"The lack of emotional security of our American young people is due, I believe, to their isolation from the larger family unit. No two people - no mere father and mother - as I have often said, are enough to provide emotional security for a child. He needs to feel himself one in a world of kinfolk, persons of variety in age and temperament, and yet allied to himself by an indissoluble bond which he cannot break if he could, for nature has welded him into it before he was born."
- Pearl S. Buck
Journal: Family Recipes
Buy a beautiful journal, some high-quality pens and fill the first few pages with your favorite family recipes. Think about the dishes you most enjoyed as a child or those your children love the most. Leave plenty of blank pages for her to add her own treasures to the collection of family recipes, kitchen tips and wisdoms.
Pillow: "You can lean on me"
A pillow with a beautiful, comfy pillow case makes an excellent present for anyone in a difficult situation. Whether confinement to bed due to illness, requiring back support for the elderly or "a shoulder to cry on" for someone going through a rough patch - this is a fantastic and personal gift providing comfort, both physically and mentally.
Electronics: Web Cam
Is a loved one moving away, or indeed, are you moving away? Why not give Ka web cam so you can keep in touch? With high-speed internet connections being available almost anywhere in the world, it is easy enough to keep in touch.
Photo album of my childhood
It had all of the pictures my parents didn't have...pictures of me as a baby / small child when I spent random weekends with her, family trips we took together when my parents forgot their camera, past Christmases, etc.
Pillow for my dorm room bed, called a "husband"
As I was getting ready to leave home for the first time to go to college, my sister-in-law came to visit carrying something she called a "husband." It was a pillow with a big back and arms that I could put on my dorm room bed and recline on. I had never heard of nor seen anything like it, but she assured me that it would be very useful. I was skeptical but took it to college with me anyway. I noticed a few other people had one so I put it out on my bed. Wow! I could lay back and still do my homework. It was so comfortable and I used it every day. As a matter of fact, I kept and used that pillow for ten years after college graduation before it finally feel apart. This was a very thoughtful, useful, and long-lasting gift.
It was not new, it was so ugly, and it was one she had had for a while that sat on the back of her dresser and had dust caked on it. It had no sentimental value and she was just being mean by giving it to me.
Purple stringy textured zip up robe
I had been asking for a robe like grandpa's. A TIED robe. I had had zip ups before but felt a tied robe was more mature, seeing as I was in high school. I had specifically asked for a tied robe but for some reason my grandmother bought me this horrendous purple zip up instead. I felt like she didn't listen to me, like what I said didn't matter.
A man's thick choker necklace
Well being a woman, I don't typically wear men's jewelry. Obviously my grandma doesn't know the difference, so I had to pretend like I loved it. It was actually rather entertaining. Some of my aunts and uncles and cousins got the giggles.
Families are like fudge - mostly sweet with a few nuts.
When our relatives are at home, we have to think of all their good points or it would be impossible to endure them.
The great gift of family life is to be intimately acquainted with people you might never even introduce yourself to, had life not done it for you.
Nobody has ever before asked the nuclear family to live all by itself in a box the way we do. With no relatives, no support, we've put it in an impossible situation.
Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.