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A tisket, a tasket
a spiritual lift in a gift basket

Michelle Sessions DiFranco | Photography by Phillip Shippert

Not long ago, a friend of mine was sharing how down she was feeling. She was pondering a litany of new-age remedies for her slump. At the end of the talk, she suggested that we go and get a pedicure together to help get her mind off of her problems. I was up for the pampering, so I agreed to go. About $50 later, our feet were looking better than they had in months, and she seemed happier. For about an hour. I could tell the quick fix of the pedicure was wearing off and that those feelings of despair were returning to plague her soul. The reality is that no pedicure, aroma therapy, or any other holistic wellness plan was going to help her. I think she truly needed something much deeper, and although I knew darn well what it was, I didn’t bring him up. My friend was not a very religious person and I was a little hesitant about ‘going there.’

In the coming days, my lack of courage started to bother me. Why is it so acceptable in our culture to turn to yoga, meditation CDs, or a self-proclaimed TV ‘expert’ for healing and wellness, but yet sometimes awkward for us to suggest turning to God who is, after all, the source of all happiness? While pondering, I realized I needed to be a bit strategic and somehow ‘ease’ God into her situation. I needed to introduce the idea to her nonverbally. I had an idea.

Gift baskets have always been a great way to show kindness to someone, and I absolutely love creating them for family and friends for different occasions. I knew my friend would love one ‘ especially if it was stuffed with ‘wellness’ items. But among the herbal tea, scented candles and hand lotion, this basket was going to make room for a little bit of God. It offered a mix of things to make a person feel better ‘ topically and spiritually. I included items that are as faith-building as they are meditative and interesting.

Do you know of anyone who could use a spiritual lift? Consider making them one of these baskets. And if it’s well received, it just may casually open the door to deeper discussions about real prayer and how it can help ‘ far beyond Tai Chi, nature-sound CDs, and yes, even a $50 pedicure.


For the project shown, you will need:

    1 medium size basket
    basket filler
    prayer card
    Catholic book of prayers
    Gregorian Chant CD (or any relaxing Christian music)
    hand cream or any spa products of choice

    can of soup or chocolates (or any other comfort food items)
    box of herbal tea
    ceramic mug


    Line basket with filler and then arrange items in any fashion. For an added touch, wrap with clear cellophane and tie with a ribbon and gift card.

More ideas

    For the chocolate lover, create a basket with different chocolate candies and cookies, hot cocoa mix, and a mug among the spiritual items.
    For a spa theme, find a cotton-lined basket and fill with lotions, body wash, bath oils and a body sponge among the spiritual items.

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