Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Savoring--An Unexpected Gift--Idea for Stress-free Holiday Giving--Plus, Bidding Update

A lovely, unexpected gift from an artist who works in iron prompted an idea for stress-free holiday giving. If you celebrate Christmas, or any other holiday which calls for a number of gifts all at the same time, I have a radical proposal for a no-stress alternative.
But first, the gift we received a couple of weeks ago: the amazing hummingbird pictured here. In a recent post about our backyard flowers, I showed you an iron obelisk, a garden sculpture our mandevilla vine happily climbed. In that post, I mentioned and provided a link to the iron worker who created the piece, Scott Hornbaker of Hunt Country Iron in St. Mary's Georgia. After I shot him a quick email to let him know that I was in the process of making him world-famous, he wrote back with gratitude. Would we please come to the Riverside Art Market here in Jacksonville, Florida one Saturday to pick up a thank-you gift he had for us? As you can see, the gift is amazing. In case you are wondering, he creates his work in wrought iron with the intention that it will oxidize, as it does quite quickly in our climate. For customers who want to retain the black finish, he can advise them on methods to achieve the look they want.
One of the delights of this beautiful gift is that it was completely unexpected--which led to a thought about simplifying the Christmas season. We could agree with certain family members or friends to skip exchanging gifts during the holiday season. Rather, we would send or bring each person a gift at some random time--wrapped as a Merry Christmas surprise when least expected. Maybe that's a little wacky, but could be fun. The unexpected gift might come when the recipient is feeling a bit low or when an expression of love is especially welcome. Other advantages of starting such a tradition include easing the financial burden of buying multiple gifts all at one time.
Question of the day: Do you have any unusual, creative gift giving traditions or ideas for your holiday celebrations?
Update on bidding for Purple Iris Solitaire painting from previous post:
There are no bids on this painting so far. Given that blog traffic falls off sharply this time of the year, it may not be the best time for me to run this offer. However, the lack of bids so far means that someone might be able to win this 9" x 12" painting for a very low price, well below retail!!
To clarify the shipping part of the offer: If the winning bid is between $12 and $19.99, I will ship it for $4.95 flat rate Priority Mail (at real cost with no additional charges) anywhere in the US. I will ship at the lowest possible cost for an international purchaser, by mutual agreement as to method and cost. However, if the winning bid is $20 or more, I will ship free anywhere in the US and will give an international purchaser $5 off the shipping charge.
This is a great offer for a nicely stylized floral painting. Get in on the bidding now; it will close at noon on Monday, December 14, 2009.


  1. Thank you for sharing Mary! I'm going to take a look at Scott's site right now.

  2. Payday for us is the 11th, Mary, so I am still hoping to bid on the 12th! I love the cast iron hummingbird; what a great gift!! I don't think our family has any real "traditions", so to speak, other than to give them at Christmas time. LOL I love your idea, truly, but Christmas just isn't Christmas without gift-giving (to my mind). It is what makes the season so special for me! Of course, it is a financial hardship each year, but somehow I always pull it off!

  3. You'll like what you see on Scott's site, Manon--I appreciate your interest. He is a fine artist and a fine person. Thank you for stopping in!

    That's exciting to hear, Autumn--hope it works out. I actually agree with you about the joy of gift giving at Christmas, but had some fun playing with an alternative in my mind. You are truly a giving person, so I am sure you do whatever is possible to share joy through gifts.