Experiential gift giving… Experiential living

I grew up like this..

ME: “mom what do you want for your birthday?”
MOM: “Just make me a card.”

Recently, it was Baby girl’s “twin’s” birthday. Her dear best buddy of 1 month age difference with similarly crazy head of curls, similar size cute bodies and big blue eyes as opposed to my baby’s big browns.

We had to find her a present…I need to admit right here and those that know me well will concur that I have the bad habit of late gift giving but once I do it will usually (I hope) be pretty good:) Also the shopping in our resort town isn’t the best so I wondered what could we be giving our little buddy…time to get creative!

How about…A big handwritten ticket stub for a night of fun at Didim’s amusement park, Lunapark (remember my re-found trampoline love there). Not only had we talked about going for too long but it could be something we could do together, an experience we can have together…all the better I say!

I did find a little tea set too, as she is a mix of two of the biggest tea cultures, English and Turkish(although there is a bit of American blood in there too which I love:) So she will need tea practice.

I had to wrap it…

So I busted out my acrylic paint while baby girl was sleeping. I stacked up about 3 pages of newspaper as not to bleed through and just started squirting, stroking and playing. It felt really good to have a brush in my hand again…been too long…even if it was just some colorful mark making(funnest thing about painting!).

Let that dry as big girl was sleeping.

Then she awoke to a fun colorful surprise on the floor that mom actually let her touch! Gave her a washable marker and let her go at it on top of my acrylic paint.

Turned out lovely…little artwork from my baby too! I think better late than never translates well here. ekkk…Can’t wait to pick a date to cash in our fun filled experience together.

So experiential gift giving. goes hand in hand with, “just make me a card.” Just make me something that has meaning, thought, something tied to it other than just giving something because that is what the holiday says to do…

One of my favorite sites is Etsy, where the buyer connects with the seller directly. The seller’s are artists from all walks of life and mediums who find passion it what they are putting out into the world.

We are going through some major changes here in my tiny household, We are putting forth plans to move to America. There I wrote it…it’s out there. Also better late than never and Together. Not just my daughter and I there but with my hubby too.


We wait. Wait for visas and goverments. Wait for things to sell.

THIS I have been waiting for for so long. But is it the right time?

We collect. Collect money. Collect memories of the things we will miss here, in Turkey. Collect from the other family who is sad they will be left behind.

We fight. Fight resentment for leaving. Fight for a new life. Fight for each other.

We Feel. Feel defensive. Fell empathy. Feel LOVE.

I freak out. My husband quit his reliable job. We have no health insurance. Our cafe is less than booming. He just got hit with a student loan he had thought had gotten lost(there was a serious chance it had). I have student loans. We will live with my mother, we will be next to my family again…I freak out less…

MOM: “It will all work out.”

Just as I planned to write this post about experiential gift giving another blogger sent me this, Mission, Tara Agacayak, someone who has lived a few years ahead of me in this; living between two cultures, suspended between two worlds, someone whose words have often brought me comfort has recently posted this…

This week I got a phone call from home. Someone very dear to me has been diagnosed with health problems and though the prognosis is good, it was a wake up call…

Not things. Not stuff. But experiences.

As the two year anniversary of our father’s deaths is approaching. It is time…

To have a new experience together with my tiny blessed healthy little family.

To make people cards.


Has news ever rocked your world?

Does creating bring you comfort?


2 thoughts on “Experiential gift giving… Experiential living

  1. Twinlet loooooooovvvvvved the teaset, she pours cups of tea for mummy regularly (lapsang souchong, though she doesn’t know this yet) and enjoys matching the cups and saucers by colour… Can’t wait for the experiential side of the present either! xxx

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