Tues., Dec. 18, 2018

Matthew 2:11 –  They entered the house and saw the child with Mary his mother. Falling to their knees, they honored him. Then they opened their treasure chests and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Anyone trying to figure out a gift for a loved one yet? And feeling the reality of just a few more shopping days before Christmas?

I have a solution for you. It’s quick, easy and you may not even have to leave the house!

Would you like to “borrow” my 5-minute gift idea?

Good. Here it is:


A recipe memory box.

The last number of months, I have been going through boxes and boxes of things from my Mom and grandmothers. These 30 or so boxes have been moved multiple times. Last winter, Hubby Rick shared with me that either I go through these boxes or he would start putting them into the garbage. The hint was taken.

As I have gone through these boxes, I have found some treasures, some interesting things and some things that just needed to find their way to Goodwill, the garage or someone else’s house.

One day, I ran across just a few of my Mom’s recipes. My Mom had a large box of recipes. She also had tons of recipe books as well as recipes in binders. I found maybe 20-30 recipes, truly a small sampling of her recipes. I’m not quite sure why or how these recipes were separated from the others. I laid them aside, wondering what to do with them.

Eventually, I came up with this idea. I asked my sister, Debbie, to send me some spoons from my Mom’s everyday silverware. I asked her not to ask me why; just put them in the mail and send to me. And she did. Once I had the spoons in hand, I was ready to make these recipe memory boxes.


I purchased shadow boxes for the ones that I made. I got them from Michaels for about $10 each. Choose what size you want. My boxes were 12×12”. If you don’t have an official shadow box or don’t want to go to the store and get one, don’t! Use a regular picture frame that you have on hand. You may not be able to include a piece of silverware. Maybe you have something else you can use instead.


First, I removed the back of the shadow box. I used the white piece of paper in the box as the backing for the recipes. I kept it all very simple, not wanting to add anything extra to what was already there.

Then, I picked out the recipes I wanted to use for each box. A high priority was to use recipes hand-written by my Mom. I chose to use original recipes, not copies, as I felt this made them really look authentic. Several of the recipes have stains on them, earned by repeated use by my Mom. Some have frayed edges. Most were discolored. I thought each of these attributes only made the recipes look more special. I tried to pick recipes that I felt might be significant for the family member who would be receiving each particular box.


I put the spoon on first towards the bottom of the piece of paper with a hot glue gun. Apply hot glue only on the surfaces that touch the paper. Next, position the recipes where you want them to be. I put two recipes in each box. You can use as many or as few as you wish. Run a bead of hot glue around the perimeter of the recipe, flip it over and attach to the backing paper.

Let the glue set-up for a few minutes. Put the paper with the recipes and/or silverware into the box. Close the back. Wrap. In 5-minutes, you can have a special, meaningful and very cool Christmas present.

Maybe recipes aren’t your thing. Think of something that meaningful for your family. Arrange it on a piece of paper cut to the size frame or shadow box you have and in 5-minutes, you’ll have a present!


I made recipe memory boxes for the Deaton women in our family. They LOVED them, or at least this is what they told me!

When the magi came to visit baby Jesus, they brought seemingly very unpractical gifts; gold, frankincense and myrrh. Actually, each gift shared something very special about Jesus:

The gold reminds us that Jesus is the king of kings;

The frankincense symbolized Jesus’ deity as God;

Myrrh, a common embalming oil, represented death.

As I get older, the reason for giving gifts has changed. I love gifts that share a tradition of the past and hope for the future. Well-worn recipes draw us, Mom’s family, back to a time when we enjoyed the foods she made for us and her passion to cook and bake.

Before you run off to the store to get a last-minute gift, stop. Think. Reflect upon something you have that might be meaningful to a loved one. Something that tells a family story or history. Find a fun way to share this gift with loved ones. I have a hunch these gifts will be dearly loved and treasured.


For gifts that help us discover our family and heritage, I am grateful.

Almighty God – as the magi presented gifts to Jesus and his parents, we too, present gifts to people important to us. I pray we see the ultimate present of Christmas as Jesus, God’s son, who comes to us in the form of a baby. Amen.

Blessings –


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