“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” ~Mother Theresa
Now that we’ve made it through Thanksgiving, it seems like holiday shopping is on everyone’s mind. We all want to find the perfect gift for those we care about and it can really end up being quite stressful, especially if you wait until the last minute. Here is a list of five things you can do today to help make your gifts more unique and thoughtful.
1. Determine Your Budget – for the holiday season and then for each individual and stick to it. A small budget may require you to be more creative but a great gift is still possible.
There are plenty of great low or no-cost gift options as well such as giving someone your copy of your favorite book, a certificate for some of your time for babysitting, dog-walking, knitting lessons, or making something homemade (see ideas below).
My friend Kathirynne also wrote a great article on Phenomenal Gift Giving on a Less-Than-Phenomenal Budget.
2. Brainstorm and Personalize – take a blank piece of paper and a few minutes to brainstorm the interests of your gift recipient. Once you have a good list, then you can really personalize the gift, a key component for thoughtful gift giving. Some ideas may include:
- Make a CD of podcasts for someone who listens to them
- For a quilter, purchase a great book on quilts or some lessons at the local fabric store
- Get a coffee lover their favorite kind of coffee and a nice travel mug
- Put together a picnic basket with all the ingredients for a great picnic
3. Consider Giving Clutter-Free Gifts – It seems like we all have too much “stuff” in our lives and giving a clutter-free gift is a great way to help simplify your gift recipient’s life. Some great clutter-free gift ideas include:
- Gift certificates for experiences such as classes, museums, dinners, concerts, manicures, pedicures, etc.
- Food items you know they’ll love like Tazo Tea, spices, chocolates, wine, or a pie
- Memberships to clubs, associations, zoos, or to the museum.
- All the ingredients and a recipe for a simple yet elegant meal.
- A paper shredder – we all have personal and financial papers that pile up and could use some help to get organized in the New Year.
4. Consider Homemade – Close friends and family will appreciate a thoughtful homemade gift such as jelly, sauces, salsas, soaps, scarves, candles, or some scented sachets made with herbs from your garden.
5. Include a card with a heartfelt message. This is perhaps the most overlooked way to make a gift thoughtful. Taking the time to write a personal message in your card tells the person they are important and that you cared enough to personalize the card. Consider telling them what you appreciate most about them or thank them for specific contributions they made during the year.
Psychologists have been able to show that the act of gift giving benefits both the giver and the receiver. This year, take the time to make your gifts thoughtful and heartfelt, enjoy the spirit of the season, and help spread feelings of love and caring with each gift. Happy Holidays!