Erin's Journals

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Just a thought… At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they’ll remember how you made them feel. [Maya Angelou]

I don’t know if anyone counts down to Boxing Day (or as they call it here in the US, Thursday, LOL) but here it is, just one week away. As push comes down to shove and the Christmas crunch gets even crunchier, you may be struggling for ideas. (I have a little gift for you when you get to the bottom today – a memory of Mike & Me and a politically incorrect and only vaguely musical version of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” – so, um, you’re welcome? LOL)

Last year, you may recall that I did a “Friday Favourites” thing here, in which I listed a few ideas about things that made my life a little better. By the way, I still love my weighted blanket, although I think I might have gone too heavy in my choice. I’m seeing them in stores everywhere now and they come in a wider variety of weights than when I first saw them. But overall, I am glad I got it; saves piling one or two bathrobes on top of me at night (or hotel towels if we’re out of town).

If you haven’t got a good coffee maker, get one; life’s too short and mornings can be too difficult to face them by drinking weak, insipid coffee. And you don’t have to buy the really expensive makers or beans. Considering ourselves coffee connoisseurs of sorts, we love our Kirkland coffee, both regular and decaf, which we combine and grind. For what that’s worth – and to me, that’s a lot – those are a few little tips to add a bit of “aaaaaaah” to your holidays (and well beyond).

Maybe you’re looking for a gift for that person who’s hard to buy for. I’ve been accused of this by people close to me for years, but here’s the thing: I cherish anything that has come from the heart. My sister gave me some of her kitchen items when she cleared house a year ago and every single time I use one of them, whether it’s a measuring cup, a coffee mug, a candy dish or a candle, I think of her.

I don’t know if that makes me a sentimental twit, but I am always grateful for the warm association that comes with a gift – or even a hand-me-down. It’s the emotional link with the item – whether it’s my Gram’s precious paper-thin Belleek tea cup or my late mom’s super sharp paring knife (which I may or may not have pilfered from my dad’s cutlery drawer before he changed residences) – that truly matters.

So for that hard-to-buy-for person, the experience can make all the difference. Whether it’s the feeling he or she gets when they look at what you gave them, or the actual gift of an experience.

This year on my birthday, I received gift certificates for a float spa near here. You’ve seen me write about these before; almost every city has at least one. You go into a sensory deprivation state in a tub, closed or not, that has tonnes of Epsom salts to make you simply float at your body’s 98.6F degrees. It’s an hour of peace, tranquility and time to think – or not – just to be. Maybe you want to look into that – or run in the opposite direction as some say they would – but it’s just an idea.

My struggle this year (as always) is that Rob and I are intrinsically linked in our financial dealings, so that he can easily see what’s been purchased lately on VISA. We have a “don’t look!” rule for the rest of this month, so as to preserve a surprise or two.

And if you’re thinking of getting one of those devices like Google Home or Alexa or any of the others, I’ll tell you that I’m a big fan. We have one bigger unit (about 5 inches tall) and a small one about the size of a tuna can, so there’s music in whatever room we want (even though we have speakers wired into the ceiling that we don’t use), we get the time, the tunes, the weather, the answers to obscure TV personality questions – all right there. No, we’re not worried about anyone listening in on our mundane lives; I figure that Big Bro is there almost 24/7 so I’m not particularly concerned.

But here’s the one thing that DOES bug me about Google Home. Clearly 75% of the conversation in our house consists of Rob yelling from another room, “What?” and me responding, “I was talking to Google!” Honestly, it’s a real thing. But on the other hand, if he’s near one of our two devices, I can say, “Okay Google, broadcast…” and then talk to him through the device. Again, half the time he doesn’t hear what the speaker said, has to walk to wherever I am and ask me to repeat myself – but it sure does work (in theory)!

The best gift of all, in any life, isn’t your presents, it’s your presence. And the memories that each one comes with. I have a bottle of Silly Cow hot chocolate mix, bought at Winners, from Lauren’s last Christmas with us. Unopened, it was a gift from her that will always stay in the cupboard, although maybe one day we’ll have a cup of that cocoa with Colin. I think she’d like that.

Have a great week and we’ll be with you again (with daily posts at my Facebook page, through Twitter @erindavis and on Instagram @erindawndavis if you’re so inclined). And thanks to everyone who’s clicked LIKE on my Facebook invitations. And if you have been invited and haven’t clicked LIKE yet, what are you waiting for? It guarantees you’ll get a daily dose of inspiration or humour as well as a link to Monday’s and Thursday’s Journals!

Now, here’s a link to my Audio Gallery, where you’ll find a recording of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” that Mike and I did a few years ago. Enjoy!

Rob WhiteheadThursday, December 19, 2019