Welcome to Tumbleweed Tidings on this first day of 2021! It appears that the year I thought would never end, did actually end. With Christmas just a week behind us, I wanted to talk a little bit about gifts and what they say about the receiver. To quote Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music, “brown paper packages tied up with strings, these are a few of my favorite things.”
When I started putting away my gifts after Christmas, I had them all on the bed in a guest room. As I looked at what I had received from my loved ones, one thing became very clear. My presents have a lot to say about who I am, and where my interests lie.
While some people love to get new clothes for gifts, I am not one of those people. First, I wear the same “uniform” almost every day. Black pants or jeans, and a black V-neck tee shirt. Not too exciting, I know. Second, it is very hard to buy the right size for someone else.
Others ask for jewelry, vacations, perfume, art supplies, or other gifts. As much as I love to travel, I love planning trips just as much, so that not something we would usually do for a present. In my younger years, I would ask for home decor items that I had been eyeing but could not afford. Now at our mature age, we are more into downsizing our possessions, rather than accumulating more. So, as much as I still love decorating objects and following some of the latest trends, the need is not great.
No, the things I like for gifts are things for the kitchen and home keeping. I asked for this set of three kitchen strainers, and know that, from straining pasta to dusting with powdered sugar, I will use them all the time. My husband also surprised me with a new Angel Food cake pan, as our 20 year old model had seen better days. Since that is his favorite dessert, especially when made the Hawaiian way, it was a nice addition for both of us. See the recipe for Aloha Angel Food Cake here, in case you missed it. Aloha Angel Food Cake
Two other gifts I asked for were the OXO salad dressing shaker and a handheld mandolin, both recommended by America’s Test Kitchen. I like to make my own vinaigrettes, and this shaker will be great for measuring, mixing and storing all of my concoctions. I once purchased a mandolin that came in a container the size of a bread box. Not very easy to store or practical to get out to use. This mandolin will work well for making perfect slices for salads and stir fry’s, and I know I will put it to good use.
One thing I had asked for, in the way of non-monetary gifts, and received from my oldest daughter, was a stack of books she had read and no longer wanted. She is an avid reader and belongs to a book club, so I knew she would have some good castoff’s. Since reading more books in 2021 goal of mine, this gift will support that.
I also received essential oils, which I love to use in my diffuser, sprinkled on my pillowcase, and in the scented bath salts I make. There were also two outdoor candles in coconut shells, and a Norwex dusting mitt. A set of Travel inspired personalized notes were a nice surprise and will come in so handy, as I am a person who loves to send out notes for all occasions.
My husband got me the Make Life Beautiful book by Syd and Shea McGee, which covers their story of creating their home decor business which led to their McGee and Co. line of home decor items and Netflix show. I love their journey and how they are living the design life I could only dream of.
I also received a pedicure gift certificate, some other gift cards for favorite restaurants, and even some cold, hard cash! Last, I received some silicone oven mitts and pot holders and a set of Kate Spade dishtowels from my sister. I just love the quality of the dishtowels as well as the snappy designs of stripes and polka dots. The one that says “Eat Cake for Breakfast” is already hanging on my oven door:)
If you’ve looked at my assortment of gifts this year, it is easy to see what they say about me; that I am a person who loves to cook and spend time in the kitchen, likes to send handwritten notes, enjoys reading a good book, likes things that smell nice, and enjoy fresh dishtowels and potholders. Not very exciting, but “these are a few of my favorite things…” I’d love to hear in the comments what your favorite gifts say about you.
As 2021 looms ahead like the pages of an unread book, I wish each of you a very Happy New Year, and lift up prayers that 2021 will be a happy and healthy new year for all!