To continue down my path of creativity lessons learned from my family ... another one from my grandmother:
My brother and sister and I called our grandmother Nanny. And, with all the wonderful creativity of children, we named her cookies Nanny's Cookies. You can see I was brilliant even at an early age.
Anyway, Nanny would bring us a big box of these butter cookies in all sorts of beautiful flower shapes. And, somewhere in the box, among all those cookies, was one cookie shaped like an H, one like a J and one like an E. Harry and Eva and I would tear into that box, searching for our special cookie. And that one cookie always tasted just a little better than the rest.
The lesson: It generally doesn't take too much effort to make people feel special. What it does take is thought. And the willingness to make a little creative effort. So think about it. Make the effort. And let people know they matter.
P.S. Leslie asked for the cookie recipe. Nanny didn't write everything down, but Eva found this version. None of the versions I've tried taste exactly right. But I may just be missing my J.
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg -- whole
3 egg yolks
flavor -- lemon and vanilla (no amount listed)
3 1/2 cups flour
3 level tsp. baking powder
1/2 package cream cheese
Mix it up, keep in ice box for a while before baking at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.
(She also used food coloring, brown and pink and yellow, but that's not listed. She separated the dough, put coloring in it, used one of those cookie presses, so the flowers came out multi-colored.)