…”these are a few of my favorite things”…
– The Sound of Music
As a child, watching TV during the week was an unusual treat – we just simply didn’t have the time with school, sports, lessons, etc. Most often, my brother and I would sit at the kitchen counter (usually while we ate our Cheerios – with sugar sprinkled on top) counting down the days to Saturday morning so we could watch our shows uninterrupted.
My adult years were no exception, and the only time I found myself watching daytime TV is when I was home sick. HOWEVER… if there is one show I would find a way to watch, be it VHS cassette, TiVo, DVR, or otherwise, it was The Oprah Winfrey Show. I simply couldn’t wait to brew some tea, grab a blanket, and curl up on the couch to see what she would do next.
One of my very favorite episodes produced each year is fondly referred to as “Oprah’s Favorite Things”. I recall watching this and (of course) wishing I was an audience member, but mostly wishing that I was the person giving all of the gifts. There was something magical about it. I was captivated and fascinated by watching the reactions as Oprah unveiled each new item.
When I volunteered to write this blog post, I began reminiscing about my love for giving gifts. I have to say that my mother is a huge influence as I watched her consistently give presents to people she knew (and often times to people she didn’t know too). It wasn’t uncommon for her to randomly pick something up at the store for someone and leave it on their doorstep. She loves to leave little kind notes on a car and she often pops a “Thinking About You” card with a bookmark or holiday towel into the mail to send to people out of the blue. One of her greatest gifts that she shares is her time. As a retired educator, she considers herself a “professional volunteer.” Everywhere she goes, she gives of her time and talents. Her selfless generosity comes from a place of sheer desire to put a smile on a face, no strings attached.
There is something about giving with no strings attached that has given me purpose and clarity. It gives me a joy that I cannot find in other places, and I would have to say without a doubt that it is absolutely one of my favorite things. As the holidays approach, I am on my hunt for extra special things I can give.
When my kids were little (now teenagers) they used to make and give me “coupons” for a free back rub, foot rub, etc. This year, I am returning the gesture. In their stocking, there won’t be any candy, gift cards, or socks. Instead, there will be an “In A Pikle” bag. (I can almost see the teenage eye-roll and hear them saying, “Really mom? We already have In A Pikle bags” and I’m laughing about it as I type this post…)
But when they open it, they won’t find any hand sanitizer, bobby pins, or tissues. Instead, there will be home made coupons from me to them….the gift of time!
Our bags are designed to be organizers that fit in your purse, desk, or car. We even supply you with all the must-have items you need to stay prepared for the craziness that life can bring. But the BEST part about our In A Pikle bags is that you can fill them with your favorite things to give to another person. Maybe that’s gift cards, candy, electronics, socks, or something else. Whatever it is (in our family’s case, it will be coupons), it’s a creative and personal gift!
So this holiday season… when the dog bites or the bee stings, or you’re just feeling sad, grab an In A Pikle bag filled with your favorite things and it won’t seem so bad!