Gifts that keep on giving

24 Collaboration celebrations – No.6

December 16th, a few days more and my family and I are getting into the Christmas spirits! This time the blog will not be that very technology related. Hopefully, I will bring you some tips to make this a lovely period, whether you celebrate Christmas or not.

🎢For us Christmas means at 5 pm on December 24th we are turning on our state tv-channel (NRK) and watching the Silver boyssinging in” the Christmas. The Silver boys is a boys and men choir with beautiful voices, this short video shows how their music affect their audience; music can really bring peace to our hearts and soul!πŸ’–

πŸŽ„Every family has and creates their own traditions

In my family we listen to the music from the Silver Boys and following is a Christmas dinner. When it is time for the cookies and coffee/tea, we open the presents. In Norway it is custom to celebrate Christmas on the evening of December 24th.

To celebrate or not …

The Christmas period, whether you are celebrating Christmas or not, can be a tough period for many. The last couple of years have been tough for many, some have maybe lost their jobs, or even their company, or loved ones, or families are teared apart, and every tough situation that can face people in these times and days.

πŸ€”πŸ˜£πŸ˜Want and can’t?

Are you a young mother, father or family taking care of young children, or teenagers, or your elderly parents or family-members, or perhaps with a sickness that isolate you even more during the pandemics, or maybe in an abusive relationship, feeling depressed and tired, or in the middle of a difficult economic situation, or even all at once, you might not look forward to the Christmas or holiday season moving closer and closer. I know how it is to walk along the streets, feeling lonely and with nothing. Seeing lights and Christmas decorations in peoples windows and wish for a normal life, even missed arguing about homework. Hang in there, it gets better. πŸ¦ΈπŸ½β€β™€οΈπŸ’ͺπŸ½πŸ˜ŠπŸ•―οΈ

πŸ₯°I believe Christmas, or any festive season holiday, is not about all the material stuff we surround us with, it is to find the moments of togetherness, to create shared memories, to make connections, to reflect on the year that has been, to take stock of the year and happenings, time to wind down and recharge. To spend it with loved ones or alone, to watch the same Christmas cartoons you’ve seen every year, or to binge watch a series, to do things that you want to do, without having to do something.

πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰Social media is both a blessing and a curse, and perhaps some of us feel down when we see what others are putting out there; beautiful homes, big expensive lightning fixtures, amazing gifts. Don’t let that get to you! Christmas is not a competition, and it is lovely that people are sharing what they have done and have, and are doing for the festive season. I find it beautiful, I cherish it and I am truly and deeply happy for them.πŸ˜πŸ‘ŒπŸ½And, it makes my world more beautiful, and give me hope, when others share beauty and loveliness! πŸŒΈπŸŽ„πŸŽ‰

The best and most precious gift you can give

πŸ’–Life is short, and nobody knows tomorrow. I believe in living every moment as much as you can, with every ounce and cell in your body, mind and soul.✨

– Merethe Stave

The gifts that keep on giving

πŸ’‘πŸŽ„I would like to share with you a list of gifts you can give, that hardly cost anything in money, and that are priceless in value, and the value keep linger long after the gift is given:

  • Go for a walk together
    • πŸ₯ΎπŸ₯ΎOn Christmas day Bring some matches, dry wood, some pillows or sheets to sit on (don’t get cold in your bum), sausages and hot chocolate in a termos. Find a spot by the sea, or even the backyard if there is a lot of snow. Make a fire and heat the sausages and enjoy. Do all of this with as little mobile phone usage, take some pictures, and then put the mobile back in your pocket. Stay in the moment, watch the nature around, or city, or garden, pay attention to the clouds/sky, birds/animals, if you see some and the weather, talk and share the moment together. 🧣🧀🌞
    • ✨Midnight walk Who says walks can only be done during daytime? If it is a cold and bright evening/night, you might even see the stars. It’s a holiday, and we can sleep late tomorrow! 😴🌜Let’s put on warm clothes, new batteries in the light torches, and go for a midnight walk, either in the neighborhood, in the woods (make sure you know the path, and have enough lights, it is good not to fall and hurt yourself in the dark). Read up on star constellations during the day and see if you can see some of them on the sky. This is easier if you are a bit away from the city, as cities are a bit “light polluted”. Take the bus to the country side, stay in a cottage over the weekend, or ask friends to borrow theirs. Or, if you want to brave it; sleep in a tent (just remember lots of warm clothes and food/drinks).
  • πŸ₯―πŸ₯§πŸͺBake cookies together
    • Spend the first days of the holiday, when everything is closed, to bake cookies together. The more mess the funnier. There are many good recipes and perhaps if you know a neighbor, aunt/uncle/grandma/grandpa or friend who is really good at making cookies, invite them over and ask if they can teach you and your kids. Of course consider the pandemic, still, if possible and you deem it safe. Or just make pancakes of what you have in your pantry. I made pancakes of flour, milk, butter and frozen vegetables – very yummy! πŸ˜‰It is allowed to be creative!
  • πŸ§©πŸŽ²πŸƒPlay cards or make a puzzle
    • If you don’t have play cards or puzzles in the house, there are sometimes good deals in the bookshops. Or, even better; make your own puzzles. Find some old magazines or posters and choose a big picture each. Cut them with scissors, in different shapes. Give the cut up image to each other and puzzle.
  • πŸŽ…πŸ½πŸ’‘πŸ“±Be the Digi-Santa in the neighborhood
    • If you know about elderly people or others who may struggle with digital tools and technology, put up a poster at your local shop, or hallway of your apartment building, or in a social media post, that you can help with Digi-trouble during Christmas/festive season. You might get a new friend and your help will be very appreciated!
  • πŸ“–πŸ“šRead a book via Teams (or other digital tools)
    • Perhaps you have a family member who needs to be isolated due to illness and vulnerable during this pandemic. Perhaps you can set off an hour each or every second day during the holiday and read parts of a book via Teams, another digital tool, or even via the phone would work. One of my fondest memories of my childhood Christmases is after the Christmas dinner, and before the gifts, when my grandad pulled out the Bible and read the Christmas gospel. We all sat around in the living room, warm, happy and content, and listening to his lovely and loving voice, reading out loud to us. It is a precious memory, and I am sure if you do that to someone, that would be their nicest gift!
  • πŸ‘©πŸ½β€πŸ«Teach a skill
    • Volunteer to teach someone something you know. Perhaps playing an instrument, some technology knowledge you could share with a youth club or the local school. The possibilities are endless. Teach a child and you teach the world!
  • πŸŽΈπŸ“»πŸŽΆMake a music playlist in Spotify and share
    • I “borrowed” this idea from this list of “24 amazing gift ideas that doesn’t cost a thing: In Spotify you can make a shared playlist. Just make a new playlist and click the 3 dots next to it, then click “Share” and “Copy link to playlist” and this link you can share with friends and family members. Perhaps you can all add your Christmas favorites, or fun favorites, or what topic you want?
Share a playlist in Spotify, make a new shared playlist or make one for a friend or family member

What do you think is the best and most precious gift you can give someone?

I would say it is YOU!πŸ’–

☝🏽The best gift you can give someone is your time and your presence! Put the phone away, unless you are calling someone to talk, and be present, whether that is being with your family and/or friends, or submerged in a good book in your own company. Do remember the best gift you can give yourself is also YOU! Be in YOU, love YOU, take care of YOU, and get some rest. Do what is right for you, no matter what it is, no matter if it is in company with others or on your own.

🌍🌎🌏☎️And, if you don’t want to be alone, there is always someone waiting for that phone call or message from you. Even when you feel all alone, there is someone, somewhere, out there in this world, that love you and think of you.πŸ’— And, what I have learnt is that when I feel alone, I need to reach out and offer myself; either by contacting people I know, or volunteer my help for an organization. There are many people needing support. And, another thing I have learnt is that the best medicine for feeling sorry about yourself is to reach out and offer your hand to someone with less than you. That being said, it is completely alright to be down, to feel sorrow, to be sad. It has been a tough year and a half for many of us.

πŸ•ΊπŸ½πŸ’ƒπŸ½There is a saying that you don’t drown if you fall into the river, but by staying there. Let yourself be sad, to feel what you feel. Do for a relatively short period of time, then drag yourself up from it, or ask for help. Do keep jumping into the river, aka make mistakes and blunders, take the wrong turn now and then. This way you’ll keep on learning and growing. Just make sure you keep getting yourself out of the river, either on your own or together with others. This way you take back the power!

πŸ•―οΈYou don’t have to be alone, the first step is on you! πŸ™‹πŸ½

πŸ’“I wish you well and I wish this festive season brings peace to your heart, happy πŸ’“moments, good memories to treasure and that your most important wishes come true in 2022!

Whatever you celebrate or not, here is my love for YOU!


I celebrate that you are here and reading my words! And, by the way; please feel free to add your favorite Christmas/any celebration song to my xmas favourites and share your ideas for gifts that keep on giving in the comment field.


Published by Merethe Stave

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