Have you ever given a gift that was creative? I tend to enjoy both giving and receiving gifts that have involved some form of personal involvement – an unique thought, or hand-made delight, or something – well, something that wasn’t just bought at the store.
I received such a gift this week. In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, one of the ladies at one of the churches I serve baked shamrock cookies to share. Said baker is aware of my wheat intolerance, but didn’t want me to be without something green – and so I received a different type of treat: a green pepper.
Needless to say, I just giggled. Not only had she gone out of her way to treat the congregation as a whole, but to go further and provide something for me as well. For that additional something to be creative on a theme – it’s worth noting.
To be sure, the pepper itself likely wasn’t overly expensive, it didn’t take hours to create, and it’s giver would likely be embarrassed to see this post referring to her gift. But it means a lot to be thought of, and to know that she cares enough for me to think of such creative gifts.
Sometimes the thought comes attached to something of value. For example, I received a coffee giftcard for my birthday – but the handwritten note attached to it referenced my favourite drink – something only a close friend could know. In this case, the financial gift is secondary; the primary thought was of something I’m known to enjoy.
I have received some really fun and creative gifts over the years – home made treats like kale chips and wine, hand-crafted cards, newly written poems. I’ve given creative gifts – a diaper cake for a baby shower, home made jams or cheeses, crocheted scarves.
Creative gifts indicate a deep level of thought, of attaching a meaning to something that wouldn’t otherwise be there. A creative gift means that the giver knows the receiver well enough to warrant something a little different. It means that the giver has spent some time considering the preferences of the receiver.
I think we all have the capacity to be creative gifters. I believe that God has given each of us some form of creative outlet that we’re meant to use. I trust that when we are giving (and receiving) unique gifts, we’re doing so as a means to live out the gifts that we have been given. We are all given some gift of creativity, and are encouraged to use it – whether it’s writing, fine arts, music, dance, abstract thought, baking, woodworking, storytelling, sport, assembling Legos – whatever! Being creative is a way to use our God-given gift, and we’re called to share it.
So here’s to the creative gifters – those who think outside the box, who demonstrate the Christian virtues of compassion and care through unique means. Here’s to people who remind us that a green pepper is sometimes so much more than just a vegetable.
What unique and creative gifts have you given or received? Did you appreciate them more because of their creativity?