The 29 Gifts movement has been a fascinating project for me. I find myself constantly looking for ways to give to those around me. Yet, I’m also struggling to figure out what counts. Does it “count” if I would have done it eventually anyway? Does it “count” if I used a coupon? Does it “count” if it’s something little? In the end, I decided anything I give with intent counts as a gift.
I won’t count anything after the fact, but if I go into it—however small—with the purpose of giving, I have fulfilled the day’s mission. Anytime I go out of my way to do something for someone—even if it costs me nothing—it will be a part of my 29 Gifts. Most of this week’s gifts cost little to nothing at all, but that’s always been my point with Giving Inexpensively. It doesn’t have to cost a lot to have an impact on someone’s life.
Day 8: Today I give with inspiration.
When I learned about Mamavation, the one requirement that tripped me up was the 5K. Graduates must complete a 5K within 6 months of completing the program. So, I chose one I thought I could enjoy before I ever applied to be the next Mamavation Mom. Outrun the Sun is a night race in the Indianapolis area, to benefit melanoma research. I’m not a morning person so this seemed perfect for me. Then, I put it out there that I’d be doing it and several area bloggers offered to join me! So, last week, I established a team, made my contribution and set goals for our fundraising efforts. If you want to run (or walk!) with us, you can join my Mamavation Support Team or make a donation to the cause.
Day 9: Today I give in friendship.
When I saw the Groupon for the Lincoln Lawyer, I called MFJ to see if she’d like to see it with me that weekend. Girls Night was officially planned. Then, I forgot to actually purchase the deal—ugh! Since we’d both been looking forward to it, I hit the movie theater on Friday afternoon to buy tickets at full price. I used a leftover Christmas gift card for a portion of it, paid for the rest myself and looked forward to treating my best friend to a movie that night. I even brought coupons so we could both get free popcorn!
Day 10: Today I give with love.
It’s been a rough couple of years with our oldest—and an especially rough couple weeks. Last week was pretty much a teen parenting nightmare! She is beyond grounded right now, but on Saturday the hubby took her out for some alone time. While they were gone, I delivered my gift to her bed. We gave her a fun notebook & gel pen (because her teacher thinks it could help) along with a “just because I love you” card from Hallmark. It was one of the freebies from my Blissdom swag, but was completely perfect for the occasion. The night ended with tears & hugs so I know I need to do things like that a little more often for her.
Day 11: Today I give in hospitality.
Recently, I was selected to host a Nutella breakfast bar for moms. I had planned to serve mimosas with our gluten free treats. When the time came for the date we had selected, I was on a no alcohol injunction, courtesy of Bookie Boo, along with the rest of the Mamavation Mom applicants. Serving a favorite drink to all my friends when I can’t have it myself? That’s a sacrificial gift if I ever heard one!
I had such a fun time planning & preparing our breakfast bar—we had waffles, pancakes, tortillas, toast, homemade cinnamon chips & fruit. And, Nutella is yummy! I really enjoyed the time with my friends and realized it was fairly easy to put together. The hubby and I are planning to host more frequently. I’ve already invited my sister & her new hubby for dinner—I hope we can put our schedules together soon.
Day 12: Today I give with love.
The other day when we were cleaning, I stumbled on a freebie I’d picked up somewhere—Lunchbox Love. It’s a collection of cards to tuck into lunchboxes with affirmations & notes of love on one side and silly trivia on the other. In light of how successful our gift to Stacia was, I tucked them into the girls’ lunchboxes on Monday morning.
Then, I found a coupon code (EASTER) to save 20% and discovered they ship free when you order 4 packages. So, I ordered several more sets—including one specifically for teens & tweens. I won’t use this for 29 Gifts again, but I do plan to use them on a regular basis to sprinkle a little love on my girls.
Day 13: Today I give with gratitude.
Several months ago, I found a package on my front porch with a note from a neighbor saying it had been delivered to his house by mistake. We share a street number, though we live a few blocks apart. I saved the note, intending to drop him a quick thank you. That, of course, never happened. Last week, he stopped by with another package for me, and I knew I had to take the time to properly thank him. There’s just something about a hand-written note, though the hubby finds it ironic that I mailed it to him! We’ll see if it comes back to me next.
Day 14: Today I give with abundance.
A few weeks ago, Lorelai’s teacher sent home a note asking for donations of bubble wrap. They have been using it as a reward in the classroom—the preschoolers can earn some time on the bubble wrap and have a blast jumping up & down to pop the bubbles! A package I opened earlier this week had a sheet of bubble wrap in it, so I tucked it into her backpack for the school. That wouldn’t have been enough to count, for me, but I decided to do some digging and ended up putting together a grocery bag full of wrap I had saved for shipping & storage. I hope the little ones have a ton of fun with my gift!