The Natural Season of Giving

This weekend marked the solstice and longer days ahead. A gift for those who long for light. It snowed, got misty and dreamy.  Nature said ‘s l o w   d o w n’. I had much to do, like everyone else at this demanding time. I was blessed to sell four paintings this week and my clients hoped for them to be hung before Christmas. So Sunday between errands and parties I ventured to my clients home. A beautiful space overlooking a golf course, I was gifted with this stunning wintery vista above. We hung art and got to know the owners over a delicious espresso and Baileys.  Instead of feeling pressed for time I appreciated the ‘pause’ this had allowed me.   A small festive gesture on their part that warmed us before heading out to gather food for a few days of feasting.

There are many ways to share, to give thanks, to give. It can just be your presence, as opposed to presents. It can be as simple as a  well chosen special ornament. A little package that shows you put personal thought and special care into it’s choosing.

I love to bake sugar cookies, a childhood favorite of my sister and I. Every year I packed them off the Italy where my sister lived, knowing that upon opening the gift box she would be flooded with fond memories that made her feel close to home even though she was very far away. She has now returned home to her roots and we were able to decorate them together just as when we were young. The memories are as sweet as the cookies.

A very talented client of ours makes wonderful tag cards each year. Each one is customized to suit the recipient. She hand selects the elements, collages, pastes and paints them. Mine was a medley of duck egg blue and copper and gold, rustic mixed with finery and natural motifs. She knows me well! A cherished gift to receive within a little envelope in the mail.

 

A gentleman approached us in our shop with these lovely plaster cast sand dollars. With only a week to go before the holidays we were not really in need of more stock. But he had chosen the sand dollars so carefully, created moulds, sanded and drilled them, and strung them with hemp cording. How could I say no? He had gone to such effort and care. I have a particular attachment to sand dollars myself and of course just love natural forms, so I bought them all. It feels wonderful to be in a position to help support others and encourage creativity.

A client came in and chose some of the sand dollars to make a wreath. Though the shop was bustling with customers and sales, we found time to chat, and she shared about her new home that had just a smidgen of an ocean view she called “sea glimpse”. I came home after this full day at the shop a little weary but satisfied after such a busy successful day. To my surprise a lovely letter from this client was waiting for me in my inbox.

” Thank you so much for the lovely vintage lantern ornament and for the pretty sand dollar ornament collection.  Your shop is always such a delight to visit – the lovely ambience of the beautifully curated items is complemented perfectly by your charm, your unique style and your enthusiasm for the objects you’ve gathered or created.  I know pulling together this collection and running a retail outlet is a ton of work and it takes a very special gift to pull off the “natural eclectic” mix.  Your shop is a rare and unique treasure in a world dominated by chain stores and the quest for profit above all else.  You deserve every bit of success that comes your way.

P.S.  Thought you might like the following quote as I believe you see the beauty in many things others pass by ….“Anyone can love a rose, but it takes a lot to love a leaf. It’s ordinary to love the beautiful, but it’s beautiful to love the ordinary.”

I was so touched ~ words can indeed be a gift too! So in this season of hustle and bustle remember that gifts do indeed come in many packages. While of course I appreciate beauty and wonderful objects, tactile finds and treasures, nothing takes the place of feeling special. Life is a gift. Love is a gift.

Sun and snow and even rain and fog are a gift. Time is a gift. Listening is a gift. Reaching out is a gift. Noticing is a gift. And things bought with thought or made by hand are gifts that will truly resonate. May you all feel joy and gratitude this time of year in the season of giving ~ Heather

 

 

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