Month: February 2010

Military Hugs From Home Basket

It’s my job to pour my heart into every basket we create, here at Healing Baskets – even as the CEO of the company! Of all the baskets I’ve had the privilege to create, however, the Military Hugs From Home Basket is definitely one of my favorites.  Every loving piece of it – from the Home Baseball and Parlor Football games (which come in cute vintage tins with all the pieces, instructions and history of the game) – made in the USA, of course – to our signature finish, the Angel Blessing Charm (to remind your loved one of the friend who sent them the basket).  Every item in this basket says home. 

Home.  Home can be really far away for these brave men and women. But the bottom line, and what this basket really translates, is that HOME is where the HEART is. It is the love of a mom or a dad. It is the hug of a child. It is the thoughtfulness of a stranger who simply wants to say thank you. HOME is with each of them, right at that moment. And having a small role in carrying a tiny piece of home to a serviceman or woman far away, well that’s something that I cherish. 

To love and friendship and home,
Caroline Cheshire
Founder of Healing Baskets, Inc.

PS: To see the Military Hugs from Home Basket in this article, go to http://www.healingbaskets.com/prod_B91057.htm

PSS:  We’re also offering complimentary gift wrap to all military customers and their families.  When you check out, choose a container (which is usually around $20.00 including labor) and we will do that free of charge. Just enter FREEDOM in the comments section, and we will credit your card for the $20 within 24 hours.

The Thank You Note is Alive and Well – A 1-2-3 How-To from Healing Baskets

A Perfect New Customer Gift: The Namaste Basket
A Perfect New Customer Gift: The Namaste Basket

New clients and customers are the life blood of any business. We work hard at having a great business and providing wonderful products and services. And then we have to work just as hard at making sure people know we are here. So what are we to do when we get a new client or customer?  Or we lose an old valued client and customer?   

We work closely with all sorts of organizations.  From realty companies who want to thank customers for buying their house from them, to assisted living facilities where families have put their loved ones in the care of others.  Eventually one sad day their elderly relative will pass.  And what an opportunity to say thank you.  Thank you for letting our organization be the one that you trusted to care for your precious loved one.

The thought of saying thank you often results in an over thinking of the words.  You don’t have to write some profound piece of literature.  It’s not going to be framed (unless it’s REALLY good) it’s simply a personal note, and recognition of a service.  So we encouage…

1. Keep It Simple – The first rule of thank you is simple.  Express your sentiment clearly and make it personal.   

2. The Written Word is still King – Occasionally, be sure to take the time to WRITE a thank you – whether that be by mail or even by email. Nothing’s nicer than opening up the mail box (or starting one’s day in the inbox) by finding a beautiful thank you note. 

3. Yes, a Gift Basket Speaks Volumes – Yes, a thoughtful gift basket means a lot.  That’s not because I own a gift basket company – it’s because I design and MAKE gift baskets every day. I spend time on the phone with business owners listening to them carefully choose what might please THEIR clients. Knowing that a certain client likes poetry and building a basket around that theme – or learning that a client is ill and creating a basket that says, “I’m here for you, and that means more than just your business.” THOSE messages speak volumes.    No two people are the same and we try to accommodate that.

Of course I do think everyone should choose to use MY business – because we’ve worked very hard to make Healing Baskets a different experience from start to finish. One that embraces the people at both ends. However, whether you use Healing Baskets, or you hand write a card and drop it in the mail, remember rule number one. Don’t FORGET. Please and Thank You are the benchmarks of a solid operation.  Just like being a benchmark of solid parenting – remember when we were drilled?  In this hectic world it’s easy to forget the personal touches.  But the personal touches and what people enjoy.  Because people ARE our business.  They are what makes us stand out from the rest.

With my thanks and gratitude that you are reading my blog!

Caroline Cheshire
Founder of Healing Baskets, Inc.

PS: To see a selection of our pre-made Thank You Baskets go to http://www.healingbaskets.com/premade-thankyou.htm

 

 

 

A Cause to Celebrate by, Healing Baskets

HUGE BearYes, it might sound strange at first that a company called Healing Baskets would write about “A Cause to Celebrate.” After all, we hear a lot of very sad stories every day, as we create amazing gift baskets to support people through some of the most difficult events in their lives. (Like a line of products to support kids going through divorce, for instance http://www.healingbaskets.com/divorce-gifts-kids.htm.) Mom and Dad Divorce

Along with the difficult stories, however, we hear many, many stories of strength and joy. Why? Because life can often take on a deeper meaning when we’re faced with illness, or becoming someone’s caregiver – or watching our friends go through these challenges. Everyday life becomes a cause to celebrate: Thank you for caring is a celebration, having a pain free day is a celebration,  remembering a loved ones life and achievements can even be a celebration. 

I’m so lucky because all of those feelings and events – get to be translated by me, through Healing Baskets, every single day. I get to design and make specific gifts not available anywhere else that express what often our words cannot say. 

We watch the news and begin to believe we live in a bad world.  But I get to see that the cause to celebrate, when someone goes through the really hard times in life, is a world full of love and friendships around them. 

To love and friendship,
Caroline Cheshire
Founder of  Healing Baskets, Inc.

PS: To see some of the baskets in this article, go to http://www.healingbaskets.com/premade-home.htm

 

 

Thoughts on Sympathy Gifts from Healing Baskets

It’s hard to know what to do when someone’s grieving. No matter how universal the feelings of loss may be, we know that we can never really know how someone is feeling. I think that’s why cards and gifts around death became known as “sympathy gifts”. While we can never completely know what someone’s feeling, our hearts ache for their loss when someone dies.  We know that, on some level, nothing will ever be the same for them. It’s like the thread to someone has been cut, and it’s just flying in the wind, not tied to anyone or anything any more. Sympathy gifts and sympathy baskets are tokens of love. They remind us that our threads are still tied to one another. That we’re not single threads leading from one person to another person, but instead, we’re a blanket built over a lifetime, with golden threads that weave in and out, through friends and relatives and loves and memories. 

Sympathy means so much more than, “I’m sorry.”  It means we’re connected, because once you have lost a loved one things are never truly the same and we now share that unspoken bond.   THAT is something uniquely beautiful and deeply, humanly personal. 

At Healing Baskets, we’re very blessed to carry that sympathy message any time you need to send it to a friend, whether it’s the loss of a loved one, the loss of a pet, a miscarriage, or whenever you need to say, I’m still here, and you’re still tied to me.  Our Sympathy gifts and sympathy baskets can be customized to share any message that feels appropriate to you.

To your peace and joy, Caroline Cheshire
Founder of Healing Baskets, Inc.

PS: To see some of the Sympathy Baskets referenced in this article, go to: http://www.healingbaskets.com/sympathy-gifts.htm

 

 

 

A Basket of Love from Healing Baskets for a Friend with Depression

Depression Basket Circle of FriendsDepression has many faces and a million disguises. It can be obvious to friends and family, or it can hide, silently beneath the surface. What are we to do when a friend seems to be struggling with more than a case of the blues or dealing with post-partum depression after the birth of a child? Well, there’s only one thing NOT to do, and that’s nothing. Why is that important to mention? Because in our fear of offending someone, or dread of crossing some invisible line of appropriate behavior, it’s easy to stand back and watch as a friend or loved one can fade before our very eyes.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, over 14.8 million American adults will suffer a depressive illness this year. Multiply that by friends and family and there’s probably not one of us who isn’t personally touched by the sorrow, worry and fear of watching someone we love struggle to find their pathway back to a full life. So what are we to do? First, absolutely start a dialogue. Depression isn’t a mystery any longer, and the stigma is rapidly disappearing. Talking to our loved one and recommending professional help is probably the BEST contribution we can make.

Next? Well, that’s where it gets really tricky. How do we support someone if we’re completely lost for the right words? Thankfully, we don’t have to invent a new language to say, “I care about you.” A warm card sent every week or two, or a beautiful healing basket specifically created to support someone with depression or struggling with post-partum depression can speak volumes.

In fact, each item in the Circle of Friends Basket reminds the receiver that their literally in the loving embrace of the friend who sent it. And that is a very strong remedy any day of the week.

http://www.healingbaskets.com/blue.htm 

To your peace and joy, Caroline Cheshire
Founder of Healing Baskets, Inc.

PS: To see the Circle of Friends  Basket referenced in this article, go to:

http://www.healingbaskets.com/prod_B91004.htm

Giving Care to The Caregiver, by Healing Baskets

I think we all know that something very special is going on when someone describes themselves as a caregiver. I always try to pay just a little more attention once that phrase is spoken. You see “caregiver” is almost always attached to really tough situations in life – either the illness of a friend or close relative, or sometimes just helping someone who’s hit advanced aging. (When we’re more likely to become confused, miss medication, or can’t drive ourselves anymore.)

Caregivers do something magical. They hold space for another person to remain dignified through great hardship. And as we all know, that is not easy. Way too often, caregivers do this without asking for enough support themselves.

So what do we do in that case? How do we support that person that’s taken on the toughest job around? Sometimes it’s as simple as a phone call or an email.  But there are those days that you look in the person’s eyes, and you know it’s just too heavy. 

That’s part of why my company, Healing Baskets, is so important to me.  Every single day, I get to participate in bringing sunshine and joy to all kinds of tough situations and to provide special Caregiver Gifts and Caregiver Baskets to recognize those every-day heroes.  Through Healing Baskets I get to carry the messages of love and support to those who DO the supporting.  I get to create that little something extra in a Caregiver Basket that gives a boost to the one who’s got the whole world on his or her shoulders.  And that, my friends, is an amazing thing to be part of.  

To your peace and joy, Caroline Cheshire
Founder of Healing Baskets, Inc.

PS: To see some of the Sympathy Baskets referenced in this article, go to:
http://www.healingbaskets.com/premade-caregiver.htm

Valentines Day and Divorce – Another Message of Healing from Healing Baskets

What do we say when friends go through the really tough issues – like breakups and divorce?  Get well soon?  Congratulations?  This is definitely one of those times that everything feels inadequate. 

Through Healing Baskets, however, each item in the Life After Divorce Basket becomes part of the larger conversation that one friend would like to say to another – and it’s one way we know for sure what we want to communicate isn’t tied up in our inability to find the right words.

This is especially poignant right now, with Valentines Day (and Valentines Day Gifts) looming like a black hole for some friends, the Life After Divorce Basket is an amazing gesture of love. Included is the “Life After Divorce Book” – an affirming book that shows how the trauma of divorce can give way to growth and the promise of a new life – perhaps a better life; an upbeat Goddess Mug; soft as a cloud Socks; a beautiful Rose Bath Soak to transform your tub into a spa of softening waters and nourishing sea salts; all topped off with five beautiful pocket charms with words of encouragement for when they’re needed them most.

Because this is definitely one time in life (and one holiday) where a little extra TLC can go a very long way! 

To your peace and joy, Caroline Cheshire
Founder of Healing Baskets, Inc.

PS: To see the Life After Divorce Basket referenced in this article, go to: http://www.healingbaskets.com/prod_B91123.htm

 

The Loss of a Pet and How Healing Baskets can Help

A week ago I ran into a neighbor I’ve known for ten years.  We’re not close friends or anything, but we’ve always liked one another.  After about ten minutes of casual conversation, she shared that they’d put their dog to sleep the day before.  While I know she was working hard on having a brave face, it was also just as obvious that her heart was broken. And at my company, Healing Baskets, it’s a story we hear all the time.

It’s a funny thing about when we lose a pet.  When we lose them, we seem to think we can (and should) work through it quickly … easily…  The truth is, though, that pets are part of our home and members of our family.  We sometimes spend years and years sharing our lives and our love with them.

We’re in a unique place when we hear that a friend lost a pet – we’re able to honor their sorrow even if they try to push it away or pretend they’re okay.  Since my neighbor had to put her pet down, she even felt that her sadness was unjustified. She questioned if she had made the right decision. Could she have done it later. Should she have done it earlier? I shook my head gently, and I reminded her of a day fourteen years earlier, when she arrived in a limousine from New York with the stray puppy tucked into her shirt pocket.  He was a chunky baby with ginormous paws.  Her boss had rescued him from a the street in Queens, and my neighbors had welcomed him into their home – even as he grew bigger than Clifford the Big Red Dog (or so it seemed to all of us). 

After I went home that day, I went into my studio and made them one of Healing Baskets unique pet sympathy baskets.  I included a Rainbows and Bridges Pet Memorial Kit, a ceramic pet sympathy frame, and then I searched a huge box of photos to find a picture I’d taken of their daughter and dog at our neighborhood block party the year before.  I don’t even think anyone knew I took the picture.  Later, I left the basket on their doorstep with a simple note and my phone number.  I know we can’t fix one another, especially when it’s a heart that’s been broken, but maybe, once in a while, being there is good enough. That’s what Healing Baskets is all about.

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”  — Anatole

To your peace and joy, Caroline Cheshire
Founder of Healing Baskets, Inc.

PS: To see some of the Pet Sympathy Baskets referenced in this article, go to: http://www.healingbaskets.com/sympathy-gifts.htm