A tisket, a tasket, a spiritual lift in a gift basket

Photo: Phillip Shippert Photo: Phillip Shippert

By Michelle Sessions DiFranco

Not long ago, a friend of mine was sharing how down she was feeling. She was pondering a litany of New Age remedies for her slump. At the end of our talk, she suggested that we go and get a pedicure together to help get her mind off of her problems. I was up for the pampering, so I agreed to go.

About $50 later, our feet looked better than they had in months, and she seemed happier. An hour later, however, I could tell the quick fix of the pedicure was wearing off and that those feelings of despair were returning to plague her soul. The reality is that no pedicure, aromatherapy or any other holistic wellness plan was going to help. I think she truly needed something much deeper, and although I knew full well what it was, I didn’t bring him up. My friend was not a very religious person, and I was hesitant about “going there.”

In the following days, my lack of courage started to bother me. Why is it so acceptable in our culture to turn to yoga, meditation CDs or a self-proclaimed TV “expert” for healing and wellness, yet awkward to suggest turning to God — who is, after all, the source of all happiness? While pondering, I realized I needed to be a bit strategic and somehow ease God into my friend’s situation. I needed to introduce the idea to her nonverbally. I had an idea.

Gift baskets have always been a great way to show kindness to someone, and I absolutely love creating them for family and friends. I knew my friend would enjoy one — especially if it was stuffed with “wellness” items. But among the herbal tea, scented candles and hand lotion, this basket was going to make room for a little bit of God. It offered a mix of things to help a person feel better — topically and spiritually. I included items that are as faith-building as they are meditative and interesting.

Do you know anyone who could use a spiritual lift? Consider making them one of these baskets. And if it’s well-received, it just may open the door to deeper discussions about real prayer and how it can help — far beyond tai chi, nature-sound CDs and, yes, even a $50 pedicure.

For the project shown, you will need:
• medium size basket
• basket filler
• prayer card
• Catholic book of prayers
• Gregorian chant CD (or any relaxing Christian music)
• hand cream or any spa products of choice
• can of soup or chocolates 
(or other comfort food items)
• box of herbal tea
• ceramic mug

Line basket with filler and arrange items. For an added touch, wrap with clear cellophane, tie with a ribbon and add a gift card.

More ideas
For the chocolate lover, create a basket with different chocolate candies and cookies, hot cocoa mix and a mug among the spiritual items.

For a spa theme, find a cotton-lined basket and fill with lotions, body wash, bath oils and a body sponge among the spiritual items.

August 23, 2013