Archives For peace

Gift GivingThe holiday season is such a mystery. On one hand, the holidays are full of love and peace, family and whimsy. On the other hand, they are also often filled with sadness and stress, disappointment and loneliness.

One of the unfortunately stressful aspects of the holidays is the tradition of giving gifts. Unrealistic expectations, financial issues, stretched schedules, and the emptiness of materialism often makes this tradition a chore instead of a happy seasonal task. This doesn’t have to be the case though.

Here are 5 simple ways to make your holiday chore into a holiday snap:

  1. Keep it simple. Gift cards and money are always appreciated. Add a card with an encouraging handwritten message to make them less impersonal gifts.
  2. Shop sales. A gift doesn’t have to be expensive to be well-received. Stores tend to have big sales in both July and January that can yield some great finds.
  3. Shop fair trade. Since I started giving primarily fair-trade gifts, I am much less stressed about both the money and materialism associated with gift giving. By shopping fair trade, you are not only getting a great gift for your friend or family member, you are also helping someone support her family.
  4. Give practical gifts. Who doesn’t hate to see a gift they bought and gave in the giveaway pile or the trash a few short months later? This can be prevented by giving gifts that are fun but also useful and healthy.
  5. Give the gift of massage therapy. Few people would be disappointed by a gift certificate for a massage therapy session. Giving the gift of massage therapy also matches up with the other four tips:
    • It’s a simple gift to buy. No long lines!
    • A Moment to Breathe is offering 50% off your next massage if you buy two or more gift certificates. Sale!
    • A Moment to Breathe supports fair trade in a variety of ways, so you are indirectly shopping fair trade. Two birds!
    • Giving the gift of massage therapy is both practical and luxurious. It’s a wonderful treat, but it will also help fulfill your friends’ and family members’ health goals for the new year. You just can’t go wrong with this gift!

Here’s to a safe, happy, peaceful, and meaningful holiday season. Happy shopping everyone!

photo credit: allerleirau via photopin cc

DollhouseIronically, on my quest to write this post, my wireless stopped working, probably due to the storm going on outside. I was irritated, so I will have to read this entry when I finish it to re-learn its lesson.

When I was growing up in the Asian country of Indonesia, I didn’t have a lot in terms of material wealth. Compared to some of my neighborhood friends, however, I was very wealthy.

My sister and I had two very close friends in the village nearby, and one childhood memory that stands out for both of us is how our friends would make these really cool dollhouses out of what amounted to garbage.

To this day, whenever I see an empty matchbox, I remember how they would use those scraps to make beds and tables for their match dolls.  It’s one of those distinct and fascinating childhood memories that makes me happy to think about.

As an English teacher, one of my favorite writing activities was inspired by The Sound of Music song, My Favorite Things. The point of the activity was to compile a very descriptive list of favorite things (objective…to create better descriptive writers).  My students and I would always discover that many of our favorite things were ordinary and often free or cheap (think a favorite pen that doesn’t glop when you write with it).

So let me close by asking you a question. What are those very specific things (which don’t really have to be things) that bring you simple joy and peace? Don’t let them get lost in wireless routers and busyness.

Would anyone like to create a dollhouse with me?

photo credit: Bellafaye via photo pin cc