~ a "make a wish" give away & the essence of giving

So, Christmas is coming....and we are all getting in shopping moods...some of us are also getting perhaps a little frustrated about what to shop for whom. Some others might be having a little bit of a hard time managing economically...and Christmas can make this so much more intense...
But let's go a little bit behind in time, before overcommercialism took over our lives....then when people were looking forward to holiday season, mostly for the mere fact that they'd be able to spend  time together with their families and loved ones.
Then, when present giving was more clearly a gesture of showing our love, appreciation and care to someone. 

So if you stress about what to offer this Christmas, here are a few reminders:
~ Remember that offering a present is mostly about how you offer something. Taking time to create a package which is personal will as an act of its own, bring pleasure and feelings of warmth to the receiver. Investing time & effort in preparing a package is actually how we show we care for someone. In this way, even the most humble gift can become the most precious present!
~ If you cannot afford at all purchasing something, how about offering some of  your most delicious home made cookies, or a cake?
~ How about donating a book in a good condition that you no longer want, which you know belongs to the wish list of a friend of yours?
~ How about simply creating a gift on your own? Do you perhaps draw?...sew or knit?...make ceramics? Whatever it is you make with your hands will certainly be a wonderful present  to people who are close to you, so long as you also take into consideration their own personal taste when deciding what to make for them.
~ Finally how about simply offering some of your time in helping someone those days? If they are children spend this extra time with them, being really there, doing things together and being part of their world. If they are old people, how about helping them in doing some things that they have trouble doing on their own? Helping them clean & organise their spaces or simply being with them while listening to their stories?

....have these suggestions perhaps been helpful? I'm certain that if not all, most of you being part of this blog and reading these lines wrtitten here, have already made all the above considerations and even more!
You are invited and I'd love you to share your opinions in the comments section! Tell us what you think, write your experiences!  As for yesterday's discussion board, need I say how delighted I was to be reading your replies about what makes you fall in love?
Dearest Elisabeth, Angela, Madhu, Judy, Christian, Sylvie & artist behind Tropical Garden, thank you so much for taking the time to come and write here, sharing parts of your life, opening your hearts. Thank you for warming this place and my heart with your presence.

Now my turn to do something for you. I've specially prepared for all those who know me here in this online neighbourhood (newcomers are also welcome of course!) a Christmas present from my gift shop:

A set of four fine art photography prints in 5x5 size, belonging to the "Love games" collection.

How to enter the Give Away:

Just leave a comment saying which wish you'd make if you only got to make ONE.
Come on, make a wish....Christmas is all about spirits opening and hearts warming up!
Winners are all who will enter, but as sadly I'm not really Santa Claus - despite me wishing very, very much that I could be - only one will be randomly chosen to receive the present. You may be entering until 10.12.10. Remember to leave your email address when commenting, so that the elves can contact you!
And here's how your little parcel will look like when you receive it, but please keep in mind that  I usually surrender to my instant inspirations ; )

From our little shop corner @ home,which is slowly getting in Christmas mood, while remaining simple, wishing you all a happy day. I'll see you all later tonight here.

Love and keep warm :)...got to go make more of those cards among a few other jobs!

Ivy ~ xx


  1. Another inspiring and thought provoking post from you Ivy. I love your view on life and enjoy having a peek into your day.

    I try to buy handmade whenever I can. I also look for pre-loved items to furnish our home or give as gifts. Last year I made a number of handmade gifts as Christmas presents and this year I will do the same. There's something special about a handmade, personally wrapped gift.

    Um, make one wish, that's a difficult one. I guess it would be to wish for a home for John and I. We are in a rented flat and we would love to have our own place to furnish with all our pre-loved items. (I'd also love a craft room!)

    Enjoy your weekend Iro and thank you for the inspiration.

  2. Ivy, giving from the heart, that is what it's all about for me. Specially selected gifts lovingly presented. Your examples make it truly a more beautiful world! Thx for all of the thoughtful ideas above.

  3. I love your blog and your ideas, so creative!! I'll also make a Christmas presents by myself, I really enjoy it :) If I would make only one wish, I definatly make the same one like Suzi - I dream about home for me and my husband. Have a nice weekend! Best regards from Poland :)

  4. ohhh....ivy thats not difficult for me, my only wish is that my three children have the chance to grow up and be healthy and lucky. that they once can look back to a happy childhood!

    i love your work and this blog is amazing!!!
    lots of warm greetings

  5. About gifts... in my experience i know that sometimes i spent a lot of time to do sth special for someone as a gift but when this person get it she or he undervalue it. Of course i love to make gifts on my own like soaps, candles,diary, my paper cuts or stationery, cookies bus for people who will smile and who will appreciate it :)

    But i also think that how we get it is very important i like when my gifts looks pretty :) even i buy small things i always pack it plain but nice :) i am trying :)
    Just as i would like to get it :)
    I love small details :) even people don't see it :)

    What about wish i'd make if i only got to make ONE?
    and this is my problem :) i always enjoy everything i get :) cos i never expected anything :) for me the most important thing is giving gifts to others and make them smile and happy :) then i am happy too :)
    So if i could wish sth then i would like to wish for all of us health :) cos when we don't have it we can't do anything but when we have it then we can do everything and we can get everything we want :)

    At the end :) i would like to sign at everything what others wrote about your blog my dear :)
    But i will say one more thing when i watch your photos, works, read blog then I smile :)
    Thank you for being just as you are Ivy :)

  6. such a beautiful blog, you have here. i saw you on flickr. i must stay a while and visit.
    ... the season is here and i have started to knit, can cranberry jam and create, for gift giving. a wish... for my children to grow healthy to see all i have seen, feel what i have felt, become their own people.

  7. Your photos are so delightful! And I would be extremely happy if I won the print.
    My biggest wish is to get pregnant. A big wish that I hope will come true <3

    Wish you a lovely weekend!
    Hugs, Nina

  8. Dear Ivy, I usually don't leave comments on your diary since we chat of flickr, but I could't pass up the chance of winning these prints!!! Simply cannot :)

    When I was in school, without steady income and leaving with family, I used to make drawings/sketches and other small things for my friends as birthday/holiday gifts. I also enjoy receiving carefully chosen cards hand written with not just holiday wishes. Recently while cleaning out book shelves and garage, I went over all the cards I received from my good friends and the ones containing letter like details brings back so many good memories.

    Ok, on to the details of this fabulous giveaway, my one single wish is for all of my family, friends and myself to have an exciting 2011 (I'm not wishing for a smooth year, but one where we'll create memories, experience excitement, obtain more knowledge and bring ourselves steps closer to where we want to be/whom we aspire to be)!

    HelenX :)

  9. I have had those beautiful pictures in my hand and I really really love them Such a great give away !
    have a great weekend you !
    hugs desiree

  10. So incredibly lovely to be finding you all here!
    Thank you so much, you are wonderful on line friends, but then I knew that all the way ;)
    I'll keep this is a short answer, as I'm only passing by for a little while mainly to thank you and wish you all a happy weekend!
    Loved reading detailed each and e v e r y one of your answers. Thank you for sharing here with me and among each other!
    Such a warm feeling : ) I hope all of your wishes to come true!

    Love & smiles from me,
    Ivy ~ xoxo

  11. Dear Ivy - thank you you for your lovely words of inspiration...my wish is simple...yet a big ask...that my children grow to be healthy, independent, happy adults, and that they will always be sure that they are loved...and not just my children...but all children...a simple...but incredibly big ask :) Lots of love Doreen xx

  12. What a lovely giveaway at this time of the year.
    I wish for my beautiful Cpt. V to see his three children grow into healthy, independent, intelligent, happy people with love in their lives and open hearts to receive it.

    Felicity x


  13. Ivy..what an inquiringly beautiful blog and the words...
    they make me think..
    a wish?? hmm...I don't wish for much..
    peace and love to all..
    calm and joy for all..
    and only a little snow this winter ;)....xoxo

  14. Beautiful! I adore your list!
    My wish would be for happiness to all creatures.

  15. Good Morning from freezing cold white Italian Alps Ivy! What can I wish for myself? Hmmm...This year I missed many times that feeling of falling in love with what I do so I hope to have more chances to do what I like.

  16. Love your blogg, So happy I found it. Made my day.
    I wish my children will look back to a happy childhood and be happy, lucky and find true love when they grow up. If I can make one for myself I wish my health get better so I can get back in my life again and enjoy all the good thing that are right there in front of me.

  17. Dear Ivy, I've just come across your lovely blog via @cupofsnowflakes. I think I am going to enjoy it very much.

    My one wish is a very personal one. I wish to be able to settle down, quite literally. I have lived all of 2010 out of a suitcase, after leaving the UK to move to Southern France, in search of new horizons. With every passing moment I am questioning my choices, I need clarity of mind so I can reconnect with myself and decide where to take my life to, moving forward. Thanks for reading.

  18. I wish my home be so
    sweet, magical and beautiful as your décor is)

  19. I remember being a child and asking myself that same question, if I could make one wish, what would it be...and I had come to the conclusion that my wish would be for everyone to be happy. I thought this would cover pretty much everything!!!
    Love your photos and your prints for their calming and soothing quality! Keep it up, it was a pleasure visiting your blog!

  20. Hi Ivy, I just found your blog via Desiree's and I'm glad I did, it's lovely!
    Well, to make a wish, only one, is difficult, but I think I will wish that we can move to a country where we all want to stay and continue to live our good life as it already is. We moved a lot, so settling down and giving the girls some roots would be something I would like to see happening in the near future...
    Have a good weekend!

  21. Lovely blog and a pretty giveaway!
    My wish would be to visit my former hometown of San Francisco to see friends and spend time with them.

    sunnysblog (at) gmail (dot) com

  22. Hello Ivy, Well like many others i would be for my 2 beautiful girls to live a long and happy healthy life,
    Have a lovely weekend
    Natalie xx

  23. A gorgeous giveaway! Thanks for hosting this beautiful opportunity for your readers. I love your gift ideas too. I'll be using some of them...I've already begun my Christmas baking!
    As for wishes - the most important right now is for good health for my family and friends. Some of them have gone through some tough moments this year.

  24. These are pretty good suggestions that should make our loves ones fill with joy and happiness.

    As for the wishing part, I wish I could have a thousand wishes. This way I could wish for; peace, health, love, happiness, success, etc....for everyone no matter where or who they are.. I would probably keep last wish to wish for a thousand more. Seriously, I wish health for me and my family, with it, everything is possible!

  25. You have created a beautiful and stylish blog, Ivy, it's a joy to visit and your list is a great reminder of the true spirit of giving, really inspirational.

    My daughter is old enough this year to really enjoy some of the Christmas festivities - so far we've made and decorated gingerbread biscuits for her friends, dipped homemade chocolate truffles in sprinkles (pink, of course) and taken all of the toys she no longer plays with to our local animal charity - firstly, to teach the importance of giving and of thinking of others (two-legged and four-legged :-)) and secondly, to make room for the new toys Santa will bring!

    As for one wish, well I consider myself very fortunate so I don't wish for much, with the exception of good health, for me and for those I love. And I see it's a popular wish so 'good health, everyone'!!

  26. Dear Iro,
    thanks for this inspiring post. You are so right, offering a present has nothing to do with money. Your thoughts about presents are simple but wonderful.

    As for my wish... I wish for health and happiness for our little family and our bigger family, too.

    Your giveaway is gorgeous :)!

    Have a wonderful first Advent sunday, Nadine

  27. sweetest...what a wonderful post..so fresh and so very very you..a wish..hmm..i really have one wish..healthyness for everyone..i know it´s a huge wish..
    sending love and hugs on this cold snowy day...big snowflakes over here..bluegrey sky..
    xoxoxoxoxox M

  28. Hello Ivy :)

    What a great and warm post, and beautiful Christmas present from your gift shop! If I had only one wish, it will begin with H - health, happines and joyfull heart for all my family and friends. :)

    Thanks for inspiring me again. Best of luck,
    Vanja 032

  29. lovely post Ivy!! you are always so thoughtful and love how you share these wonderful thoughts with us!
    i wish for health and happniess the most and after that, all I want for Christmas is a new blender haha...my current one has been used SO much its breaking down...ha!

  30. Hello, happy Teusdays to you my dear friends!

    Thank you for enterring this discussion and besides stating your wishes, writing such wonderful comments about this blog, too.

    It has really brought me much happiness to be finding you here and especially reading all you so generously had to write.

    I hope that we can all create the conditions for our wishes to become true, also having blesssing our ways.

    Warm, warm regards from freezing Germany!
    Ivy ~ xx

  31. Ivy,

    I love your sweet blog and thoughts! I totally get it!

    My wish is for all daydreams to fly and drift with a huge smile towards a fruition. Be young and hope for the best in life with a little humbleness and kindness.That is my wish for all!

    Kind Regards,

  32. Dear Iro,
    it's always a pleasure to come over here with a warm coffee beside me and some time to spare, cause your blog is all about taking time; it's not just a quick stop for visual enjoyment....
    Giving.....nothing beats it...it's is honestly sooo much better than receiving! Taking time to choose the gift you KNOW they will love ..wrapping it carefully...and watching you loved ones open it, is the best present for me!!
    And my only wish.....that's tricky!! They say that an ill person has only one wish and a healthy one has hundreds of them, so I am grateful for the never ending wishes of my heart!!!!
    But I guess on top of my list would be getting together with our old friends, renting a little cottage somewhere in the snowy mountains and spend fun filled seven days ( with children this time around) 'cause it's been a while since we done that!!!
    Lot's of hugs from freezing London,

  33. I love you blog!

    The snow here makes me so damn happy! I wish that the holidays will be magical for everybody!

    Love, from a snowy Belgium

  34. Hello Ivy,
    I've just found your wonderful blog. Your thoughts about presents for christmas really "fill my heart". No idea if that is a correct expression but I just wanted to say, that I totally agree and love selfmade presents because they are a part of the person who made them. For our wedding we asked all the people to give us something they made themselves and although this is 15 years ago now, we still love all the things they made for us and our children often ask, who made them and already started to make their own creative presents for christmas. Thank you for these wonderfully expressed thoughts!
    Have a wonderful "Adventtime" as we say in Germany!

  35. Oh Iro, that is a hard thing to have just one wish.
    I am so happy right now with what life had for me until now that I wish my children can find the love me and my husband found . It is the most precious thing! And I would wish them to share what we have and be as nurtured by love as we are!


  36. A Happy and Joyful Winter Season from Whidbey Island in the Pacific NW, USA!!

    The wish that is most on my mind these days - such an important wish for us - is a comfortable, sweet home with studio space . . . STUDIO SPACE!!

    Thank you for the beauty you give to the world!
    Mary Jo

  37. I know how beautiful and special these cards are as I already have them! :-)

    I wish so much for good health and joy for everyone!

    Love to all

  38. Dear Ivy,
    What a nice surprise I had on flickr tonight. Me, the winner of your lovely print set. It sure warmed my heart to think that I will soon have those in my hand to decorate our little place. Apart from being a treat for the eyes, they will be a precious symbol of a generous and inspiring woman. A reminder that loving and caring for your peer is perhaps the best gift someone could give to touch right into the heart of the true meaning of life. You are so sweet Ivy, thank you!