gift giving


OK for those of you that read my post about my birthday celebrations and want to partake I have an update. There is a lot of coordination and collaboration involved in making these things happen so I would like to thank everyone who expressed interest in joining me and more importantly those of you helping me make my thirty second birthday a celebration of us rather than me. And so here are the various events and ideas that all or any of you can help in and by doing so give me a fantastically rewarding birthday:

 

  1. Jabal Al Qalga Kite making and flying with the kids of the neighborhood with Hamzet Wasel Initiative
  2. Renovating and fixing of Women’s Center in Gaza Camp in Jerash with V-team Initiative
  3. Undecided event with Zikra Initiative
  4. Buy a tree and plant it in Palestine with APN – Arab Group for the Protection of Nature (http://www.apnature.org)
  5. Give me your old clothes, recyclable paper, tins and plastic and I will send them to a community center or the recycling center
  6. And finally for those that just want to hang out a walk in Jabal Amman and a walk in Jabal Al Weibeh (two of my favorite places in the city) the weekend following my birthday

 

 

I will post more info these initiatives and events and include dates, times, places and costs this coming week. And for those of you on Facebook I will create events for them. All are welcome even if I don’t know you and you want to do these things Ahlan Wa Sahlan.

I will soon be 32 and I have been asked what I want for my birthday whether it be for celebrations or for gifts. These questions got me thinking about past birthdays and gifts and what they’ve meant to me. I’ve done the crazy parties with the cakes and sparklers and massive amounts of booze, the traveling for my birthday and the quiet dinners. But this year I want something different, and I know exactly what I want.

This year what I want involves none of the above in any way, shape or form. This year I do not want any parties in bars or restaurants or cafes. I do not want any celebrations with cake, or alcohol or food. I do not want all that money spent for such a selfish and self centered purpose. My birthday! There have been many and who knows there may be many more too. But I do not want to be the excuse for a night of drunken revelry, I do not want massive amounts of food consumed at some lavish dinner in an expensive restaurant, I do not want anyone to go out of their way for me to celebrate in frivolity a day that comes a long often enough and there is really nothing special about it except that I popped out from between my mother’s legs like thousands if not millions of others on that day.

I do not want any gifts either not matter how big or small, grand or symbolic for I have enough stuff in my life and I am trying to get rid of a lot of it! There is nothing I really need at this moment in time and the things I want I can do without. So thank you but no thank you.

When I made these declarations to my friends their faces were so puzzled, confused and some were upset and said that was unacceptable! And so I told them that what would make me happy instead was for them to do something selfless, something that gives back to the community, something outside themselves and me.

One of my favorite quotes is “Be the change you want to see in the world” by Ghandi and this year this is what I want for my birthday. And so to celebrate I want organize an event that gives back to the community in some way or form. That recognizes the pleasure in working together to make a difference. If there is any money to be spent then it would be on the event and it should go towards your local community. And if you insist on giving me a gift then make a donation in my name to an organization that makes a difference to people’s lives like a cancer foundation, orphanages, NGOs that work on community development, and if you don’t want to give cash then clean out your closet and give the things you don’t want to people who can use them like the Gaza aid souk or the King Hussein center for the mentally disabled, or Ruwwad in Jabal Al Natheef, if you want to do this and don’t know how give me a call and I can help you or just drop things off with me and I can take care of it. Spend a day volunteering. If even that is too much trouble then just do something nice for a stranger in the street, it can be that simple.

If you still insist on giving me something personal then give me a good memory. Walk with me in the streets or Jabal Amman, come over and watch a movie, let’s have a good conversation, send me a letter or an email or help me paint a new bookcase I’m getting, take a picture and send it to me. I will also personally be arranging an outdoor activity that will focus on giving something back to the world we live in. Let me know if you want to be part of that activity, it will make me really happy to spend time with my friends doing something along those lines and I will post it here once the details are sorted out.

Help me be the change I want to see in this world we live in and embody some of the ideals and beliefs that I have. Yes I am an idealist and to some I may be foolish, but I think we can make a difference one small step at a time. Will you walk with me?

Its that time of the year when consumerism is at its best and we all go on these shopping frenzies all over the world. Whether it’s the holidays or the sales is up for debate, but I do know that there is a better way to spend your money than on that unwanted and unneeded pair of reindeer socks.

 

A friend of mine sent me an email a couple of days ago with a great idea (thanks AK). She has asked us all to give ourselves health insurance. Now you may think she works for a health insurance company or is trying to get something out of it but no, that is not the case. She has asked that we all buy a plan from The King Hussein Cancer Center (KHCC).

 

 

 

 

Some of you may be covered through your office health insurance plans or through a parent’s plan, a spouse’s or even your school and so may have no need for more health insurance. But this is a plan with a twist. Buying an insurance plan from the KHCC helps cover you in case of the need for cancer treatment. But that is not what is really cool about this health insurance. The money you pay towards your health insurance actually gets used to cover cancer patients’ medical costs. It helps those that are in need fight this unforgiving and indiscriminant disease.

 

The plans are affordable and go a long way in fighting the battle against cancer. So if you are out shopping, buying gifts, spending money think about buying yourself, or someone dear, a gift that keeps on giving.

 

Here are the options for insurance (valid for a year):

Age                              Paid Amount JD/Year                   Insurance Amount

 

1 day-34 years                        10 JD                                       10,000 JD

                                                23 JD                                       20,000 JD

 

35 years-49 years                   25 JD                                       10,000 JD

                                                58 JD                                       20,000 JD

 

50 years-64 years                   45 JD                                       10,000 JD

                                               104 JD                                     20,000 JD

 

65 years-Above                       70 JD                                       10,000 JD

                                                161 JD                                     20,000 JD       


All you need to do is fill out a form with your national number, date of birth and sign it. Six months after they receive the form the insurance will be activated. You have to pay the insurance amount in full (10-161 JD which ever insurance works for you).

 

For more information contact

 

 

King Hussein Cancer Foundation
P.O. Box 35102
Amman 11180 Jordan
Telephone: + 962 6 4617555
Facsimile: + 962 6 4618999
E-mail:
info.foundation@KHCC.jo

 

I hope you never have to use this insurance but help those who do. Get your insurance now and be a giver to those who need it the most.

As the year begins I have already received the first few gifts of the new year. Its such a pleasant way to start off. But if I would want anything I think I would like to have the following gifts: health, patience, travel, insight, good friends, satisfaction, good fun work, good coffee ;), music, good movies, and great memorable experiences.  

I also look forward to presents. I have over the past 30 years accepted, and graciously I may add, many gifts. Some have been marvelous, others have been good, some mediocre, some were repetitive, and others just didn’t make sense. I will continue to accept gifts graciously and love the thoughts and sentiments behind them all. However, there are things I have a bit too much of, here are some things you can over look and I will definitely forgive you if you don’t think of me when you see them: 

Anything with a cat motif. I AM NOT THE CAT LADY. I only have the one cat in my life and I love him to bits and that’s it! Having said that feel free to buy Z anything you want. Gifts for him are always welcome, especially toys on string.  

Key chains also make the list, I have more than I know what to do with.

Coasters, I have 5 sets of 6 and I have never used 30 glasses at once!  

Tea, this one is self inflicted, I bought myself a year’s supply of tea from Sri Lanka of all flavors and so I have out done myself here.  

Book marks, I love these but always forget them in the wrong books, I end up using either one that I love (it has the serenity prayer on it J) or a ticket stub or business card. So thanks but it will probably get lost with the 30 –  40 other book marks I have.  

Woodwork, I’m very particular about my carvings so please don’t try. I love masks and figures but that is not an invitation for trees, animals and other random pieces of wood.  

Plants, it will only die! I can’t for the life of me keep anything green alive, just ask the struggling cactus in my house! 

Refrigerator magnets, my cat likes to play with them and will knock them off, break them or they will end up under the couch after he has played toss them all around the house with them. 

Stuffed toys, I am not 7, enough said? 

Red Roses, ohhh I hate them, an ex over did the red roses and now I have developed a really bad allergy to the sight of them. Any other color rose is acceptable, in fact I love flowers of all sorts and you can’t go wrong with them.  

Jewelry, I’m not that kinda girl. With few exceptions (see below) please don’t bother.  

Electronics, I try to be as low tech as possible, so unless I specifically ask for a gadget, I don’t want it.  

OK you must now think this is one ungrateful women, who doesn’t like anything. But wait here are some things I can’t get enough of: 

Great experiences, which means anything that creates and leaves good memories.  

Flowers, aside from my aversion to red roses you really can’t go wrong here. Tulips are my favorite if you must know followed by sunny bright sun flowers.  

Books, a good book is really the best thing you can give anyone who reads. But if you do give me a book please don’t forget to write on the inside a little personal note, I love opening these gifts up years later and remembering the sentiment.  

Movies, whether it’s a trip the cinema or a DVD, just no slap stick comedy PLEASE! 

Massages, in person, gift vouchers, or we could go together… I love massage.  

Jewelry, yes I said not to but if you have to then you must know that I rarely wear necklaces or braclets, I don’t change my rings and so ear rings are the way to go. But wait there is a catch! Tasteful, simple and made by obscure local designers and artists is the way to go, just make sure they have a bit of funk in them. 

Candles: scented and otherwise, I burn them all the time and so they will be appreciated and used fondly.  

Scarves, this is an obsession of mine. I have drawers full of them and I can never have enough. Any color, any texture, any size… I just love them! 

Having said that neither list is exhaustive, and as time rolls on things will move from one list to the other I am sure. Some may even get dropped, others may be added. SO I do recommend that you treat this as utter nonsense. Buy me what you will, if anything at all. I will love it, it came from you and thus will remind me of you which is more important than what it is and will give it true value.