Gifts for Minor Holidays

Mother’s Day got me to thinking about inexpensive little gifts you can get for your mother on that specific holiday and even the things you could pick up for your dad on Father’s Day, another holiday that comes not long after Mother’s Day. While these two holidays don’t necessarily mean you must get something for your parents, it’s one of those things that shows you were thinking about them and went out of your way to pick up a gift for them.

Sometimes it can be hard to hone in on a specific item that you think your mom or dad has been needing for awhile, something that’s very particular to their tastes and hobbies. These are the gifts that, in my opinion, are better off left to bigger holidays and birthdays.

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, however, are two days where you can afford to pick up a more generic, unintentional gift just to show you care.

So, check out a few of our quick, easy ideas for these two holidays to let your parents know you’re thinking about them but didn’t break the bank for them (because that’s the last thing they want from their kids).

Candy.

If anything, a few candy boxes is a way to tell your parents that it’s alright to have a little extra sugar since they deserve a break from the everyday grind. The best part is that you can pick up their favorite candy boxes in just about any store that sells packaged goods. They’re cheap, easy to get, and you usually should have an idea what candies your parents would be fine with eating.

Sandals/hats.

I always find that these items go perfectly with Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, simply because these two holidays pretty much kick off the great summer weather everyone has been waiting for. And even better, you can’t really screw up a pair of sandals or a ball cap so long as you’re in the general ballpark of your parents’ feet size and head size (but hats aren’t as much a problem with snapbacks being one size fits all).

Gift cards.

Last but not least, a gift card or two allows your parents to go out on a date together when they can afford the time. It doesn’t have to be a huge amount of money.

Just try to think of what a typical meal would cost for two at whatever restaurant you happened to get them a gift card for. So long as it mostly covers the bill, it’s a great way to tell your parents to get out of the house and spend an evening together.

Memorial Day

Early summer marks a time of the year when some important holidays fall on the calendar. While most of us may start to think of Memorial Day when I say this, I’m talking about two equivalent holidays that are some of the most celebrated throughout the summer only behind Memorial Day and the 4th of July: those days would be Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

As a kid, I never quite understood why moms and dads everywhere got their own specific holiday to have celebrated for them, yet there was nothing along the lines of son’s day or daughter’s day. Or just a children’s day in general. I always, always thought it was unfair that my parents had dedicated days for them on top of their birthdays.

That’s because I was naive and never really noticed how geared towards kids Halloween, Christma, and Easter are. I was a selfish little kid for thinking my parents didn’t deserve their own holiday.

As I grew older, I started realizing what the days meant for them, and for our family in general, it almost always meant spending the day doing whatever my mom or dad wanted and eating the food they loved most. Sometimes we’d buy them some little gifts, but for the most part it was more about being there for them and spending time with them (as that’s one of the best gifts a parent can think of from their children).

Now that I’m older and live alone in a different state from my parents, though, it won’t be as easy to make it home twice within a month’s span to celebrate both holidays with my parents. So things have become a little more challenging, especially when my partner’s parents live in the same city as us, so we’ll probably be spending time with them at their place.

Luckily, though, my parents don’t care too much about it and realize that we all have our limitations as adults now with separate lives. That’s why I’m planning on getting a few things for my mom and dad, wrapping it all up in a few cardboard boxes, and having them shipped to their home as gifts for their respective days. I don’t think there’s anything my parents would mind about some gifts in cardboard boxes, so I’m all about doing something as a gesture to show them I still care and I just can’t be there.

No matter what happens, though, I’ve learned to see the holidays for what they are. Parents put up with so much stuff throughout the year that they deserve to have at least a single day each year where everyone else tends to them. (And I say this in full confidence knowing I’ll enjoy the heck out of my Father’s Days in the future when I have kids.)

Crafting a Box with Compartments

Most things you’re finished with end up in the trash. That’s the nature of things in modern society, right? Outside of trying to recycle materials and different food wastes, there’s not as many options out there but to trash it. Candy boxes (like chocolate boxes) really aren’t any different. But there’s something unique about these boxes that make them more than trash and that’s their small compartments in the tray.

How else would you repurpose such a box, though? Well, to start, the small divided sections could be used for jewelry or even as a sewing kit. Just think about it: with 10 or more sectioned off compartments, you could put anything from earrings to necklaces and spools of thread to needles in each.

First, remove the tray from the box.

While the tray itself is very useful and the centerpoint of this project, you won’t want to be putting your jewelry in a box of candy. Rather, you’ll want to put the tray in something else homemade that you can call your own.

Spray paint tray preferred color.

Most of these trays are white when you purchase candy boxes. For the most part, that’s not a color that will make your jewelry look great or offset their multiple hues. Instead, think about spray painting the tray a matte black, purple, or even turquoise. These are all colors that set off the luster of precious metals and can allow gems to shine even brighter.

Craft a small wooden box to fit the tray.

Here’s where a little bit of actual work may need to be done outside of the tray itself. You’ll want to measure the dimensions of the plastic tray to make sure it fits in whatever wooden box you choose or make. The best part about this box is that you can customize it till your heart’s content.

Place everything within!

Whether you place earrings near each other or scatter your various spools of thread out in the different compartments, do it in a way that each piece has its own snug place to sit. This also helps you to keep everything in order and easily located for when you’re choosing an item. Again, you can feel free to include any type of jewelry you want, or you can go a different route like using sewing materials or anything else you may be able to store. Your mind is the limit here, so long as the items are able to fit in the container’s trays.

What to Do with Your Collection of Cardboard Over Time

Over the past 10 months, I’ve accumulated quite the collection of large cardboard boxes. The funny thing is, I thought we had all the furniture and other amenities we needed upon moving in.

Yet here we are with multiple large boxes from random things as time has gone on. It just goes to show how you never really realize how much you add to your home on a yearly basis. Things just sort of add up over time and you never actually think you’re adding much to your place.

TV.

We had to have a new television for the basement (i.e., our hang out spot) when we moved in. While I opted to get a cheaper and smaller TV since it wouldn’t be our primary one, the box it came in actually has taken up quite a bit of space the past half year. While I’ve been keeping it behind our couch, I finally pulled it out recently to recycle it. It felt good to get that out of the basement!

Dartboard.

Ahhh, the true entertainment of the basement. We enjoy playing darts, especially steel tip. Well, we mounted a dartboard and cabinet in our basement after receiving it as a Christmas gift. Guess where its box ended up? Yep, right there in the basement alongside the other TV box that we had neglected to recycle. Just as we made sure to recycle our TV box, though, we did the same with the dartboard’s housing box.

Fire pit.

Well, it’s not an actual fire pit that we built from scratch (otherwise it wouldn’t have its own box). For Easter we just received a nice little porch fire pit with its own basin and dome cage on top of it. It’ll be the perfect addition to summer evenings with friends and family. It’s quite a large box itself, and since we haven’t been able to get it out to assemble it yet, the box itself likely will hang around our place for another month or so before I decide to get it along to the recycling center.

Ultimately, we’ve come into possession of quite a bit of cardboard boxes since we moved in last June. I’m just glad we’ve done our part in recycling all the material over time (even if it’s been sitting around in our place, making a mess all the while waiting to be recycled). Heck, we even used one of the cardboard boxes as our cardboard recycling container. O the irony.

Easter is Near

With April showing showing its face and spring finally in the air, there’s one thought on a lot of kids’ minds: Easter.

And with Easter at the forefront of a lot of kids’ minds, parents everywhere are starting to think of what they’ll fill their children’s Easter baskets with this year. Perhaps it’s a few candy boxes, some fake grass, and a video game. Maybe they’re choosing to give something more nontraditional like a plant to take care of or tickets to a music or sporting event.

However you choose to celebrate Easter, whether it’s for the religious aspect of it all or more from a seasonal standpoint, you almost definitely celebrate it in some fashion in America.

I remember growing up and always getting a basket full of different candies, sometimes apparel, and always some eggs with cash and other candies within. While I don’t consider myself an atypical child growing up, I definitely wasn’t about all the kinds of candies that came with Easter. Rather, I was more interested in what my parents (i.e., the Easter Bunny) would put in my basket that was unexpected.

I think one year I ended up with a video game that I’d been wanting for awhile. That was pretty unexpected, as I always looked at my Easter gifts as something below 20 bucks. Another year, I ended up with a spring jacket that was warm enough to ward off bitter winds and rain yet light enough to wear when the temperature began to rise.

No matter the reasons I celebrate Easter down the road, though, I’ll be sure to make it a fun event for my children. While the abundance of candy boxes and chocolate eggs won’t ever leave the tradition, I’m quite excited to put things like books, accessories, and useful items in their basket to show them that it’s more than just about the candy.

Of course, I don’t think I could ever forget the egg hunts I participated in growing up, so I want to make sure that I keep that tradition going for my children someday, too. That’s undoubtedly the best thing for all kids every time spring comes around: who can find the most eggs and how much money is within all of them.

While Easter means one thing to others, it’s always signified life and regrowth to me. More than anything, I’ve learned to appreciate the holiday as a celebration of the new season and new plant and animal life after winter’s long stay.