Friday, November 16, 2012

Meaningful Gift Giving!

My Friend Amy had a wonderful idea to do a post where we share some ideas on how we can give more meaningful gifts during the holidays. Here are some tips I've used over the past couple of years:
1)Made vs Purchased : There seems to be a great shift towards homemade gifts lately. Making your own gifts has a lot of benefits. If you enjoy baking or crafting it can be really soothing to take time to make gifts for other.
This year I'm making bath salts, lip glosses and scented bookmarks for gifts. I'm also using postcards as gift tags so I can save money on boxed cards and add personal notes.
2) Gift Cards: Everyone has their favorite haunts. Clients and friends know I'm addicted to Starbucks and Barnes & Nobles. So I'm always pleased to get gift cards from both each year. I pay attention to places people talk about and shop at. A great many people are cutting back on items they consider luxuries that they would welcome as gifts: hair cuts, Mani- pedi's facials and morning coffee runs. These type of gifts are sometimes thought impersonal but in today's world are a joy to receive.
3) Don't be Embarrassed to Bargain Shop: I have two really good shops near me : The 99 cent store and The Dollar Tree. I usually go to these stores like paper towels, trash bags, etc. During the holidays however they have some amazing gift items. A few years ago I gave my client this really nice cross stitched holiday pillow. It really fit her style but as I was getting ready to give it to her I felt really embarrassed. It was only a dollar! What was I thinking?! My client however loved it and she displays it every holiday season.
4) Honor those in a Humbug Mood:
Last year in the beginning of November someone mentioned the Holidays at work and our office manager blurted out " I'm not doing anything for Christmas! I cant afford it, I don't want anything !"
It was a spontaneous rant and she didn't mean to offend but was just sharing her feelings. Now usually I would get her a gift and I was struggling over what to do. I really appreciate her support and wanted to tangibly show it with a gift. I realised however that I was just thinking about my need to give and not her wishes.
So I didn't buy her a gift or give her a card. I did however bring her a chocolate bar that we had been talking about. I casually gave it to her and we even shared it. It was a valuable lesson to me and so I make sure I tune into people I want to give gifts to. If they really aren't into the season I choose to just give them verbal holiday greetings.
Hope these tips are helpful. thanks to Amy for such a great idea!


Laurie C said...

This was a great post! That's a good point about not letting your need to give outweigh someone's stated preference for not exchanging gifts. I'm finally old enough to think "how nice!" if someone gives me a little gift and not feel guilty if I don't have something to give to that person. Sometimes we have the pleasure of giving and sometimes of receiving!

Amy said...

aw Kai! I love what you wrote about your need vs. someone else's preference as well. It's something I struggle with and I needed to hear someone else say it.

Great ideas!! Thanks so much for participating and your homemade gifts sound great.

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