Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Art of Giving

Concetta's Coconut Cake
(given as a gift to one of my favorite
co-workers for his birthday ~ Ray)

I love to give gifts. It is my greatest pleasure to find something special for someone, or as my sisters like to say, "screams their name". Of course, these very same sisters of mine thought they were very clever during our Family Christmas Celebration ~ they passed me a beautifully wrapped box all the while clacking about how much they knew I would love it! Turns out my darling sisters gave re-gifting a whole new meaning as they snatched sconces and candles off of my bedroom wall and packaged them up as my present! I, on the other hand, do not subscribe to their shenanigans!
Don't you feel so delighted when you receive a little treasure? I do. Maybe it is something to add to one of your collections ~ or an exquisite handmade item ~ it could be a delicious homemade treat ~ or a token of love found while traveling. Acts of kindness are also wonderful gifts to bestow upon someone you care about ~ offering home cooked meals, yard work, house cleaning, babysitting or running errands can brighten some one's day more than we can imagine.
Gifts do not have to be extravagant or expensive - it truly is the thought that counts. When I give a gift it is always something that I would love to have myself (in some form or another). I may not necessarily display a Star Wars Yoda Bobble-Head in my china cabinet, but for my son who is an avid collector of anything Star Wars this turned out to be the perfect prize tucked into his stocking! I knew if I did collect Star Wars paraphernalia I would have to possess that bobble-head!
My beloved grandmother - the original Concetta - truly was the Queen Giver of Gifts. It was a special gift God put inside of her. She knew what we all enjoyed and continuously lavished us with priceless reminders of her never-ending love. It was not unusual for a package to arrive in the mail for me to open ~ one day I would receive a set of casserole dishes and another day a cozy blanket. She demonstrated the art of giving every day - whether it was baking a scrumptious dessert for her church, picking out the perfect surprise for one of her grandchildren, ordering a collector's angel for her daughter, washing and taking special care of my father's uniforms, renewing a magazine subscription, inscribing a cookbook, crocheting yet another masterpiece or cooking one of our favorite meals! She was amazing.
The last gift my Nana sent to me arrived after she had already gone home to be with the Lord. It was a spiral-cut holiday ham for us to serve at Christmas. I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to sit down with my family and my sisters with their families for our feast showcasing Nanny's ham. That ham and the thoughtfulness behind it made her a part of our day even if she was not there physically. She was able to give us the gift of comfort during our time of sorrow. You never know how your gifts and heart of giving can touch a person - even change a life forever.

Nanny was our gift and she is imprinted deep in our hearts.
James 1:17
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Heavenly Lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

Here is a little sampling of magnificent gifts I have received recently from people I love dearly and gifts I have bestowed on others.
A lovely hand crocheted stocking from Jordan Parsons.
Jordan is always using her talents to bless others!

The Victorian Friendship Ball
This is a tradition started by my dearest friend
in Vermont ~ Tonya. We tuck tiny little treasures inside and
they travel across the miles to bring great joy and love.
We have been exchanging our friendship
ball for many, many years and it is still a thrill when it arrives!

My Christmas Cow
(now what can I send back to my beloved Tonya?)

Fried Venison
My brother Keith - the great white hunter - has mastered
the fine art of cooking venison - he makes it many different
ways, but this is one of our favorite dishes.
This delectable meat was his gift to our Christmas brunch.

Tiny Christmas Tree
A gift from 2 of my favorite boys - John & Tim -
the day they came over for a paintball extravaganza.

Name Legacy
For Christmas this year, without the other knowing, my husband and I handmade these treasures featuring our last name. This is the legacy of our names:

Thomas & Concetta Young.

What a beautiful name - my name and the name of my love.

Forever Young Farm
My husband made me this awesome

wooden sign for our farm!

Itty-Bitty Measuring Spoons
These spoons of love were a present from
Laurel ~ my closest sister-friend.

Nanny's Ham
The holiday ham Nanny ordered for our Christmas.

Holiday Ham of our Life

Savannah Marie's Bassinet
This is my gift of love to my niece, Ashley, who
is about to give birth to my great-niece, Savannah.
A royal bed for the little princess to sleep in
when she arrives home!
Nanny's Nutcracker
My grandmother collected nutcrackers and every year
I searched for charming ones to add to her collection.
This was a nutcracker I bought for her several months ago -
I have it displayed in my bathroom and forgot about it when I
packed up all the Christmas decorations. It is staying in my
bathroom - I cannot bring myself to put it away.


  1. know you loved the candles and sconces! And you are just upset because you didn't think of it first. Love you. Your blog is awesome!!

  2. I love you my sister! I am so blessed to have my 2 best friends in the world - you and Kim - my sisters! It just makes me smile to think about the 2 greatest gifts from the Lord - the 2 of you!


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The Kitchenettes ~ A Hospitality Club

Romans 12:13
Pursue the practice of hospitality.

The Kitchenettes is all about teaching and mentoring young girls in the art of hospitality. It is so much more than cooking or doing domestic tasks ~ hospitality is the very heart of God ~ a demonstration of pouring His love onto others. This group of young girls are learning the very nature and character of God as they serve people and sharpen their skills in homemaking.



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