Oct 9, 2015

Gaby Demby: Shabbat at home (Tags for treats)

by Gaby Demby

If you grew up in a home that observed Shabbat even slightly, you’re probably accustomed to the idea of a Shabbat treat. In many Jewish homes, parents give their children a Shabbat treat. This teaches the child that Shabbat is something to look forward to, and that Shabbat is more special than any other day of the week. A Shabbat treat is not only for children, spouses can spoil each other with a thoughtful gift too. I have beautiful young memories of my father coming home from work on a Friday afternoon with a big bouquet of flowers for my mother. As he arrived, my siblings and I would run to his car and wait for him. He would climb out of the car, kiss each of us on our heads, and hand one of us the bunch of flowers to give to our mother. He would then whisper a special secret message that we had to tell our mother when we gave her the flowers. The child who was chosen to give the flowers to our mother would squeal with delight, take the bunch of flowers that were larger than life, and run to our mother to give them to her. I remember the look on her face as we whispered the secret message from our dad, and the excitement we felt knowing that, together with my father, we were making my mother smile. I learnt three beautiful lessons from my father’s actions at a very young age:

1. A gift shows appreciation and makes the receiver feel happy.
2. Even though this happened every week, my mother would react the same way, with gratitude and love. These flowers were never taken for granted.
3. To give is far better than to receive.

My father did something so clever by including us in his gift giving. He gave the flowers to one of us, which made us feel over­the­moon, and then he taught us to give them away to someone else to share the joy we felt. My mother would, in turn, place a pile of my father’s favourite chocolate slabs on his pillow to show her appreciation for him. My father is a choc­a­holic, and would dive into these chocolates the moment he saw them, wearing the biggest smile. These small demonstrations of love, these Shabbat treats, taught me, my sisters and my brother so much about the gift of giving. A Shabbat treat can be anything: a chocolate, some sweets, flowers, a board game, a new pair of socks, a favourite dish for dinner, jewellery, a handwritten note or an extra hug. The idea behind a Shabbat treat is what is important. Here are some thoughtful gift tags that you can print out and attach to your Shabbat treat to let the receiver know that they mean a lot to you.

What you will need:

  • Printer
  • Punch
  • Ribbon or thread
  • Scissors

Before Shabbat, print out the tags you want to use. Punch a hole and thread a ribbon or thread through it, then tie this ribbon, with the tag attached, to your gift.

Gaby Demby

Gabriela has never met a cup of tea she didn’t like. This writer is a novelist in the making, and has her sights set on bringing back a true appreciate for the written word. Gabriela is also a make-up artist and has a burning passion for reading, writing and travelling. Gabriela loves all things colourful, and draws a lot of inspiration from the people she surrounds herself with. Her over-active imagination combined with her background in creative brand communications has lead her to a career in creative writing and conceptual thinking.

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