Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Ultimate Birthday Return Gift Ideas for Kids | 50+ Options

Return Gifts in birthdays is a definite new trend. I mean when I was a kid every birthday party would have a cake, some decorations, new clothes, party snacks and some games,

The birthday boy and girl would give you a gift and you'd all enjoy the food, games and fun. End of party!

Today, birthday celebrations are just not so simple. They are large, grand, more commercial, more hype, more stress, more "deep in the pockets"..

And the one thing that is a 'highlight' in almost every birthday party is the 'return gift' - Basically, it is the gift that you (as the host) give to all the kids who attend the party.

Now almost all new-age parents I know break their head over what gift to give.. From some it is about the cost, for some it is about utility, for some it is about a 'unique' gift (that is much the topic of discussion over the next few days!) and for many it is just a 'tick-mark' in the 'To Do list' for any party celebration

Anyways in this post I am sharing a list of return gift birthday ideas for kids

  1. Water Bottle
  2. Lunch Boxes
  3. School bag
  4. Puzzles
  5. Activity Games , between 50 Rs to whatever your budget is
  6. Stationary Box
  7. Pouch
  8. Crayons
  9. Paints and Brushes
  10. Piggy Bank
  11. 3D Drinking glasses
  12. Table Mats with coaster (cartoon characters)
  13. Fridge magnet
  14. Photo frames with instant picture of kids
  15. Home made chocolates
  16. Home made soaps
  17. Printed umbrellas
  18. Wall clocks or table clocks for their room
  19. Dinner plates
  20. Milk mugs
  21. Magnifying glass
  22. Kaleidoscope
  23. "Glowing" bedsheets / bedspreads (which glow in the dark)
  24. Clothes / T-shirts
  25. Baby magnifying glasses
  26. Baby binoculars
  27. Globe
  28. Sling bags
  29. Story books
  30. Coloring books
  31. Personalized journals
  32. Activity Kits for children
  33. Name stickers for labeling their stuff
  34. Personalized sketch books
  35. Sippers
  36. Wall art
  37. Deoderants
  38. Key chains
  39. Named wall decals
  40. Amar Chithra Katha book series
  41. Sipper glasses
  42. Utility Pen Stand
  43. Worksheets for children (To write / draw)
  44. Personalized gifts
                   - Clock (with name / photo of the kid)
                   - Towel (with name / photo of the kid)
                   - Photo frame (with / without photo of the kid)
                   - Milk mug (with name / photo of the kid)
                   - Books (with name / photo of the kid)
                   - Keychains (with name / photo of the kid)
                   - Named bead chains / bracelets
                   - Customized pouch (with name / photo of the kid)
                   - T-shirts (with name / photo of the kid)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

What is your P word today?

A few days back (in a Pensive mood) I shared a "tweet" as below


I got a lot of responses on this, and thought it was worthy of a Post

Those P's which matter
Patience
Perseverance
Power
Position
Perception
Place
Past
Present
Persistence
Positivity
Presence
Proactive
Practice
Purpose
Passion
Play
Pardon
Possibilities
Poised
Polished
Popular
Progress
Please
Perfection
Punctuality
Pension
Pensive
Productivity
Process
Price
Promotion

So what is your P word today? Did I miss anything? Leave a comment to let me know...

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

What "really" matters?

"What "really" matters?", I wonder
In the larger scheme of things
You or Me or Us or All of it

What we did? or
What we did not do?
What we said? or
What we did not say?
What we thought? or
What we did not think?
What difference we made? or
What we did differently?
How we lived our life? or
How we let them live their life?
How we touched their life? or
How we left their life untouched?

A bit of this and a bit of that
is what really matters I think

Life cannot be almost always about you
Neither can it be almost always about them
A fine balance is what it is
To me you you, and make me me...

For with age, experience and time..
I'm beginning to "truly" understand
The life lessons which were told to me
Very very many times

I'll recount some of those life lessons in this post..

(1) Age will catch up on you.. No matter what you do! And it does affect the quality (and quantity) of your life

(2) The little daily things matter the most, and are what bring a smile or laugh or create that special memory

(3) Say Sorry and Thank You here and now. You never really may get the next chance

(4) You will pay a price for your "karma".. Both good, bad and ugly - There is no escape

(5) Stay True to yourself.. When you sleep (both temporary and permanently)

(6) Think before you speak or do something..

(7) So people, relationships are simply not worth investing time and money in. Better to cut your losses and move on

(8) Expectations are the cause for almost every single problem in this world.. Try to expect less

(9) Be clear on your priorities for life.. Live accordingly

(10) Nothing is permanent but change. Today may be the best / worst day of your life. There's no telling how tomorrow can / will be..

(11) There is only so much in your control. Beyond that, what is meant to be will be

(12) Your past defines you, and makes you you. Don't shy away from it

(13) Choose your battles wisely ; Not all battles are worth fighting

(14) Live a little for yourself everyday. After all, the longest and most lasting relationship you'll ever have is with yourself

(15) It is OK to break the rules once in a way, as long as you're not really on the wrong side of the law

(16) If it means something deeply to you, do it today

(17) Laugh and smile a little everyday

(18) Give a hug to a special him / her everyday

(19) A daily routine and self-discipline are two of the biggest assets you can ever have. Invest on building them. They will hold you in good stead on many a rainy day

(20) Once lost, something's will never ever ever come back to you...

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Is there any value in sheer “PRESENCE”?


There are so many times / situations / circumstances in life when you find people just “present” – required / not required or invited / uninvited or welcome / unwelcome. They grace the occasion with their “presence”

Sometimes they observe everything with a keen eye
Sometimes they are just not interested
They say nothing
They do nothing
They add nothing
But they are physically present…
Let me give you a few real-life examples:

Case 1 | There’s an accident on the road, and you see a crowd. A big crowd of people who neither helps, nor assists nor asks or says anything. They simply stand and watch. Like it’s an entertainment show or it is live entertainment. The situations needs people to act and assist in any possible way (Call the police, Call the ambulance, Help the accident victims, etc.) – But the vast majority grace the event with their presence..
Is there any value in “sheer presence”?

Case 2 | There’s a family function, and I observe many people again grace the occasion just by their presence. They again neither greet anyone nor smile nor participate nor say anything. They’re lost in their own world, do what they have to do; and leave.
Is there any value in “sheer presence”?

Case 3 | In everyday life, you see so many such people in so many instances. At the market, at the malls, at home, at the workplace… you see them everywhere. They are just “present” – Don’t really say anything worthwhile, don’t really do anything worthwhile..
Is there any value in “sheer presence”?

I can’t help but wonder
Do they really have nothing to do with their time or life?
What’s on their minds?
That makes them simply present

Do they not understand the need of the hour?
Do they not know what to say?
Do they not know what to do?
Do they not want to do / say anything?
Do they not understand that they can say something?
Do they not understand that they can do something?
Do they not understand that they can make a difference?

Agreed that many of us “grace” situations / events / occasions several times in our life out of choice / compulsion, and hence we “turn-off” due to sheer disinterest or we are pre-occupied elsewhere. But if you find it as a repeated behavior in yourself / someone almost all the time.. Then what?

May be some pondering
May be some reflection
May be some self-awareness
May be some introspection
May be some questioning
May be some self-examination
May be look for some answers…

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

What makes a good "Reality TV Show" judge?

Over the past few years, the number of Reality TV shows has boomed. Almost every TV channel has one / several reality shows running at any given point of time. And while each show has different idea / concept / focus, one thing is definite - Having a known / celebrity judge!

After all, one reason for audience interest and good TRP's (Target Rating Points) is to have an interesting / diverse panel of judges who can provide feedback (and much needed "drama") during the show.

So I can't help and wonder "What really makes a good "Reality TV Show" judge?" (Celebrity status aside)

In this blog, listing my views:
(1) Knowledge on what's being judged (Be it music, dance, drama, performance, cooking, etc.)

(2) Some level of real-life "Hands-On" experience on what's being judged. And some public credentials to speak / show for the same. So if you're judging a dance show, you should have some real experience in dance or performing arts

(3) Maturity to judge a show (Not every one can qualify to judge, no matter what level of knowledge and expertise you have!)

(4) Unbiased / Neutral in views / opinions / perspectives

(5) Ability to give "constructive feedback" to the participants. And I don't mean you should be nice always, but you should be sensitive NOT to destroy an individual's self-confidence, especially since it is up for public viewing

(6) Openness to accept (in public) when you're Wrong

(7) Willingness to apologize (in public) if the situation warrants

(8) Good communication skills - After all, you should be able to make your point, and explain it!

(9) Sense of humor; to laugh at yourself in public & laugh with / at others

(10) Well dressed : After all, you are in front of public eyes for that 1 hour. So it makes sense to dress up well.

That's my view! What's yours? Leave a comment to let me know