Friday, November 4, 2011

Useful Baskets

BlogHer sent me a container of body wash because I am a Visionary.

Now that you've stopped laughing, I'll show you how that turned into this post.  I like this brand of body wash... in fact, I like it a lot.  It doesn't take much to work up a nice big lather, it doesn't have a distinctive odor which transfers onto my skin and perfumes my day, the top opens easily and closes securely and the bottle sits safely on the shelf without wobbling or falling over.

I started putting together a mental gift basket for G'ma, based on this one product.  With this container, she won't be slipping on the dropped bar of soap, nor will she have to bend in half to pick it up when it inevitably falls to the ground.  In one fell swoop I've rescued her from a potential disaster.  I'll add a funky sponge or wash-mitt and several bottles of her favorite shampoo and conditioner.  A new soap dish for the sink, some pretty 3oz paper cups for her dispenser, and a new toothbrush will round out a gift that she cannot refuse.

What?  Someone might refuse a gift?  Obviously none of you have ever tried to give my mother something.  "You shouldn't have."  "I don't need it."  "Save your money for yourselves."  She becomes more adamant with every passing year; I could barely get her to let me buy her birthday dinner when she was in New Jersey.  She's much worse now.  But who can refuse such a useful gift?  Everyone needs to bathe, after all.  I'm going to use a wicker basket from my stash in the garage, and I'll bring it home with me after she unpacks the goodies.

When I was in college, Bubba sent me a package of stamps.  The woman was not subtle - she wanted letters and she wanted them from me and she wanted them often.  I couldn't use the stamps to mail a bill without thinking that one of them should be sending her a note, too.  It was a very effective form of blackmail. Thinking along those lines, how about self-addressed stamped postcards from grandparents to their grandchildren?  The package could include multi-colored pens and, if postcards aren't your thing, small note cards would work just as well.  Of course, Granny has to be willing to write back.... nothing is as reinforcing as seeing spidery handwriting in a freshman's mailbox.  If the student has the supplies, a letter writing chain is established and love is exchanged.  I'm liking this idea a lot right now.

Making a memory book for an elderly recipient is a lovely way to stimulate the brain while giving a thoughtful present.  For G'ma, I'm starting with her childhood photos, moving through mine and ending with my kids'.  I'm including explanatory text - it's included in the price of the book and is very easy to insert.  Shutterfly and Walgreens and CVS all have easy ways to create these books on-line or in the store.  If you are anxious about it, go into the store and let the photo clerk help you.  The books come in a variety of price points, styles and sizes.

After I was shot, blankets came to me in all shapes and sizes.  The most useful ones were small, light throws that covered my cold toes or wrapped around my shaking shoulders.  Continuing with the basket for older folks theme, I'm wondering if any of my readers have time to crochet or knit something quick and beautiful.  If not, perhaps your elder is the crafty one and might like some yarn in a color that you like and a crochet  hook or needles and a pattern; she could whip something up for you, knitting and purling the love into every stitch.  Better still, ask her to teach you, and put two of everything into the basket.  I know this is something G'ma would have loved when she was able.

There will be two more of these posts and then it's Thanksgiving weekend here in the USofA and we all know what that means - my readers are doing the last little odds and ends because we are ready to pour some bubbly and start the Holiday Celebration Season guilt free, having thought of and selected something for everyone.  Right?


  1. AB, Apple and Costco also do the photo books. My BIL sent one of the Apple ones to my MIL. It was absolutely lovely. I think Costco uses Shutterfly, but they are cheaper.

    Love the Dove basket idea. I'm wracking my brain this year for a themed gift for my hubby's family. We've been married for 12 years and I've done a theme every year. I'm running out of ideas though...

    Here are some of the ideas I've done in the past, movie theme, book lovers theme, snow-man making theme (with a snow-man kit, mugs for hot chocolate etc...), Green (like re-usable bags and other ways to be green, digital photography them, sundae theme.

    If anyone can think of a theme for me, I would love to hear your ideas. Just shoot me an Email at

    AB, have a wonderful weekend.

    Megan xxx

  2. I just wanted to stop in and say thank you for your sweet comments. My little Elimy is where she is today because of all of the people there are who are sending her their love and prayers and support.

    An hour??? You must have really been bored! :) Have a lovely weekend!


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