It is not a matter of how much you spend this holiday season that will make your family and friends feel loved and appreciated, it's how much love you put into the gift. To spend money is easy, to be thoughtful can be exhausting. Many of us give gift cards and then receive a gift card in return. Is that giving, or just trading?
Not to worry, here are a few ideas to make your gift giving more meaningful this season.
1. Handmade, trumps everything. This does not mean you need to make it yourself! It only means to buy something from an artisan, craftsman or local maker. Most likely the artisan will have taken into account all the details of the unwrapping experience. There are plenty of websites to look for handmade items, such as Amazon Handmade, Etsy and handmade shops like The Green Hand Company. Not only is a handmade gift loaded with charm it is also good for the environment in so many ways.
2. Personalize anything and everything. Close relationships all have inside jokes, family quotes and saying that are so hilarious that, yes I know, I had to be there. Websites like Zazzle have printable options to personalize everything from phone cases to poker chips.
3. Give them your time. Ikea's commercial this year is brilliant. First, they asked kids what they wanted from Santa Claus and the list of toys where fast and furious. Then, they asked the kids what they wanted from their parents and they all said they wanted to spend time with them. Simply make a "gift card" for an entire day that is completely theirs where they get to decide where to go and what to do, eat, etc.
4. Make gift giving rules. Either come up with a dollar amount that everyone has to stick to or pick and item that is easy find. My siblings and I exchange Christmas tree ornaments every year. My sister, Diane, came up with this idea many years ago. Now, I love shopping for special ornaments for them. Sometimes the ornaments are personal and sweet and other times they are outrageous and crazy. It certainly eliminates stress trying to find the perfect gift.
5. Packaging, packaging, packaging. Let's face it, your gift could be the wrong size, the wrong color or just the wrong everything. However, if you arrive with your gift presented to perfection in wrapping so spectacular it will show that you love them and that you truly tried. If your gift is equally spectacular in reusable packaging you can't get any better than that!
If you have thoughtful giving ideas, I would love to hear about them! Please post them below.