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Last year I shared with you our first annual Gift from the Heart guide. The guide was based on the concept that by creating a personal gift from your hands and heart or by purchasing small sustainable gifts from fair trade companies, the gift became circular.The receiver felt good about the gift being given to them knowing it was helping to improve the lives of those in need and you as the giver felt the joy of knowing you had also contributed, by impacting someone's life for the better.

I was reminded of this last month when in the 11th hour I needed permission to use a poem in my book. When I found the author of the poem, and he kindly gave permission to use his writing, I asked how he would like to be compensated. To my surprise he suggested I make a donation to the SEVA Foundationand when he did, I felt my heart expand with enormous gratitude. I was incredibly grateful that I found him in time for the book to go to press and experiencing his generosity increased that feeling 100 fold and allowed me to feel even better about having his work in my book..

When I made the donation in his name, I choose to donate to SEVA sight restoration, work that allows individuals to eye care and surgery, so they can see again, some for the first time. In doing so, the author's benevolence to me, allowed me to feel the completion of the circle by giving to someone in need.

This year, with so many in need, the idea of a Gift from the Heart could be more meaningful then ever. What if this year we focused on gifts that can truly make a difference in someone's life…one that has meaning long after the holidays have passed.

Here are a few ideas, if you have some of your own, please contribute by commenting, we would love to hear from you!

How about educational/inspiration for 2009 someone you love? I recommend these two fabulous magazines each under $20.00. PINK Magazine and ODE Magazine.

Gifts from the Heart: Every single one of us has the ability to be creative. We may have different areas we feel are more innate and help us feel comfortable, but what if this year, you tried something a little out of your box? Here are a few ideas to get your holiday juices flowing.

  • Create a special card for someone you love using photos from an event that     had meaning for both of you
  • Bake a gooey choclate cake or cranberry walnut bread
  • Make a ginger bread house and leave it on someones doorstep
  • Write a poem using memories of a uniqe experience you shared with someone. Put it into a collage if your daring.
  • Become someones secret santa…maybe even someone in a homeless shelter
  • Give the gift of your time…find out what someone really needs, give them a coupon of time
  • Make a holiday shrine for someone dedicated to their unique personality