penguins priceless presents

Priceless Presents That Celebrate the Gift of Giving

By Patty Lowry

Happy Holidays! Seasons Greetings! Good Yule! Joyful Solstice! Fabulous Festivus! Have you got your elf socks on yet?

Oh, the holidays. To some a Hallmark card of Martha Stewart perfection. To others a time to push their party limits to the brink of oblivion. To many a mad race to the mall to secure everything on little Penelope and Peter’s lists.

A month-long marathon of merry-making, mingling, jingling, decking halls, ringing bells, trimming trees—but certainly not waistlines—along with a plethora of pressure to find the perfect present for everyone on your list.

Feeling that HO HO GO, like a 1,000 penguins sliding down a snow hill?


Oh, the holidays. Yes magical, but also a maniacal time of the year where over-joyed can quickly shift to over-indulgent, over-spent and over-stressed. Cue the Grinch.

Now don’t go and get all Ebenezer on me. I’m all for celebrating and sharing the love, but holy mistletoe Santa. It feels to me like we might just want to pull back on Rudolph’s reins a bit and remember what the real spirit of giving is all about.

For one thing it isn’t necessarily about spending oodles of money. Nor is it about scoring the latest gadget on the totally hot to shop list. And sure, fuzzy slippers are always a nice gift, but I think the best presents are those that don’t cost a pretty penny but are worth a million bucks.

Presents that come from the heart. Invaluable, one-of-a-kind gifts of thoughtfulness and time.

So, in the spirit of the season, saving some coin, and respecting the sensibility of sustainability, here are some priceless presents that celebrate the gift of giving.


Stir up some serious yum with the gifts of love from the kitchen. Bake up a batch of your famous brownies, share your secret spice recipe and fill up a jar with the ingredients! From homemade infused olive oils and hot cocoa mixes to jams, jellies and even best in show biscuits for Rover.

Feeling crafty? Knit up some mitts, sew up a pair of panda pajamas, get your glue stick out and make a masterpiece! From jingle bell hair clips, paper maché ornaments, decoupage frames, sock monkeys, and even unicorn toothpicks (my fave)—these are gifts to be treasured forever.

Got a skill? Then share it! Offer up a snappy photo session; write a poem or someone’s online dating profile! Make a cassette—ok a CD—all right then a playlist! From hair cutting and computer fixing to wall painting and my personal coveted skill, Patty Patch Pants—creative patches for those worn out jeans. If you’ve got it, flaunt it and give it away!

IOU Coupon booklets are a super thoughtful way to give exactly what your person needs when they need it. From favours like baby sitting, pet sitting, house cleaning, cooking and shovelling snow, to more personal IOUs like date nights, hugs, back rubs and whatever else you can think of. ☺
In a pickle about what to do with that big empty jar? One of my favourite gifts to give is a Jar of Happiness. Fill it with a year’s worth of inspiring quotes, compliments, funny fortunes, giggles, words of wisdom and love, oh and of course a good dose of sparkles and confetti!

These are just a few simple ideas of sharing the love this season and even all year long! Remember the old adage—it’s the thought that counts—so perhaps take a moment to consider what is really important, most needed and definitely most cherished—sometimes the best present is simply your presence.

Peace & Joy!

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