There is one gift, however, that I have used several times a week and it probably didn't cost more than $2.
As part of a wedding present that probably included kitchen items from our registry (I honestly can't remember), we received a simple journal from some dear friends of ours that included a hand-written note and some of my friend's favorite recipes. Inside were recipes for simple dinners like pot roast and oven-fried chicken. She also included my brother-in-law's favorite dessert - eclair cake!
This weekend, I was getting ready for a family cook-out and I went to the cabinet to get my recipe journal. My brother-in-law had specifically requested the eclair cake and I wanted to check the ingredients before heading to the store. At first, I couldn't find it and I panicked.
Not only does this journal include my friend's best recipes, but all of our family's favorite recipes that I've collected and perfected throughout the years. Yes, I could probably find them online (or at least something similar to them), but there is something so comforting about opening up a journal and seeing hand-written recipes. They convey so much more than just a recipe. These recipes are filled with love, and time, and memories. When I look at them, I remember afternoons spent with our friends laughing and eating together after church. I remember times before children when we piled into two-bedroom apartments and took road-trips just because. For me, this journal symbolizes a time when I was just figuring out what it meant to be a young wife trying so hard to please my husband, and the friend who was my first example (other than my own mother) of the wife I wanted to be.
Many years have passed since I received this little book. We've traded in our two-bedroom apartments for single-family homes and our first cars for minivans. We've added many children to the mix and hosted many, many dinners, but I will always remember the first time I opened this journal and felt confident that I was ready to take on my new role as a wife, especially with my friends by my side!
When you're out shopping for the perfect gift, I encourage you to think beyond the registry. Yes, the new couples need things for their home, but the most cherished and precious parts of a gift are often the parts that don't cost you a thing!
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