Wednesday, December 12, 2007


I received a sweet pre-Christmas present today: Blueberry muffins. These muffins are special because they were made by a special person. Besides that, I know how she made them, and it is pretty clever, especially for people who may not have or want to buy all the parts to make muffins from scratch. She used pancake mix. And because blueberries are very expensive and not easy to find in Japan at this time of the year, she used dried fruit, soaked in hot water, then sweetened with honey. Very nice.
I appreciate her thoughtfulness and her muffins. At Christmas, people sometimes give gifts or get involved in gift-exchange things without knowing what to give. My advice, if I may offer it, when you are not sure what to give, is to give something you would like to receive. That has an element of the Golden Rule to it, I suppose, but in the worst case, that person will know you have good taste!
Another thought, especially about gift-exchange giving, is to give a few small things, rather than one big one. For example, one friend told mer her office will exchange gifts, and people were told to keep the price within 2,000 yen, or about US$20. Well, that does not buy much in Tokyo these days. It seems that nice and clever gifts can be found from about 1,000 yen and less, and for more than 2,000 yen, but not for 2,000. So I suggested that she buy a 1,000 yen gift, plus some 100 yen gifts to put in a nice bag. Things like bath salts, or sachets or potpouri fragrance things are good. Wine is another nice gift, and even if the person who receives it doesn't drink, they can recycle the wine to someone who does.
So, I'm having coffee and a blueberry muffin now, and saying thank you to the chef!