01 Apr

The Little Things We Do…

The Little Things We Do…

Question for you: What are your favorite “little things” to do for the ones you love?

I think we all have certain “little things” that we do for others.  Some are conscious efforts – like cooking a special meal or treating a friend to lunch, and some are almost second-nature… like making sure the fridge is stocked with your SO’s favorite drinks, or relinquishing some of the blankets (without being asked) when you wake up at 2 a.m. and realize you’ve unconsciously stolen them all.

Personally, I’ve always loved the element of surprise, so the “little things”  that I like to do have always been somehow intertwined with surprises. However, as I was thinking about this today, I also realized something that seems unfortunate: I was way more creative – and frequent – with these “little things” back in high school and college than I am today! Sure, I’ve hosted my fair share of “big things” like baby showers and bachelorette parties over the past decade… but the last time I sent a simple “hello!” or “love you” card out of the blue? I’m drawing a blank. Shoot.

The Little Things We Do…The Little Things We Do…

Back in the day, I used to send little care packages or leave “surprise cards” for different friends on a regular basis – usually placed somewhere unexpected like a car windshield or doorstep. And of course the cards were always delivered in colorfully decorated envelopes and usually accompanied by something fun like gerbera daisies, candy, or a certain CD or lip gloss the recipient had been eyeing. These days, the closest I’ve gotten to surprising friends with “just because” treats is sending virtual Easter Peeps or throwing a sheep at them on Facebook. (If you’re not a Facebook user that probably sounds ridiculous, but trust me -  in that world it makes perfect sense!)

My “excuse” for slacking is that there are so many more stressors that post-college life brings… bills, deadlines, household chores, meetings, taxes, endless emails to return, and a to-do list that seems to keep getting longer. Sometimes just the everyday responsibilities are enough to suck the creative juice dry!

But on the flip side of things, I found myself feeling creative & happy today just remembering how good it feels when you know that you’ve made someone else happy… even if it’s just a small gesture like surprising them with their favorite dessert, showing up at the movie theater with their favorite candy already in hand, or posting a nice comment on their blog just so they know that someone is actually reading…

With everything that’s going on in the world today, it seems like now might be a better time than ever to start paying attention to the “little things” and spreading some more joy around.

So to get the conversation going, I’d love to hear about YOUR favorite “little things” to do for the ones you love… or about specific gestures that someone did for you – or vice versa – that really stand out in your mind. You might inspire someone else to do the same… and maybe tomorrow there will be a few more handwritten notes being opened and a few more tangible pieces of candy being enjoyed. (That digital stuff doesn’t have much flavor, anyways!)

{Pictured above: various greeting card designs from Hallmark}

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jenn s.

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30Comments

1
mom SAYS:

1.05 am? you need to sleep sometime!!!

Reply April 1, 2009 at 5:32 am

2
aleta SAYS:

Jenn, what a sweet little reminder! I never show up at someone’s home without something totally delicious and homemade…in fact, I think it’s become expected of me! But I like holding that role in our circles of friends.

I also try to give to my favourite people unique little gifts I find/make throughout the year, so if I forget someone’s birthday or run out of money around Christmas, I know I already let them know I think they’re special. And anyway, off-season gift giving is always way more exciting and memorable anyway. =)

Reply April 1, 2009 at 5:34 am

3
Princess SAYS:

I leave surprises on my roomie’s bed. Our schedules are really different and I’m usually in bed when she gets home and leave before she wakes up. I’ve left her everything from candy to a necklace in her style that was on sale and a break-up book after she and her boyfriend split.

I’ve also gotten into the habit on leaving nice notes on random people’s windshields. I like imagining them finding a happy note from a stranger. I know it would make me smile. :-)

Reply April 1, 2009 at 5:36 am

4
ljcadv SAYS:

i havent done this in a long time, but before my Husband and I were married we had a long distance relationship. We talked on the phone every day but I would send him little cards in the mail. I think I got mre out og it then he did, but it was still nice to do, and he may secretly have liked them..

Reply April 1, 2009 at 5:42 am

5
emily SAYS:

I like to give little gifts to my friends at the beginning of each season. Just something small…target usually has great $1 items that are great for this. Sometimes it’s a candle with the scent of the season, or just a cute little post it note. nothing fancy, but just a way to say, “Happy Spring! I’m glad you’re my friend!”

Reply April 1, 2009 at 5:54 am

6
Kendall @ Kendall's Entertaining Life SAYS:

I love to go and stock up on cute little “Thinking of You” greeting cards in the $1 card section at Target. I have a whole folder and try and send one to my grandma’s or great grandma every other week.

Another thing I like to do is print off cute blog posts I find and mail them to my grandma. She isn’t the best with computers and so taking the time to print them helps her out.

Reply April 1, 2009 at 6:01 am

7
Bree Johnson SAYS:

What a great post! Sometimes I’ll send my top ten reasons I love you-who dosnt like getting compliments? Sometimes anonymously I’ll leave the cards- even better..One time A friend of mine left 6 coconut cupcakes on my doorstep because my kids had the flu all week. I cried it made me so happy.I always carry a stack of cards in my car just in case I need one at a random moment. Theres nothing like old fashioned mail.

Reply April 1, 2009 at 7:19 am

8
JAN SAYS:

Thanks for the reminder… I needed that!

My favorite way to surprise people is by giving fresh flowers with a short, but sweet ‘just because’ note. You can go to almost any florist and get something for under $5 (just a stem or two wrapped nicely in cellophane), and even though it is not big or fancy, it is always a pleasant surprise to whoever gets it!

Reply April 1, 2009 at 7:37 am

9
Mrs. Priss SAYS:

This was a fabulous post!

I love leaving nice little notes on random people’s windshields too… I keep a stash of blank cards in my car’s center console for that purpose. :)

Snail mail is also highly underrated. I LOVE getting a handwritten card or gift in the mail. I just need to remember to send them out more often…

Reply April 1, 2009 at 7:49 am

10
Amanda Nicole SAYS:

I like to bring baked goods wherever I go. I rarely turn up at a friend’s or family members’ house without some tasty treats. I’d say they go a long way!

Reply April 1, 2009 at 8:13 am

11
Emily F SAYS:

At least once a week I make sure I make something my husband REALLY likes to eat for dinner. In general, I’m doing the cooking so I want to like it, and our tastes are sort of different. But he always really appreciates it and it makes me feel good. I also like to send notes in the mail, just to say hi. I love getting real mail, and my friends do too.

Reply April 1, 2009 at 8:29 am

12
jenn s. SAYS:

It makes me so happy to see all these comments! Thanks, everyone!

Mom – 5:32am?? YOU need to sleep in longer! ;)

Reply April 1, 2009 at 9:34 am

13
Emily Ley SAYS:

My favorite thing to do for someone is write them a short handwritten note – even if its something short and sweet like “Thinking of You” or “Have a good day!” I do this for my husband a lot when I head off to work a few minutes before him in the mornings. It conveys the fact that I took a few minutes to find something pretty to write on, jotted down a sweet thought, and placed it just for him to see.

When I dont have time for that – I send a quick text message to let someone know I’m thinking of them. Even though it’s somewhat impersonal it conveys the same sweet gestures as I mentioned above.

Reply April 1, 2009 at 9:43 am

14
cathy nichols SAYS:

Well… I’m painting tiny portraits of everyone in my family to hang in the dining room. It’s so much more special, I think to paint my children at this specific moment in time than to just take snapshots. All of the portraits are embelleished with items and feelings specific to the person, so I think they will always be meaningful to them! :)

Reply April 1, 2009 at 9:58 am

15
Chic Runner SAYS:

I love giving cards for anything. Writing a thank you card is also very important to me. :) People always appreciate it.

Reply April 1, 2009 at 10:26 am

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