Friday, March 12, 2010

29 gifts & gift-giving

I read about 29 gifts on Dee's blog and LOVED the idea.

Basically, you give a gift to someone every day for 29 days. My take on the concept is that it stops you focussing on just your own problems which, as we all know, makes you feel worse.

I'm enjoying thinking up how to surprise people because even though I hate surprises (typical control freak!), I do love surprising others.

I started on Friday 26th and am still going strong.

So far the gifts I've given away include:

  1. milk tart (do you have milk tart in your side of the world?)
  2. handbags - I still get the rush but get to give them away so no clutter for me LOL
  3. pencil lead
  4. long, chatty phone calls with friends
  5. actual birthday gifts
  6. salary increase to Nanny V (that was brilliant and on cue, while I was doing the "we appreciate you" bit, Connor gave her a gorgeous, BIG smile so I said, "see, V, even Connor agrees")
  7. baby gifts to people I barely know (this has been fabulous - the GENUINE surprise is amazing)
  8. magazines
  9. CDs with pictures of the babies for everyone in my family - no one's expecting so that will be a nice surprise
  10. pregnancy journal

My approach has been
  • block out the 29 days on calendar
  • write in birthdays - those I would already be getting gifts for so less to think about :)
  • make a list of other possibles
  • get to it
The gifts don't have to be new, store-bought gifts - they can be gifts of time, gifts of yourself like baking and cooking, a thoughtful note, etc.

I've also received three lovely gifts recently:

I like to send pics of the babies wearing clothes to the people who gave them those clothes. E.g. I'll send a pic and say "hi Edith. See how snug Kendra is in the blanket you gave her" or "hi Bipin, do you see how useful your bibs are? Connor drools like crazy."

If I write a blog post and use one of those pics, I mention the people (like in this one and this one).

I have received feedback that people get a kick out of it. I also get a kick out of using things lovingly chosen by friends and honestly, those emails take literally a minute extra while I'm downloading but they show that we appreciate our friends' generosity.

Recently we received a used walker from a colleague at work whose wife wanted to throw it out. He rescued it for me so when it had been cleaned, I plopped Connor in there and he loved it. I quickly took a pic with my phone and texted it to him saying, "R, the walker's a HIT. Look how much he's enjoying it. Thanks again to you and J."

Well, one friend said to me yesterday that my little email MADE HER DAY. She could NOT stop gushing about how she loved it. Which, in turn, made MY day. Who knew that a simple thing I do without even thinking would have such an impact on a person?

I also received a lovely note from another friend that was attached to a magazine. I LOVED the note and it is propped up on my desk so I can glance at it and smile ;)

And the third thing was oh so practical but so very welcome - 2 bottles of ViDaylin :) (baby vitamins)

I'm loving this 29 gifts project so much I may just carry it over and do one gift a week forever....

Anyone else doing 29 gifts? Do you have any other good ideas?


  1. I love giving gifts- speaking of which, I have a few for you...

    I haven't forgotten about you, but I didn't think there was much of a hurry because the weather is still warm there, right? I won't procrastinate until the last minute. Just let me know when the weather is going to start getting colder there.

    I think the 29 days is fun- not something I feel like I can take on right now, but a fun challenge that I might like to do some time.

  2. Mandy, you are DEFINITELY a gift-giver - I can see the lengths you go to when I read your blog...

    Actually, we're technically in autumn now but it gets cold in Jhb on 1 May (that's my day for changing to winter sheets LOL)

  3. What is a milk tart? I'm completely interested...

    I love this idea!

  4. Great idea, and kudos to you for taking on the challenge! I'm curious about a milk tart too...


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