Quelle trouvaille!

Quelle trouvaille!

kell troo-VAH-yuh! Click below to hear this. 
What a find!
Some people just have a knack for finding the right gift for a person. Seeing the face of the recipient opening a gift like that is priceless! And the best gifts don’t have to be expensive. The nice thing about a trouvaille is that it can be a valuable antique uncovered in a flea market, a clever idea, a brilliant solution to a problem–or the very thing that the recipient would have wished for, if they had known it existed. It is simply something you have found, since trouver means to find.
So here are a couple of ideas that may have someone in your family exclaiming “Quelle trouvaille!” 
For the toddler: Take photos of family members, especially ones that live far away. Laminate them, punch a hole in the corner of each, and hang them from a split-ring keyring. Presto, a “book” that your toddler can chew on while learning the faces and names of the extended family.Be sure to include the little one him or herself, as well as the family dog!
For the new baby: Ask your local hardware store if they have a supply of mis-made keys. Pick out a handful, have them grind the keys down to soften  the edges, and thread them on a split-ring keyring. Wash and give to the baby. They jingle just like real keys, so mama’s and papa’s keys won’t disappear anymore! (Hint: when our children were small, we never allowed them to play with the house and car keys, or with our eyeglasses. Not toys!)
For the grade-school child who has just learned to write: A packet of pretty thank-you notes with envelopes, stamps, and a pen in his or her favorite color. Teaching them early to write thank-you notes is the only way to make it stick.
For almost any child: a box of office supplies: round “dot” stickers, sticky notes in various sizes and shapes, a folio with a pad of paper, giant paper clips in different colors, a cool ruler, sturdy alphabet stencils (the kind people use for lettering), stick-on letters and shapes…. Use your imagination!
For the retirement-age adult: At this age, we start thinking about what we can get rid of. To quote my Mother (approximately), “We don”t want anything that needs eating, dusting, hanging, watering, or feeding.” Your folks may feel differently, but when people start to think about retirement, they usually also start thinking about downsizing. Do these people a favor and respect their wishes. Give a gift to a charity, in their name, that you and they believe in. One good option is a gift to UMCOR, the United Methodist Committee on Relief. You don’t have to be a United Methodist at all to love what they do. Every penny that you donate goes for disaster relief. Not 90%, not 99%. Every penny. It’s not about proselytizing, or preaching. It’s about loving our neighbors, no matter how far away they may be. To learn more, go to www.umcor.org.
And someone (if they speak French, at least) is likely to exclaim: Quelle trouvaille! What a brilliant idea!
Alternate audio file link: quelle-trouvaille

5 responses to “Quelle trouvaille!

  1. Great ideas–and you learned your lesson well.

  2. Lots of good ideas here! Along the same lines, I “received” three concerts for my birthday. Homemade certificates inviting me to three different musical treats–Lessons and Carols for Christmas, an organ concert, and the Rochester Philharmonic. These gifts stretch out over three months. Nothing to dust or downsize, a lot to look forward to!

  3. And we just gave a concert as a gift. So fun. Jean, you are my favorite “cool gift” inspiration. Roger the Fox! And Mother, where do you think the key idea came from? :-)

  4. Delightful.Witty. Pleasant. These are generally three descriptions
    that summarizes this weblog. I just read articles here daily and never been
    disappointed.

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