Featured Photo: Greta Penny, owner of The Design Craft Etsy store, has such a lovely green malachite wrapping paper for sale. It looks like a emerald geode!
I love gift wrapping! I just finished wrapping my gifts for my friends. Looking at my gifts now, you would have never guessed that I came from humble beginnings in the gift wrapping world.
I used to wrap my gifts in newspaper and cut letters and images from magazines to make cards back in the days when I thought buying a Hallmark greeting card was expensive. It eventually dawned on me that I needed to stop making cards that looked like it belongs to a criminal! 😀
Unlikely Gift Wrap Solutions
Homemade cards run in the family. 😉 My brother once took a Cheese It box and refashioned it into a birthday card. He wrote with a permanent black marker, “Have a cheesy birthday!” Upon receiving it, his best friend roared with laughter! He absolutely LOVED it!
My dad used to wrap clothing gifts for his nieces in former Budweiser boxes. I remember us all laughing together at what seems to be a gag gift. My cousin smiled when she opened the box to find a pair of cute overalls and a striped yellow shirt from Old Navy. No alcohol for minors! We have an odd sense of humor and love to recycle and reuse our resources as much as possible.
I’ll never forget the day when mom asked for my help to wrap a gift up for a birthday. It was my first project. I reused some pretty yellow paper from an old gift and made some beautiful curly bows. The family looked at it with a bit of admiration, and from that day forward, my parents left me in charge of the gift wrapping.
Discovering the Art of Japanese Gift Wrapping
Over the years I’ve been inspired by various artists and cultural wrapping techniques. Jane wrote a wonderful post about International Gift Wrapping to Suit All Cultures. I really enjoy the elegant folds in Japanese gift wrapping. They’re beautiful!
Shiho Masuda has a lovely YouTube channel for all sorts of gift wrapping ideas! ❤ Time to up my game!
Shelley’s quote peaked my interest today. How often do we neglect this area of our lives dismissing play as being infantile and frivolous? Throughout history, many influential people asserted the importance of play.
Albert Einstein: “Play is the highest form of research.”
Mr. Rogers: “Play gives children a chance to practice what they’re learning.”
Johan Huizinga: “Culture arises and unfolds in and as play.”
Abraham Maslow: “Almost all creativity involves purposeful play.”
Roger von Oech: “Necessity may be the mother of invention, but play is certainly the father.“
Play relieves stress by releasing feel-good endorphins. It improves connections with your relationships which can help ward off depression. Play helps increase vitality and helps replace negative beliefs and behaviors. For adults it can be something small like flirting with your partner, joking with your coworkers, or enjoying spontaneity with your relatives.
A Young Adult’s Playground
There are patterns which emerge in one’s life, circling and returning anew, an endless variation of a theme.
Jacqueline Carey, Kushiel’s Chosen
A few days ago, I received a gift in the mail. As I unwrapped the box, I was stunned by the beauty of “Mysterious Lion”, a wooden Unidragon puzzle. I found out my thoughtful siblings mailed it to me as a surprise for my birthday. Mom called the night before and laughed when I told her I received a “toy”.
My eyes got watery. Unintentionally, the gift was rather meaningful and symbolic for me. VJ invited her readers to think about circling this week. For me, the invitation to play again was coming back full circle. I remembered the joy I felt to complete a puzzle as a child. Even though it’s been a while since I physically completed one, I was always attracted to things resembling a puzzle. Circling around the idea of solving a mystery.
My heart swelled a bit when my Facebook wall was flooded with lovely messages from local friends. It’s a strange sight to behold since I’m typically not active there. Since the quarantine however, all sorts of groups popped up to hang out. I had trouble choosing a non-profit to invite donations this year. So, I created a short video featuring non-profits that help the local community to drum up support.
Google Arts and Culture partnered with more than 2000 museums all around the world. I virtually explored some of these spaces and their exhibits. In the evening, I watched Verdi’s opera, Un Ballo de Maschera, a free nightly streaming at the Metropolitan Opera.
I had a very small gathering to celebrate in my cozy home. My roommates created a tasty meal of BBQ ribs, asparagus, mashed potatoes, ambrosia salad, chocolate cake with coconut-pecan icing. My boyfriend helped me build a desk as we enjoyed chatting with one another. My friend gave me hilarious t-shirts, Hawaiian floral hair clips, makeup which I’ll probably feature soon on Instagram.
Creating this banner made me feel pretty happy and features my bright personality. 😉 Sometimes it’s the little things that can bring a smile to your face. 😊
Hello everyone! I first saw this challenge on Winnie’s blog in which I enjoyed the beauty she explores. Sadje at Keep it Alive has found this scavenger hunt, and she invited her followers along. So, I decided to tag along as well!
Find something that makes you happy
Currently I’m feeling good as I am building a website for a church while listening to an enjoyable tropical deep house playlist. I’m learning so many concepts! I love coding with a programming language and creating something beautiful out of the lines of characters.
Something to give someone else to make them smile
I recently helped fund raise to help a friend build his own computer by selling books. It was a lot of fun to help him build it from scratch and a fantastic learning experience! It’s a tight squeeze, but slowly getting there. Once the zip ties are in place, we’ll wrap it up. 😉
Find one thing that you love to smell
I enjoy visiting the Pier 1 Import store. Colorful, bright, with a peaceful ambiance. I came across a lovely scent “Pink Champagne” as I stopped by the candle section.
Find one thing you enjoy looking at
I enjoyed viewing this fun pillow with flamingos. 🙂
Find something that’s your favorite color
Stopped by this dream of a store called Sam Moon’s! I was “window shopping” as I enjoyed checking out these fun, unique accessories. Tassels and pineapples are trending!
Find something that you are thankful for in nature
I bought two bonsai plants at a nursery for my brother’s college graduation and mom’s mother’s day gift. They both really enjoy plants.
Find something that you can use to make a gift for someone
It’s teacher’s appreciation week and my last day volunteering with the youth literacy group this year. I made gifts for the teacher and the two boys. Hopefully they’ll enjoy it!
Find something that is useful for you
This book caught my attention while hanging out at a friend’s place. The title stood out to me on the shelf, and my friend let me borrow it. According to Amazon, Mr. Kahneman’s book explores how we think and our cognitive biases in a nutshell. Something I will skim to explore why I make the choices I do! 🙂
Well that wraps it up! Much gratitude to all of you for stopping by! Hope you find pockets of gratitude in your lives! See you in a bit! 😉
The Haunted Wordsmith created a lovely event tag called the White Elephant for the blogosphere to enjoy. Wondering Belle gave me this medal which made me crack up! 😀
I guess I have collected a variety of medals from different events I’ve participated in, but this is by far one of the most novel pieces I will ever have. It’s a nice memento for me to carry around in my purse! I can just whip it out to show my credentials! 😉
Thank you Belle! I would like to try to do this more often until the holidays, but we’ll see. I appreciate all of you! ❤
For Jenna, The Sunshine Artist, thank you so much for your daily sunshine and encouragement! I think so many people appreciate your support and your beautiful posts. I’d like to stuff this rainbow colored beach towel into this “Sunshine Gift Box” so that you can whip it out on the Florida beach shoreline and do some yoga. ❤
For Almost Muslimah, thank you for raising awareness about several issues and sharing your thoughts on a wide array of fashion and books! So, I would like to give you this “Personalized Pet Portrait Necklace Gift for Animal Lovers Pet Loss Gift Secret Santa Gift for Women Cat Necklace”. This is one way to keep the memory of your cat close to your heart! ❤
For Kat Kinx, thank you for your friendship as I watched from afar! It’s been fun reading your blog and has helped clarify many things about the community that can easily be twisted by film and media. I’m glad you shared many stories and examples and participated in 30 days of kink which helped broadened my perspective as to how wide spectrum is. Happy holidays Kat! ❤
Good morning everyone! I hope all of you enjoyed Thanksgiving break! Rory from A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip! nominated me for 321 Quote Me- Celebration of Life which is really befitting because I love to celebrate various occasions! So this past week was busy, and I feel that’s an understatement. Homework is giving me a lot of curve balls, and I’m now getting caught up with my drafts and tags on WordPress!
I sent Thanksgiving cards to loved ones that live all over the nation. Yes, I like email and other social media to keep in touch, but I still enjoy giving hand written cards every once in a while! It’s hard to get us all together for anything because we’re so far apart. I’m thinking one day I’ll go on a major road trip and visit all of them to catch up. There’s so much distance between us, yet it doesn’t change how I feel about them.
My roommates made a delicious Thanksgiving breakfast before I headed into work for early Black Friday sales. I had some turkey, creamy mashed potatoes, gravy, brussel sprouts, stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, pecan pie and washed it down with some cranberry cocktail. The food made me sleepy so I took a three hour nap before my shift. When I woke up, I got dressed, packed my Kindle reader for any potential breaks (wishful thinking… breaks might be elusive), and was ready to go!
The day before, I had the opportunity to decorate my smock which I am so grateful for! I relish any chance to be creative especially during a chaotic retail holiday. Each department was color coded, and my supervisor gave us a bunch of creative materials. I went to town with the hot glue gun! (Did I mention that my hot glue gun and I are great pals?) When my boss first handed my uniform, my vest looked like a medical smock that I might wear to a gynecologist’s appointment.
I had to change that immediately! I added a candy cane heart, penguins, sleigh on a shiny hill, wreaths, trees, gems, smiley face emojis, red bows, Mardi Gras beads. Decided not to take my sewing machine out and give it some shape because I need lots of freedom of my arms and waist. Yes, my boss seemed to skip the Thanksgiving decorations and jumped straight to Christmas, but oh well! I work with what I got.
Here is my battle armor for Black Friday! My roommates told me I belonged on top of a Christmas tree because I sparkled so much. I was tempted to put on a football helmet because I heard last year a customer gave a worker a black eye during Black Friday, but I figured I’m a fast dodger! Brutal indeed, but all that Jujitsu training pays off. 🙂
I arrived at my workplace an hour early and gave my parents and siblings a call. They had a wonderful dinner and were playing a dancing video game. My dad created the Thanksgiving meal this year, and he told me he really enjoyed the process of cooking for the family. Earlier I sent my siblings a Tokyo Treat Box for Thanksgiving which has a bunch of goody snacks from Japan. They enjoyed it! We said our farewells. They wished me luck, gave me some emotional support, and hung up.
Click. My one phone call is up. I clock in, and head into the battle arena.
It’s like walking into the eye of the storm where it is eerily calm, but you don’t trust it.
Understandably, I heard that some of my coworkers called in sick which according to my boss may be cause for termination. Others are anxiously manning their saran-wrapped stations. Customers are keeping an eye on their goods surrounding the station like vultures.
My smock is an eye catcher, and I receive a lot of compliments from coworkers and customers alike. Man, I feel like I’m walking the red carpet! I waved at my coworkers who smiled back and honestly looked relieved when they saw me. It looked like a brief moment of respite from the constant surveillance of their merchandise.
I push through the bustling crowd and finally reached up to the front end where there was caution tape closing off the checkout lanes. I enter the ringer. Several handsome (very handsome 😀 ) police officers were patrolling the area staying very alert. The HR director (aka the referee) greeted me and gave me a pat on the shoulder. Never saw him before, but he wanted to compliment me on my smock!
We chatted a bit about technical incubators while the managers were priming up all the cashiers giving us their best pep talk. The store director paced the floors. One of our supervisors brought a huge speaker to play a motivational musical playlist. Then they played IT… one of the latest songs from one of my favorite musicals, The Greatest Showman!
All of this is rather intensifying the situation! Some of my newer coworkers are getting more nervous while I’m just getting primed up. I look at my watch and once the minute hand hits 6:00, I hear a full range of party horns signaling the go ahead for the masses of crowds to check out.
I take a deep breath, and a big guy is headed towards me with a set of towering boxes of toys and electronics that seem to cascade down onto the conveyor belt. I silently talk to myself, “I can do this. I have an incredible team backing me up. You don’t have to go through life alone.”
I call for help from one of the burly, muscular cart pushers to help me lift all of these boxes (some of them were bigger than me!) throughout the night. A flood of customers came through my line with a variety of questions and complaints. I feel like they were dying of hunger the way the manic crowds were frantically fighting over goods. Grateful and puzzled for the kind, patient, and pleasant customers who stopped by! I would have thought they would stick to the online option. 🙂
Piles of merchandise were strewn throughout the store. We stayed on top of it by collected them before they got trampled on by the stampede. I filtered out the noise and focused on the task at hand. Some people may be of the opinion that a mosh pit is one way to celebrate life. Not me, but some people may find it thrilling.
Sometimes, I think people get energized by spending Black Friday celebrating with the enormous crowds! A celebration of spending their hard hard earned savings to buy things to enhance their life or the lives of their loved ones. It may be an illusion of enhancement or a reality for others. They may enjoy walking around the store checking out the sales with their families.
I didn’t get anything that night. No time to, but I did have an eye on the 200 piece art set with an easel/stand and DIY Spa Kit. (Already thinking of methods for self-care after this onslaught 😉 ) Our supervisors provided us with a warm dinner in the break room. I crashed on my bed the moment I got home. New memories swirling around in my mind.
Ah, my sweet bed How I adore thee Falling into the oblivion of sleep that comes easily!