much more often. i guess it's a mixture of wanting to get someone a material thing that you know they'll really like vs something you might fail to make well... that's what cards are for sometimes :)

AusAnna said...

such moving pictures. like livelifefast.. speechless

jess said...

Gorgous photos.

Zanita said...

Your blog is a gift SC! Divine!

Female Action Star said...

this is lovely! I look to you for good advice... thank u for this


Couture Carrie said...

Beautiful and heartfelt post, S-C! Books do make the loveliest gifts. My favorite items to give/receive are personalized - like a monogrammed valet for BF, or a handmade quilt for a friend's baby. Love all your ideas and the exquisite pics you posted. Always a treat to visit you!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Lisa said...

your heart is pure gold sc.

you have the gift of words.

thanks FOR being YOU.
you are a gift!


short & sweet ;)

LOVE is the best gift.
for me just being at home for christmas with my family + friends.
is. the biggest.gift. EVER.
yay for loved ones.

hope you are well mybeauty.


* your last post made me laugh.
you must type superrrrrr fast!!!

Mila said...

You darling sweetheart!
I love you so much for always lettingmy thought go over such important things....things in this world that need attention!
I also love you for always putting so much efford in making your posts beautiful and helpfull (in this case, with the perfect presenta you chose).
In Holland of course we also celebrate Christmas, but it's not as much about the presents as in the US i guess. My mother told us this year to buy nothing for them. They will buy us a little something and that's it. She said the coming together and the nice dinner with our loved oned is much more important. I totally agree.
Almost every year i choose some 'gifts' for poor people in this world, from Oxfam Novib. For instance, 10 chickens for a poor Chinese family or something. I love to do that.

Also, what i still wanted to say: i am so in love with the title of yourlast post (before this one). it's magical and so true. I wish more people would realise the truth of it.

LOVE for you, my sweet Susanna.


Lea Anne said...

You are such an inspiration! I have been basically pulling my hair out as to what to get people for Christmas this year....reading this post has given me marvelous ideas.

and the pictures are amazing!


i love the photos that you choose to post! they are so inspirational and emotion-stimulating!

Petra said...

Beautiful beautiful! I love how you've incorperated the holidays here! I am a huge christmas fan, and the reason i love it so much is because of the love everyone shoes to oneanother at this time of the year.

It is the time of the year when we show others our love for them, and where this love is truly appreciated and understood. I love gifts that have been made or purchased with read thought. Something that costs $2 but that is perfect (such as a bookmark) means so much more than a $50 generic gift.

Personally, my favourite gift to recieve would be a book. Poetry, if i'm to get fussy!


sueper said...

In my family we made the agreement that instead of buying big gifts (and often not getting what you need or want) - you donate to a good cause

Rosanna said...

those photos are breathtaking!!!
i find them really inspiring

your blog is wonderful :)

ashley said...

what great gift ideas, and kinds thoughts for the festive season...i hope you are wonderful sweetie~ and you too are the shizzle:)
x ashley

the Yellow Elephant said...

magical and fantastic photos. inspirational! i couldn't get my eyes off them. i get very inspired by you post, dearie.

Dana (MODAna) said...

I know this has nothing to do w/ the post but I really want yellow tights

Vintage Me New You said...

can't wait to celebrate with my family, i feel like i am a better me...and this year was so great for me, i found love and i felt happy like never in my life!
i've got so many wonderful things,i don't need presents to feel amazing, blessed and lucky for living a beautiful story:)

your post was so beautiful...you sure know how to make a sort of energy around you,using words:)

be happy!


Bella said...

Always enjoy your visual inspirational... I just adore the poignant and yet subtle sophistication you bring to the table.

The Stiletto Effect said...

Great photos, beautiful words!

letslivefast said...

such inspirational and beautiful photos!
i really like this blog- would you care to link exchange?

♥ Marta ♥ said...

I more x-mas and the holiday seasons but I have how commercial it has become ... I see it a religious holiday but it is no longer seen as one. It is all about consumerism... For me,no gift can replace the time I spend with my family and also the religious aspect of the holiday place a huge part...I just have the whole shopping and gifts thing ... holidays have lots their true meaning :(

thedrifterandthegypsy said...

Hi! I just wanted to say that I love your blog. I created one just yesterday so you should check it out! Thanks!

The Stylish Wanderer said...

What a lovely post. I was freaking out about christmas, but youve calmed me down a bit.

peaitlreiecnia said...

i love this whole post, it's wonderful!

you're such an inspiration

izzydore said...

words spoken true. oh magnetic poetry is so therapeutic, I love it! I even have the keychain-sized version :)

chicknamedhermia said...

That's a really beautiful collection of photos!

sofie said...

amazing photos! :)

shopruche.com said...

I ran across your blog today and I just wanted to let you know that your posts are very inspirational and the pictures are breathtaking. Thank you for sharing!

Michael Wiese said...

Hey. Thank you for your kindness in recommending our film books to your readers. What we've always tried to do is provide hard to get information about directing, or acting, or producing or any aspect of the filmmaking process. And kudos in you fine taste in fashion - I've gotta show your blog to my 16 year old daughter. Cheers Michael Wiese, Publisher and Filmmaker

MEVE said...

So beautiful pictures on your blog! I especially love the first one of this post, by Tim Walker. Thanks for this moment in m Tuesday morning,

gabi dickinson said...

I have just discovered your blog and am blown away by it's beauty!


Gifts are source of happiness to both - provider and recipient. Thanks for ideas

disa said...

A片下載,成人影城,愛情公寓,情色貼圖,情色,色情網站,色情遊戲,色情小說,情色文學,色情,aio交友愛情館,色情影片,臺灣情色網,寄情築園小遊戲,情色論壇,嘟嘟情人色網,情色視訊,愛情小說,言情小說,一葉情貼圖片區,情趣用品,情趣,色情漫畫,情色網,情色a片,情色遊戲,85cc成人片,嘟嘟成人網,成人網站,18成人,成人影片,成人交友網,成人貼圖,成人圖片區,成人圖片,成人文章,成人小說,成人光碟,微風成人區,免費成人影片,成人漫畫,成人文學,成人遊戲,成人電影,成人論壇,成人,做愛,aio,情色小說,ut聊天室,ut聊天室,豆豆聊天室,聊天室,尋夢園聊天室,080視訊聊天室,免費視訊聊天,哈啦聊天室,視訊聊天,080聊天室,080苗栗人聊天室,6k聊天室,視訊聊天室,成人聊天室,中部人聊天室,免費視訊,視訊交友,視訊美女,視訊做愛,正妹牆,美女交友,玩美女人,美女,美女寫真,美女遊戲,hi5,hilive,hi5 tv,a383,微風論壇,微風