Living Gifts that Keep Giving
I’m on a gift-giving kick right now. After writing last week’s post on ground redeeming Anniversary gifts I’ve been motivated and thinking about what I’m going to get my Resident Gardener for Father’s Day…in June! But in the meantime I’ve also been gathering a few friends’ birthday gifts, end-of-the-year teacher gifts, and of course a Mother’s Day gift for my mom. So gifts are on the brain…I’m in a gift mode!
Now for those of you who know me, you know that I love giving gifts. I am a purposeful gift-giver. I keep a written record of things people mention that they like, want or need. I notice and observe people’s interests and tastes and hobbies. I buy gifts months ahead if I happen to find something that just “screams” a friend or family member’s name. I’m very intentional in many areas of my life…and gift-giving is no exception. I am intentional with selecting gifts, as I want them to have sentiment and be purposeful so that the recipient will know how much I treasure and value them.
One thing I’ve come to love to give is a living gift…something that grows. Now, I’m not talking about the traditional Poinsettia at Christmas or Lily at Easter…although nice, I’m talking about something more unique, more special, more intentional…a flower or plant that has purpose or a more personal sentiment associated with it.
Here are a few examples of purposeful, intentional, creative living gifts that come to my mind…
- My cousin’s boyfriend once gave her some tiny, young rose bushes for Valentine’s Day when they were dating. He told her that he was going to plant them in his yard – which may seem kind of odd as the gift was for her right?!? But really he had greater intention with this gift. The note and sentiment tied to those tiny little rose bushes was precious and priceless and so purposeful. The roses were symbolic of his commitment to her and that he intended to have her around for a long time and together they would watch them grow and blossom alongside their relationship. She is now his wife and the yard where he planted those roses is now her yard. Needless to say, both their relationship and the roses have blossomed! How romantic is that!
- When a dear friend’s mom passed away several years ago a group of us went in together to give her a Crepe Myrtle to plant in her yard in memory of her mom. Another friend gave her a hydrangea. Both of these plants were her mom’s favorites…and as gifts my friend has been able to watch them grow year after year…and as she looks around her yard she’s reminded of the love and encouragement of friends and of her sweet momma. Giving a living gift to celebrate someone’s life is such a beautiful and meaningful thing to do.
- This year my Littlest Ones’ teacher is an avid gardener, so I’m playing off that for her End-of-the-Year teacher gift. I have a pair of garden gloves tied up with some packets of Zinnia seeds with a note attached that says “Thank you for helping our daughter grow this year”. May not be “living” yet…but it will be as soon as she plants them! You get the picture. (By the way, if you want to use the tag that I created, click here and you can print one out for yourself!)
- I was at a little girl’s birthday party a few years back and one friend brought a wonderful example of a living gift – a rectangular pot with “Ella’s Garden” painted on it…with seeds and child-sized gloves and a shovel all tied up in it. What a clever and creative gift and one that encouraged Brownie’s BFF to get a little dirty as she committed to planting her seeds and then tend to them as she waited and watched with anticipation and wonder as her garden grew! What an awesome gift for a girl to get to be a part of the planting process, take ownership of it and then get to see the fruits of her labor as she experienced life grow before her own eyes.
- I personally love to find unique containers at flea markets or antique stores and then plant something beautiful in them or add fresh-cut flowers to give my friends. With gifts like these, even when the flowers wither, the container can be used again and again and inspire the recipient to fill it with new life…and therefore continue enjoying something beautiful. These make great birthday gifts, housewarming gifts or sweet pick-me-up gifts for friends.
- Finally, my mom’s boss recently gave her a little encouragement gift around Easter time. It’s this precious little egg pot with a beautifully unique Moss Fern growing in it. It was a sweet and thoughtful gesture and it’s been a bright spot in my mom’s home this spring!
There are so many creative ways to give living gifts…and they end up being gifts that keep giving. Your friend or family member will have the joy of getting to enjoy this gift longer than most things that will eventually break, go out of style, end up in the trash, get stuffed into a closet or tossed in a donation bag.
Now I know that all this is assuming the recipient can keep the plant alive…and that’s harder for some than others. I’m thankful my Resident Gardener has the green thumb in our family…as I do not. But I sure do enjoy the fruit of his efforts and love getting to enjoy the beauty of the plants he tends to. So hopefully if your recipient doesn’t have a green thumb, someone in their home does and they will still get to enjoy the beauty of your gift.
So next time you need to get a gift…maybe pause and consider giving one that has life, that is living and that will bring beauty and life to the recipient’s home.
Oh…and as I started out saying…I’m still pondering what to give my Resident Gardener for Father’s Day this year…preferably something for the yard. So please share your favorite living gift ideas…as one might be just the perfect gift for my hubby! I’d love to be inspired by any living gifts that you’ve given. And if I get a good list going, I’ll be sure to share it with all the other ground redeemers out there!
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It is fun to read your blogs. I had to laugh because I am one of those teachers who receive plants and promptly kill them. Someone once gave me a low maintenance, “can’t kill this”, kind of plant. I was able to kill it. We successfully grow trees, weeds, and privit in our yard. Our grass won’t even grow. Please continue to write the posts…they are wonderfully challenging on many levels.
Penny…you are too funny! So you are one of “them”!!! Just kidding. Given that you’re a “plant killer”, if you were one of our girls’ teachers, I would imagine that Britt would have observed something else that they could give you as a end-of-the-year gift that would speak to you personally…i.e., NOT a plant! Thanks too for your encouraging words…much appreciated! Take care, D.
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