‘Tis the Season to Give

24 Wed, 2010 § 7 Comments

Dave & I had planned a very special day date in Prescott yesterday.  One-third of it was spent away from each other though.

What made it so special then?  It was more of a date with our cameras than with each other.  We parted ways for about an hour, then met back up & shared our favorite shots with the other.

Why don’t I share some of those with you tomorrow? 😉

Dave wanted to explore the emotions of the town along the streets & creek.

I intended to hide from the cold antiquing in local shops.

I have a thing for thrift & secondhand stores; antiques are so fun, unique & “green”.

This got me thinking about PRESENTS — obviously the holidays are just around the corner — & I’m hoping to get some discussions going about gift giving.

This is sort of an area of stress for me right now because Dave & I are not bringing in money just yet; so I am hoping to spark excitement & ideas by talking about a few of my gift giving rules guidelines.

Dave & I have actually celebrated the last couple “Black Fridays” as Buy Nothing Day.  But just because we don’t want to get caught up in all the consumerism, we still enjoy giving & receiving gifts — meaningful gifts.

I read somewhere that many people don’t want it if they can’t eat it, wear it or read it.  This seems like a good place to start.

[Eat It]

You don’t have to consider yourself a foodie to appreciate delicious food or something to enhance your dining [or photo taking ;)] experiences…

like lovely cups & saucers…

aw…every food blogger’s weakness. 😉

or a random air-popper for the popcorn lover [how did I ever live without mine?].

If baking for others seems too overwhelming or stressful, you could simply share a favorite recipe along with a key ingredient or kitchen tool.  One day, I would love to make an entire recipe book.

[Wear It]

For the most part, my concern has transitioned from fashion to function when buying new clothes [usually for climbing, camping, etc].  When I just want something cute to wear though, I feel less guilty buying vintage.  Clothing can be tricky for me to buy for others though; accessories are easier to pick out or make, so I usually stick with those.  My mom has given me a couple beautiful scarves recently, & Dave rocks at dressing me [who knew he’d be one of my best shopping partners?].  Apparently my family is much better at fashion-for-others than I am.

[Read It/Listen to It]

I love passing along cherished books just as much as I love experiencing a friend’s favorite.  Not a book lover?  Most people enjoy flipping through a particular magazine & might consider it a luxury they wouldn’t necessarily treat themselves to.  Ever thought of giving a gift subscription of one of your favorites?  Music is another beautiful element of life that should be shared; I often wish I had someone to exchange piano sheet music with; for now, it’s fun to share what’s on my iPod.

[Make It]

Though it does make me nervous to give something I’ve made 😛 I really enjoy everything that goes into it.  The giftee is in your thoughts during the whole process.  I really love when someone makes something specifically for me,

like these adorable aprons my sister sewed for my birthday.

Though it may not come to you quickly, every one has something to offer in this aspect, & it’s AMAZING to see what people create.

[Experience It]

Rather than giving more “stuff”, offer experiences.  You can give anything from a golfing pass to a massage to an ATV tour to a cooking class to a trip.  Think about what this person loves to do or has always wanted to try.

[Consider It]

If you are going to buy something new, think about how it is made & the trace it leaves.  Supporting local can add just another touch to the meaningfulness of your gift.  There really are compassionate, respectful & honest companies out there, & more & more are springing up.  I suggest watching The Story of Stuff to remind ourselves to be discriminating with our choices as consumers.

I just realized I recently won something fun that could make a great “girlie” gift.  I’ll tell you more about it next week in a proper review of sorts.  For now, here’s a photo hint:

[Any guesses?]

Gift giving should be a balance between

Appreciating who that person is & recognizing his/her passions.


Sharing a part of yourself/your passions.

Obviously one passion I love sharing is food — wait, I think we already talked about food…oh well. 🙂

Stuffed Delicata Squash for one

  • Delicata Squash, halved & deseeded

Place one half of squash cut-side down in a baking dish with about an inch of water.

Bake at 400*F for 15 – 20 minutes until flesh is just tender.

Wrap other half of squash in plastic wrap & store in crisper to be used in next couple days — you’ll want to make this again! 😉

  • ½ C bread, torn into pieces
  • 2T orange juice
  • 2T almonds, chopped
  • 2T apricots, chopped
  • ½ Leek, sliced into half moons
  • ¼-inch slice fresh ginger, diced
  • dash of dried sage

While squash cooks, toss the rest of the ingredients together.

Once squash is ready, gently pack the delicata with the stuffing.

Lower oven temperature to 350*F.

Cook 20 – 30 minutes until bread is golden & squash is tender.

One of the beautiful things about tender delicata is how soft & edible the skin becomes…

so you can savor every bit of the squash.

Well…almost every bit of it.

This recipe is extremely versatile, so use whatever you have on hand.  Replace almonds with walnuts; use raisins instead of apricots; choose scallions over leek or rosemary rather than sage.

This makes a perfect, light entree for lunch or dinner.


What do you like to give?

What do you like to receive?

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§ 7 Responses to ‘Tis the Season to Give

  • Laura says:

    These are such great ideas when it comes to gift giving. I love getting homemade stuff! Plus most people don’t need more “stuff”, its much more fun to get something special.

    • Allie says:

      Thanks Laura :). Seriously, how do we acquire so much stuff? I would much rather receive & give something special than just add to the stuff that doesn’t really matter.

  • I love the empire waisted apron….so cute! Also, you are doing a post on either a hedgehog or possibly make-up brushes? ha. I love finding something special for my friends and family….I’m for sure more of a “giver” but being the spoiled gal I love receiving things too, mostly from my friends or Mom, since they know me the best!

    • Allie says:

      Definitely a hedgehog — I think every girl should have one 😉 & I think we all love being spoiled — especially when it’s something special from those we love.

  • Natalie says:

    I love the apron! I never wear an apron when I cook but think I should start because they’re so darn cute 🙂

    I made kabocha squash tonight and wish I would have had the ingredients to make your stuffing to put in the center. That looks SO good!

    • Allie says:

      My thoughts exactly! I always thought “grandma’s” wear aprons…but then decided they can be darling if you get a cute one, & it’s better than wiping stuff all over my clothes. 😉 These are my first & I love them.

      I think kabocha squash might be my favorite — I’m roasting it with ginger tomorrow.

  • […] thankful for the random things we can share…like our camera date on […]

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