Year of Dates or Gift of the Month

Angkor Wat Sunrise
I like to give gifts that require thought, creativity, and usually assembly of some type. For my nearest and dearest I usually have a running list of ideas for gifts. If someone makes a comment in passing – maybe something they’d like to do, a book they’d like, or a place they’d like to visit, I make a note of it that I can refer to in the future, say as their birthday approaches. This past holiday season saw a lot of excellent homemade gifts being exchanged amongst the family. The gift I’m the most pleased with is the one I made for my husband. I originally got the idea on Pinterest (isn’t that where all inspired ideas originate?) from Shannon Brown. It’s so good and so readily adaptable, that I wanted to share it with you for your gift giving needs.

Envelope, description, and eye mask for January's date.

I gave my husband a year of gifts, or rather, a year of dates. In his box is an envelope for each month. At the beginning of the month, he opens the appropriate envelope. It contains information, directions, related tchotchkes and instructions related to the special activity that I’ve thought up for that month. I think I’m more excited about this gift than he is. Giving a good gift is always better than receiving one, don’t you agree? I thought I’d share the gifts each month and give a brief recap of our activity. We were on vacation in January, so I researched some activities to do while away in Cambodia. I found some of the most highly recommended spas and included information on the different spa treatments as well as a soothing eye mask for the trip. (We wound up going to a different place, in a different city, but the massage was still amazing.)

The traditional Cambodian massage is similar to a Thai massage – it does not use oil and can be quite athletic – they stretch and manipulate your body into different positions. I decided not to try this, as it’s not recommended if you have any type of injury or sensitivities, and instead went for a traditional “western” massage complete with locally produced coconut-based oils. I’m so glad I did. This hour of heaven only set us back $10. It was so relaxing, that we went back to the same place the next night. If you find yourself in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, on Serendipity Beach Road, stop by Relax Spa. The manager is Australian (as many of the foreign employees around town were) and is very friendly and helpful. If you’re looking for a place to stay near there, I’d recommend Above Us Only Sky beach bungalows. It’s a little away from the late-night beach partying. The rooms have lovely sea views. You can sit for hours at the bar, on your porch, or in a lounge overlooking the water. Sigh. Wish I was still there! Oh, and the staff was friendly, helpful, and also Australian.

Dancing Apsaras



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