As holidays are approaching, it’s that time of the year when minds start drifting from to do lists to a desire to zoom out. Zoom out from the external world and zoom into ourselves, love, friendship, soul. We are reminded that to sit down with loved ones and be grateful above all for that, for being able to sit down and enjoy the company of loved ones – that IS the greatest gift of all. Some of you who are reading this are waiting to soon travel to family or waiting for family to come to you. All these things and the ability to just inhale and relax and appreciate are what the magic of Christmas and the holidays is made of. That being said, who doesn’t like a nice gift? There are a few weeks left but it can be so nice to spend some of that time preparing special gifts and moments, don’t you think? So, we will start Christmas a bit early with some suggestions from us on how to give love with gifts from… Kenya of course! We have made a list of different kinds of gifts that require different amounts of time, energy or investment because we all have different resources. Let’s always remember that gifts are symbols and the value comes from the thought behind them.
Music is the ultimate love gift and can be given in so many ways… It can be a ticket to a gig or an album. But it can also be a playlist with songs that tell the story of your love. And if you’re lucky enough to know how to sing or play… composing a song for your love is… well it cannot get better than that, can it?
Check the websites of your and your love’s favourite artists – maybe they are playing live soon? Over here, we are making all kinds of bespoke playlists and also sending Sauti Sol’s new album to friends far away. But… hey… there is a new JAB album on the way too…And our favorite voice of love has a new album out, Mayonde. MiKe loves Mayonde.
Fashion & accessories
There is so much beautiful fashion designed and made in Kenya. We can give Kenyan designers valuable support by showing them that they are doing the right thing by using domestic materials and using local employees for production. Depending on your budget you can find anything from an amazing outfit or piece of clothing to beautiful hand-made accessories.
Photography & art
A print of a beautiful photo or piece of art is such a wonderful gift. Be creative about the subject. Find the personal detail that makes it special. Or go to an exhibition, and see which photo your love likes the most, maybe its for sale? Or maybe take your love to a photographer so that he/she can have their photo taken by a real pro? (MiKe fantasizes about Wainana portraits too…) If you don’t know how to find or choose a photographer we suggest you look around in our Instagram gallery and see if there is someone whose style you like and take it from there.
Budget too tight for that? Don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to tell someone you love them through art without having to pay anything at all. Tag him or her in art posts on Instagram with a special message. Go to an art exhibition. Go take a walk together in a beautiful place and take photos of each other with your mobile phone cameras. Remember, art is everywhere for an eye that sees beauty, and sharing perspectives with people we love is a precious and intimate gift.
Yoga & other spiritual gifts
Christmas is the perfect time for gifts that are not material but rather experiences (if they can be shared even better) or tools for personal development. So among the things that we would wish for the most are taking a yoga class with a loved one or a road trip to a beautiful forest. A weekend trip is great of course but watching a starry sky together can be amazing anywhere… it’s about who you see those stars with and what you see in the stars.
Sweets with your sweetheart
Love is sweet and dessert is a perfect love meal. For us its all about 1) sharing rasberry tartlette at Art Caffé or 2) sharing sugar cane while on road trip. But sweetness like love is everywhere so find your favorite chocolate, vanilla, ice cream, fruit or something else that you can flavour your Christmas kisses with!
This is our musical gift to you, a playlist with some of our favourite Kenyan artists. Why don’t you share it with your friends who have not discovered Kenyan music yet? And please feel free to give suggestion on what we should add using the comments field in this post.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE! Thank you for being part of MeanwhileinKenya’s first whole year.