“Act upon your good intentions – to think is not enough, we must do.”Olivia Arezzolo, Sleep expert
Good Day! Wherever you are, whatever you are doing right now, I hope that you have gotten the message that the Bleckley House Gifts online store is going LIVE on September 5! I am constantly adding more items to the shop, and cannot wait to share what I’ve been working on!
In the meantime, here is a little more about why Bleckley House Gifts is more than just a gift shop…it’s a shop full of intentional gifts. Gifts that mean something to you, me, the giver, the recipient, and the people that have made each product. I truly believe that we all win when we can work together to select products that were made well, with great materials, and full of good intentions.
But enough about my philosophy, because I could go on all day…here’s the blog post…I hope you enjoy it!
Whether we know it or not, we are constantly setting intentions. From determining you’ll wake up earlier every morning to eating more fruits and vegetables, you’ve got intentions running through your head with each move you make. Personally, I set an intention for my day each morning. I have found that this helps me focus on what’s truly important that day, and to disregard the distractions. Just like I set an intention for my day, we can set intentions for the gifts we give, enriching the experience for both giver and receiver.
Gifts are, after all, formed from the beginning with some kind of intention. Think about it. With each gift we give, we choose to give a tangible object that represents how we feel about a person. That dessert you made for your friend’s birthday wasn’t just a mouthwatering pan of brownies. As you (hopefully) lovingly baked the brownies, cut them into perfect little squares, packed them in a bright birthday box, and delivered those brownies, your intention was to show your friend that you value your friendship.
The energy you put into selecting, wrapping, and delivering a gift to someone else is what really makes the gift so special. Whether the gift is simply homemade chocolate chip cookies or a stunning diamond bracelet, it is all about intention.
While we’re on the subject, let’s explore the definition of intention: an act or instance of determining mentally upon some action or result. Basically, your intention is your purpose.
So, what is your purpose? What is the reason for giving gifts anyway? Do you want to share something special that has brought you joy? Do you know that your sister loves to express herself with a bold pair of statement earrings? Does your husband love to try new spices while he’s cooking dinner?
When you decide to give intentionally, you create a space for unique, personalized gifts that will create a lasting impression on the receiver, without having to actually get anything monogrammed (unless, of course, the person you are shopping for is a monogram lover!).
Some unique questions to ask yourself before you start shopping for a gift:
What does your recipient care about? (Do they give to a specific charitable organization? Are they always talking about a certain company they love? Do they value eco-friendly gifts or gifts that are made in the USA?)
What kind of gifts does this person tend to give you? (The gifts we receive often reflect the thinking of the person giving them, as well as our own personal preferences)
How do you want him or her to feel when they receive this gift? (The things we give people tell them how we feel about them! Make sure your gift fits with the message you are trying to convey)
Examples of intentional giving in my own life…
Ask anyone in our family, and they will tell you that my dad loves a creative birthday card. We have come to expect comical birthday cards from him, and even have boxes full of them from past birthdays. When it comes time to celebrate his birthday, our family is always searching for the perfect cards (yes, plural…he really likes cards!). Our intention is to give our dad something he appreciates – a good card, and by doing that, we express how much we care about him. It’s definitely not anything too fancy, but it’s what he actually wants, so it’s the most intentional gift we can give him!
When I’m looking for a gift for my husband, I always have the intention of surprising him, but with something he actually wants. This is not an easy feat! But I have a secret technique I’ll share with you: listen to the people you love. Last year, I listened intently each time he came home from one of his favorite activities – playing golf- and asked lots of questions and finally determined he both needed and wanted a rangefinder. Now, at that time, I couldn’t tell you the difference between a rangefinder and a driving range, but I was determined. On Christmas Day, I wish I had a picture of the look on his face when he opened it! He was genuinely surprised, got something he actually wanted, and my intention was fulfilled. It was a win-win!
We have outstanding neighbors. When we recently moved into our house, they were at the ready with all kinds of goodies – from homemade strawberry and peach ice cream to freshly baked breads and fragrant flowers straight from the garden. Needless to say, they made us feel at home immediately. Each time I see our new neighbors I am reminded of their small kindnesses that made our move that much sweeter and more special. I am sure their intention was to make us feel welcome, and the message came through loud and clear with each little gift over the fence!
I realize that this all may seem a little over the top, to take such care selecting each gift you give; however, we all know an UNintenional gift when we see one:
- An item that was clearly re-gifted, with no thought as to the recipient’s likes or dislikes
- A low-quality gift that was chosen without consideration for how long it would last, or if it was even a gift made with clean, safe materials or ingredients
- A “filler” gift that was simply thrown together at the last minute, just so the giver could say he or she gave something, anything to the recipient
- A gift that represents the complete opposite of the recipient’s preferences (color, style, personal values, etc.)
We’ve all had experiences similar to the above, when we felt overlooked or even insulted by the gift we received. Even though we like to think that gifts are just “things,” the truth is we are exchanging gifts for a reason – to show how much we care about each other. And when the process breaks down, whether on purpose or by accident, it is obvious and sometimes downright painful.
I’m sure that someone, somewhere has done research to find out how many gifts are donated or thrown away following the big holiday seasons, and it is probably quite discouraging to see the data. I would like to offer a solution to this waste: give intentionally, with no one but the recipient in mind, and I feel sure that we would all be a little more inclined to keep the gifts we receive.
There’s nothing like receiving a gift that you feel was well thought out – even if it’s as simple as a vase with a few flowers from the yard, or a box of freshly baked cookies, or a card that has kind words of encouragement. Speaking from experience, among the best gifts I’ve received have been the uncomplicated, sometimes spur-of-the-moment gifts!
If you still feel like you need some gift ideas…let me guide you in the right direction with some new products I’m excited about:
- These oyster jewelry dishes have already been a huge hit among my friends and family (everyone wants one!) – paired with a charming necklace, this would make a thoughtful gift for the jewelry lover in your life!
- As the heat of summer winds down, savor the scent of fresh agave and tart grapefruit with this handcrafted soy candle
- Send some well-wishes to loved ones from afar with this adorable “Stay Home Club” greeting card, along with some yummy homemade snacks to show how much you care, perhaps?
In closing, my wish for you is that you will feel inspired to reconsider your gifts, and the meaning they convey. It’s not only more fulfilling to give a gift with intention, it’s also easier!