Thursday, December 8, 2011

Alium Elementum

No, it’s not a spell from a movie. It’s one of the gifts I gave for Christmas last year. I made it myself. Gift giving, for me, no matter what time of year or what the occasion, is very personal.

Give me a big screen TV and I’ll love it, of course, but in five years it will be gone or seriously out of date. Give me a handmade wreath or card and in five years I’ll still love and cherish it every bit as much as I did the day you gave it to me.

Garlic Jelly Photo by William Dickey and Styling by Leslie Byars Simpson

By the way, alium elementum is garlic jelly. I love giving away ‘food from scratch’. I love receiving it also! My wife is currently in the process of making, by hand, her own gifts to give this season. To explain my thoughts about handmade gift giving here’s another example. That TV mentioned above took a particular type of energy to give, namely money. However, that wreath or my alium elementum took an entirely different kind of energy and that is called ‘Love’.

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “A gift from the heart goes to the heart.” Well, it’s true. Gifting something handmade, or even just locally made, can do more than you may realize. Not only do folks love it (hopefully) but it helps the family budget, which keeps getting smaller and smaller these days, or it helps your local economy, which can ALWAYS use the help.

This is not to say the big screen TV is not appreciated but the corporation that received the money for it has most likely taken your energy and sent it, not just out of your town or even out of your state but out of the country. There’s another saying I’ve heard that I actually disagree with. “Think globally. Act locally.”

I’ll tell you why. I think you should allow your heart to go out to your fellows all around the world but you should think locally AND act locally. When you can do that, it just may happen that the rest of the world will start thinking the same way. And that will bring us all together into the big happy family we should be.

Here are a few websites that can help you give from the heart to the heart:

In addition to these, you can repurpose things you already have. Trust me, it can be very, very fun to find a new use for an old thing that can help a friend or simply make someone else smile. So, think about it a little harder the next time you give a gift and try to make it something that is really a gift for more than one reason or more than one person.

I celebrate Christmas but in deference to all those who do not, since I truly believe you have the right to believe as you wish, I will say,

“Happy Gift Giving!”

As always you can join the Facebook group, like the Facebook community page, and visit the website. All of these are conveniently called “Kaya Self Sufficiency”. I hope you have enjoyed this post and I hope you are getting better at providing as much as you can for yourself and for your family, group, or community.

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