gift wrap pouch

| image courtesy of remodelista |

Gifts from the Heart

Sometimes the most meaningful gifts are not expensive or extravagant.  They're simply from the heart.   Years ago, my mother-in-law learned I speak French and gave me the gift of her high school French textbook.  It still sits on my coffee table and I smile when I see the name of her high school boyfriend written in pencil on the edge of the pages.  And I treasure the heart shaped rocks my daughters and my friends collect for me on their nature walks.  

So this is a different kind of gift guide.  One that's meant to challenge everything we have come to think about the art of giving a good gift.  These gifts cost something more valuable than money -- time, thoughtfulness and care.  

stack of white books

Share a common interest

I love to pass my copy of a favorite book on to someone I know will love it, and I always think of my mother in law when I do it.  A friend taught me to write an inscription in the front with instructions to add to the inscription and pass it on to someone the recipient knows will love it. 

When Jack was little and I traveled a lot for work, I always brought him the Do Not Disturb sign from my hotel.  He amassed quite the collection over the years.  And he knew I was thinking of him while I was away. 


 cookies on silver tray

Share a favorite recipe

  A friend once gave me her grandmother's cheesecake recipe as a gift.  I reciprocated by making the cheesecake for her as a gift later.   

 On the other side of the coin, our friend Terra absolutely will not share her sugar cookie recipe, but she always shares a batch with us.  

Share a talent

  Years ago when JP and I moved to LA from Seattle, our photographer friend Erin arranged a shoot with baby Andie as a going away gift for us. 

My friend Carolyn who is an artist sent me a card with a little painting inside.  

Share a moment

When I was in college, a boyfriend game me all the corks from the bottles of wine and champagne we'd shared and wrote the dates on each of them.  He broke my heart later, but that's another story. 

These gifts are some of my favorites because they're deeply personal.  They feel good to give and they feel good to receive. 

For more holiday inspiration, take a peek at these posts > 

Photo Essay I Holiday Decor 

Rituals I The Christmas Tree 

JP's Tips on Choosing the Perfect Tree

Laurie Furber