I’ve got a super simple gift idea for you today.
It’s something I’ve been doing for many years, but I don’t think I’ve ever stopped to tell YOU about it.
Sometimes when our gestures of love are small ones, we might think they don’t really “count.” We may not even think of them as gifts. (But they are!)
I’m here to remind you that gifts are not always material things we go out and buy for someone. Gifts are not always things we wrap in pretty paper.
A gift is an expression of love, appreciation, generosity, positivity, or good energy that we give to someone because we want to intentionally offer them uplift or let them know we care.
I made that definition up!
But, I like it.
I think we need to reinvent the way we see gifts in our culture because that will enable to us realize that we can celebrate and appreciate people way way more.
It makes life extra fun!
So, this simple gift idea for today is to make signs for people and hang them in common areas of your house. (Or, if you are visiting people, bring them to their house!)
The sign pictured up above is one that I made the other day, when my son was returning from six months in France.
It has a photo of my son taken a week ago in Lyon, where he was studying. And it reads, “Welcome home, marvelous son!” I wrote it in French to be funny and to follow a bit of a theme.
I also made him another sign, in French, that said “I’m proud of you!”
Although it didn’t take me very long to make these signs — about ten minutes total!— they added a zest of celebration.
I had also bought some French wine with a funny label that read, “I suffer no more!”
So, when we brought my son home from the airport, he walked into a very clean house with the table set and dinner waiting. AND, there were fun French details like the signs and the wine.
These are tiny things, right? Yes. And yet, they also are sparks of joy.
When we do these little things —when we offer these small gifts — we are telling people that we thought about them in advance. We are letting people know that we were looking forward to them being with us. We are showing them that they hold a special place in our lives and that we want our time with them to feel special.
You can make signs for someone returning home from a trip. You can make signs for birthdays, anniversaries, Father’s Day, Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day, or other holidays.
You can make signs for someone who passed their driver’s test. You can make signs for someone who made it through a tough day. You can make signs for someone “just because!”
One of the best things about relationships with people is that we get to make all the rules about how to love them best.
And, this includes your relationship with yourself!
Have you ever made a happy sign for YOU?
If not, add that to the list!
Let’s rethink the way we see gifts!
Gifts do not have to cost a certain amount of money or be certain type of anything.
Gifts are anytime we reach out with love and thoughtfulness. Period.
Here are a few tips for how to make easy and fun signs:
- Be silly: You aren’t hanging signs for a new museum exhibit or for a permanent store in your town! This is simply a wee expression of joy and celebration. Try to relax and not worry if you smear the ink, spell something wrong, or make some letters way too big so you have to squeeze the rest at the end. This is fun!
- Handwrite or draw: If you are good with a pen or marker, go ahead and simply write the message. Draw a little doodle to illustrate if you want! Or make some abstract art to add color. (My handwriting is horrible so I always design signs online using Photoshop or Canva!)
- Add a photo: If you have photos handy — on your phone or in a file — grab one and print it out. You can tape it to your sign or you can do what I did — insert it into a page with text and print the whole thing.
- Decorate with ribbon or stickers: Use whatever you have around the house to add some oomph!
- Watch the paint: Be careful hanging your signs around the house. Some tapes will tear the paint off the wall! (I learned this the hard way!) Blue painter’s tape is usually a good option.
YOU can be someone who brings people in your life surprise LOVE.
Silly signs are one way to do so!
Will you do it?
We all need more joy and celebration right now.
How about if YOU are the one to sign UP today?!
Seek celebration — even in dark corners,