Thursday, April 2, 2015

DIY: Gift for Friends

Sometimes life can get pretty hectic, and we may forget to keep in touch with the special people in our lives. The thought of reaching out to a friend we haven't seen in a while may pop into our heads but may quickly be replaced by another idea. For example, during the day I'll think of texting or emailing a friend and suddenly that idea is replaced by, "Don't forget to pick up dog food!" or "Did I turn the stove off at home?" and I'll forget about reaching out. Many of us have also moved away from the places where we were born or grew up, and with that comes moving away from childhood friends and family. These friends sometimes get pushed to the back burner because as the saying goes, out of sight, out of mind. Of course, this doesn't mean they are less loved, but we may have a little more trouble keeping a relationship with them because we aren't physically close to them. The other day I was feeling a little bummed because none of  my childhood friends live in the same state that I do and I was missing them. I also thought of close friends that I don't see due to our busy routines. During this pity party, I came up with an idea to not only stay in touch with friends but also express how much they mean to me in a fun and creative way. 

Here's what I did: 

I thought about all of my closest friends, new and old ones, and I wrote their names on pieces of paper. I included childhood friends that meant a lot to me growing up, family members that I hadn't seen in a while, and also friends that I spend more time with but that are special to me anyway. Then, I put all their names in a little jar. 

So in the middle of each month, I'm going to pick a name from the jar and send a gift to the person selected by the beginning of the next month. That gives me time to think of something meaningful to send. Sometimes we wait for others to reach out to us, but why not reach out to them first? You can't beat the Golden Rule. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". Not that I'm expecting people to send me gifts, but I know I would really appreciate receiving a gift from a friend that was meaningful, especially at random. What a great surprise for someone! Society sets rules about gift giving. People often feel forced to give gifts to people during a certain time of the year, even if it's not in their heart or budget to do so. I like this project because in a me-centric world, it reminds me to think of others. 

Here are some suggestions of what to include in your gift package.

The friend I picked and I have an inside joke involving Hibiscus(I know, weird) so I included this tinted lip balm that is Hibiscus flavored. 

Every time we got together, we would make chocolate chip cookies, so I included this cookie flavored chocolate bar. 

She also likes to wear scarves so I included that as well. I also included my favorite picture of the two of us. 

Last but not least, I included a card where I expressed what I was doing and why they were so important to me. I wrote about the significance of each gift and thanked them for putting up with me as a friend. 

Then I packed it in a big envelope and mailed it. 

It's as simple as that! If you like this idea, I encourage you to try it. If you have tons of friends, feel free to send a gift to more that one friend a month. Or if you want to do it every two months, that's fine too. Also remember that it doesn't have to be something expensive. Your gift cost can range from a dollar to one hundred dollars each month. It's up to you and your generosity/baller status. You also know what your friends will find funny or touching. I like gifts that mean something, ones that bring back a good memory of the two of you. 

Let me know if you like this idea! And remember, good friends are hard to come by, so we wouldn't want to let our daily routine and hectic schedule get in the way of keeping them. 

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