On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…Eight Maids a Milking
As the song goes on, the gifts seem to get more elaborate! The maids a milking referenced are not really anything to do with the milking of cows but that ‘maid’ is short for ‘maiden’ meaning a young, unmarried woman so the song is talking about the gift of romance and courtship. The number eight is also significant as it represents the eight Beatitudes from the gospel of Mathew Chapter 5: 3-12 in the New Testament of the Bible. These were the instructions for living a Christian life given by Jesus on the Sermon on the Beatitudes Mountain. If they are considered a gift, then there comes a challenge in the true meaning of Christmas all that comes with the gift of knowing Christ.
1.Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
2.Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
3.Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
4.Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
5.Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
6.Blessed are pure in heart, for they shall see God.
7.Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.
8.Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.Matthew 5v3-12
These instructions for living are all focused around others, be the servant rather than expect to be served, be slow to anger, make peace with others, consider others’ points of view, mourn with people who are in need and stand up for what is right. To be considered as children of God, what a gift!
I’ve had quite a lot of fun with the Eco Gift ideas for this post. From the success of the various things I have done before using Mason Jars, posts on Lace Jar Medely and Cookies in a Jar, I decided to come up with ‘8 ways to gift a milk bottle’ for some Eco inspiration for using Eco- friendly recyclable glass milk bottles.
This is one of my all time favourite little Eco Gifts. Inside the bottle is a unique little Eco mini eco-system that generates the perfect environment to sustain plant life. Condensation forms on the inside of the glass and the water droplets roll down into the soil to water the plants. The moisture recycling continues without the need for added water and the plants will thrive in the moisture-rich environment. After planting the terrarium, the garden goes on autopilot and all you have to do is enjoy looking at them! It is made using layers of drainage stones, charcoal (which you can buy from pet shops as it it used for cleaning fish tanks) some soil, moss, decorative stones and a little succulent plant. See instructions below for how to build your terrarium in a bottle.
2. Hot Cocoa Reindeer
Fill the jar with some instant hot chocolate and top with mini marshmallows. Decorate the bottle with a red nose, some googly eyes and pipe cleaner antlers for a cosy hot chocolate gift.
3. Sweets in a a jar
These make really easy low cost gifts. for the snowman I used imperial mints, for the robin chocolate raisins. The Jelly Belly jar is a good eco conscious option as they are certified as vegetarian, gluten free and have no palm oil unlike other jelly bean type sweets.
4. Cookies and milk for Santa
This is a really easy idea, swap the lid for a lid with a reusable straw and fill with some Cookie Crisp cereal as its really cute and looks like mini-cookies. My chidden will eat them as a little tasty snack. Santa will certainly love this gift!
5. Science Experiment in a Jar
This is another of my favourite Eco gift ideas, as it gifts something other than food that gets children’s minds going! It is a really easy and effective experiment where crystals attach to the pipe cleaner and grow in the salt solution. I have used Epom salts (Magnesium Sulphate) which is cheap to buy from health stores. It is a fairly harmless chemical compound if used correctly but not suitable for younger children as could be consumed or they get in their eyes. Also help from an adult will be needed when boiling and pouring the water. The experiment does also work with regular table salt but the results are not so reliable. See the instructions here:
6. Ship in Bottle
Putting a ship in a bottle dates back to the mid 18th century and was thought to have been a pastime for sailors at sea. They would create mini versions of the boat they were sailing and place in a bottle in case of a storm it is a record of the ship. I have always been intrigued about how the ship squeezes through the bottle neck. It is actually some clever engineering with some pullies and string that lifts the sails once inside. For my version of the ship in a bottle is a simple origami boat. I then used a cocktail stick with a sail reading ‘adventure’ with a thread attached to it to pull up the sail. I then replaced the crew top lid with a cork. I think many people will like the sentiment of a gift of going on an adventure with someone as being thoughtful.
7. Festive Vase
Decorating a jar to be filled with flowers is a lovely gift for all year round. It would look lovely with some lavender from my post on lavenders blue. I spray-painted the milk bottle with silver paint and added some ribbon as trim. Instead of flowers, I collected some twigs from the garden and added some small red pom-poms to look like little berries. It could also make a festive table decoration.
8. Mindfulness quotes in a bottle
Filling a jar with inspirational thoughts and quotes is a lovely way to gift positivity. I really like that this is something that can last well beyond Christmas and could even help people through the rest of the winter months. There are things you can do for example, fill the jar with bible verses or things to be thankful for. I have filled this jar with quotes from the author Roald Dahl and some of his famous book characters like this quote from Charlie and the Chocolate factory. The rest of the quotes can be downloaded if you like this idea too!
We are all a great deal luckier than we realize, we usually get what we want – or near enough.
There are so many ways to gift a jar and something everyone would like. My job now is to think of others and work out who will be getting each of these jars as a Christmas present this year. My children all have their watchful eye on the Jelly Belly jar!
On the eighth day of Christmas my true love sent to me Eight Maids a Milking, Seven Swans a Swimming, Six Geese a laying, Five Gold Rings. Four Calling Birds, Three French Hens, Two Turtle Doves and A Partridge in a Pear Tree.