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“Presents are made for the pleasure of who gives them, not the merits of who receives them.”
Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind

Giving is the reflection of receiving, for one can’t exist without the other, and there is a playful universal dance that grows ever more expressive and ecstatic when we feed into that magic law with generous abandon.

I came across this article recently…


…and I recognised in it ripples from an article in this magazine…


…about this book…

…and then I began to join the dots:-)

So yesterday found me spontaneously doing a major sort out, and I began to fill a designated Box of Delights (had to call it that because there was a  book and a TV series of the same name which I loved as a child…anyone else remember that?) with potential gifts, items I no longer needed but that would bring joy to another. So I have committed myself to giving one thing away a day for advent. Quite how this will evolve I’m not sure, but instead of recounting good deeds, for the next four Sunday posts I will detail what I gave away during the week.

Freedom is a huge word which has always had a powerful resonance with me, and I have gone through several different versions of it in my life, being lucky enough to have been gifted a lot of it in various ways. I’ve acquired along the way several different tools that bring me closer to Freedom in its purest form, and I believe giving is one of the most powerful amongst my assembled kit. May I wield it consciously, playfully and with love.

Good Deeds Received

A much beloved friend sent me a very beautiful long email which touched me deeply, and also a text asking for my current address (I must’ve made a real mess of her address book, as I seem to keep moving!). I wonder what she needs that for…?:-)

My mother unexpectedly turned up to pick me up from work as she’d finished early in the cafe. That saved me a walk to the bus station, not to mention a boring wait and a late arrival home. What a treat!

My sister sent me a wonderful letter, which included gorgeous photos, summing up the highlights of her year with her family (she is married with three children) along with a mini sweet filled advent calendar which she’d gift wrapped and presented with so much love and care, not to mention creative flair.

My new polish friend and now student was soooo excited by the book I lent her last Friday (a Paulo Coelho book called Like the Flowing River, which is a collection of mini stories and inspirational reflections) she couldn’t stop thanking me, and then on Monday she thanked me again and said she thought it was going to be her favourite book ever:-)

Another factory friend gave me her contact details and asked that we keep in touch when she left on Friday, as she had decided to finish her contract early.

A friend and her boyfriend, who’d been away for a couple of weeks, turned up spontaneously at the cafe last night and helped Mum and I clean up after a busy day – what a gift!

I opened my inbox this morning to a lovely email from a friend asking that we have a walk and catch up together soon, as I seemed to have disappeared or been  ‘gobbled up by the factory and turned into a biscuit…I miss you.’:-)

Good Deeds Done

Sent one of the homemade Christmas cards I’ve been making to my sister in Germany, and included a letter to thank her for the advent calendar and photos etc.

Went to Mum’s cafe earlier than planned because she ended up being really busy.

Caught up with a couple of people who’d donated things to an auction I’d held to raise money for my Rwandan friend Beatha. The things they’d offered hadn’t been sold, so I wanted to return them or find other homes for them if the gifters didn’t want them back.

Picked up some glitter and glue Mum needed for her current up-cycling creative projects. I promise to share a photo of the Christmas Tree made from an old yellow pages (!!!) soon:-) It’s GORGEOUS!

Tried out the soup recipe a friend had shared and made lunch for Mum and I. Mum’s response, ‘Sensational!’ So…make a basic leek and potato soup, then, once the potatoes are completely cooked, add a bag of fresh spinach, a tin of coconut milk and a dash of curry powder. Wizz it together and what have you got? Utter deliciousness, hot in a pot!!!

Took a moment to fill out a feedback form I found on the table in a cafe I went to, thanking them for their wonderful service.

Dug out the beautiful pre-loved advent calendar I’d been gifted by a friend and her son when they returned to Germany earlier in the year, and set it out ready for opening tomorrow! They’d been using the same one for years, as they loved it so much, so I will certainly be thinking of them as I enjoy it myself for the first time.

Have a wonderful week dear friends:-)

Love always, Harula xxx