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Another Day in the Country

Freebies for Christmas

© Another Day in the Country

Gift-giving is usually on my mind at this time of year. What would they like, I wonder.

I had an online discussion last night with my grandson about video games. I’d read a review on new games in a magazine.

“Have you heard of this game?” I asked, opening the discussion.

The conversation went on to, “How do you choose a game?” and “Where would you buy them?”

I discovered that Dagfinnr chooses games the way I choose books in the library.

Something catches your eye. Maybe it’s the cover art or the author’s name. Perhaps it’s a review you’ve read, but you are intrigued.

“It comes down to a gut feeling,” my grandson says.

What a discussion we had.

Asking questions doesn’t cost a cent, you know, and whether you realize it or not, being curious about another person’s opinion, what they like or don’t like, what they enjoy doing in their free time — is a gift.

Yes, questions, interest, can be a gift.

My friend Norma loves perfume advertisements that come scented in a magazine.

Until I knew that about her, I often was annoyed at the fragrance wafting from a page and I’d tear it out, along with all the insert cards advertising subscriptions. Those extras kept the magazine pages from turning properly.

Then Norma told me that she rips out those pages, opens the fragrance flap, and sticks the page in a sock drawer or between stacked towels in the bathroom. She finds all kinds of uses for them.

I started collecting those pages, wrapped them up, and sent them to her. Her laughter was a gift to both of us.

I tuck fragrant bars of soap that friends give me in drawers. I love sniffing those socks.

One of my pleasures is a good Swedish massage. It’s so relaxing and delicious having oils applied with a tender touch along your back, where it’s hard to reach.

Of course, a good massage can be hard to find, and massages aren’t free, but you can do a hand massage for yourself or someone you care about, and they are free.

I read somewhere that every square inch of your hand has 1,300 nerve endings. This is going to feel so good.

Wash your hands in warm water and put a dab of your favorite lotion in the palm of your hand. Instead of rubbing your hands together, as we usually do, rushing on to the next task, hold your left hand gently with your right hand, palms up, and using your thumb rub the palm of your left hand, clear to the edges and up and down each finger, to the tip, using a circular motion.

You may need more lotion, but turn your hand over and massage the top of your hand, gently up and down the bones and tendons of your hand, down to the tip of your nail, in a long slow glide and back.

Now change hands.

If it feels good to you, it may feel good to a friend or loved one. And it’s free. It doesn’t take a lot of time, just choose the right time and place to offer this gift. You know the drill: not when they are busy, not in a public place, not if you are feeling stressed or in a hurry.

When you are making treats such as cookies or caramels, give some away. You don’t really need them all. Share.

Do you have a stray sock that is still as good as new? Cut off a section and fill it with wheat (rice works, too), sew the end shut, and you have a wheat sock that can be heated for two minutes in the microwave and is (in my opinion) the greatest thing since sliced bread. I take one to bed with me every night.

Have you watched something hilarious on television? Wrap that information up with popcorn and a candy bar and give it to a friend. Better yet, you pop the corn and invite your friend over to watch it with you.

I always have Korean coffee sticks in my kitchen. They’re slender little packets of coffee, milk, and a tinge of sugar that you put in a cup and fill with hot water.

I love including a couple when I take a friend cookies or any snippet of dessert, for that matter. It doesn’t cost me anything extra, but it sure adds to the fun.

Flower seeds: A friend gave me zinnia seeds one time for my birthday. Zinnias have been growing in my garden for years and are the gift that keeps on giving. Every fall I harvest seeds, and every year I give some away.

Have a good book you’ve read, maybe even more than once? Share it with a friend, include a bookmark that you’ve made or picked up at the library, and wrap it up with a bow and a note, “I read this book, on another day in the country. Hope you enjoy it, too. Merry Christmas!”

Last modified Dec. 14, 2022

 

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