Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Simple life birthday gifts


A gift does not need to be a thing - it can be time, kind words, a song, a shared experience, noticing beauty in nature with your children...

It was my birthday on Sunday.  I had such a wonderful day - a quiet family day full of love, laughter and sharing. There were no presents bought - my family's gift was being present. No plastic, no wrapping, no unnecessary things just because it's my birthday.

Thank you too to all the people around the world who sent me wonderful birthday messages.

I really have no need for extra things as gifts. In fact, I am in the process of shedding 'stuff'. 

My children were so wonderfully attentive all day and made me feel very loved and special.

  • Maia created a delicious dragonfruit salad breakfast, a specially brewed garden tea and a lovely dinner table setting. She also sewed me a cute little felt bunny to keep on my writing table.
  • Hugh made me an amazingly scrumptious cake all by himself. 
  • Monty collected beautiful leaves for me on our walk and held my hand. He also sang to me lots and lots, and gave me wonderful cuddles.

Other wonderful gifts today were:
  • time to reflect, think and just be;
  • time relaxing and chatting together as a family;
  • playing together;
  • cooking together;
  • walking in nature together;
  • love and hugs;
  • listening to, or playing music together;
  • sharing a special but simple meal together.

In fact these are quite usual things we do together as a homeschooling and work-from-home family, but sometimes in our daily lives I forget to value them. I spent time on my birthday reflecting on what is most important in my life. What came most clearly to my mind was having quality time and shared experiences with the people I love - in nature and community.

Of course there are other important things in life, but we can often allow those to override the things that are the most valuable - which are generally quieter and more subtle.

What's your favourite way of sharing a birthday?

The children played tennis on the local courts in the morning and I had a chance to catch up and share a coffee with my friends while we watched - lovely outlook out across the Mary Valley to the forested hills behind - and gorgeous Autumn weather. 


  1. Morag I hope you had a wonderful Birthday. My Birthday is not until October. I usually ask for a home made cheesecake. This year I am asking, yes already, for a chook house and chooks. We're in town now not on a property but there is space for 3 or 4. That's my wish for this year.

  2. Good morning Morag,
    Happy belated birthday, it sounds like you had a lovely day. I will be turning 50 next Wednesday and I don't want or need a material thing. Hubby and I are going camping to our favourite beach spot and I will be so happy just to be on my beach, walking, looking for shells and fishing. My adult children asked me what I wanted and if I wanted a party, I said no as I really feel I don't want another thing in my life. I am in the process of de-cluttering my home and life as I want to live more simply and with less belongings. My goal is to live in a tiny house, off grid with a large productive garden, one day! Have a lovely day.

  3. A picnic by the lake would be he perfect birthday present for me. I am well done with gifts

  4. Happy birthday. The most important is to spend time with my loved ones. This year though, my birthday present from my kids was them cleaning/decluttering the attic and bringing the stuff to recycling and charity. Wonderful present 💜

  5. The perfect event starts with an extraordinary location. Whether you are dreaming of a grand entrance on a mountaintop vineyard estate, or an intimate gathering of family and friends at a seaside villa, good managers, like those at this venue NYC are able to turn that dream into an extraordinary wedding.

  6. Happy Birthday I too asked for not more stuff this birthday just gone but asked instead that if my family chose to that they donate to MND research we recently lost my beautiful big sister to this awful disease. Hoping the donation made by my Mum, younger sister and staff member might help make a difference.

  7. Very interested to hear you are shedding "stuff" - I hope you plan to do a post about it - what you're getting rid of, why and how. I think minimalism and permaculture go hand in hand.

    1. You have done a really really great job. Kids only loves this kind of stuff. You may also explore birthday return gifts for kids.