Image via 100 Layer Cake
Let’s all just face it: there’s a real art to gift giving – an underrated, oft under appreciated, dying art that has a real bad reputation amongst the practical minded. So here is my personal contribution to the furthering of successful, conscious gift giving; a list of rules. 5 to be exact.
Good gift giving that will have the recipient feeling special and loved does not involve a lot of money, or any. What it does involve though is thought, heart, and good old fashioned observation. Take a moment to contemplate those other, previously mentioned dying arts, while you’re at it. They’re a lot harder to come by than money, and a lot more valuable.
People drop unintentional and intentional hints all over the place. My advice is to look for the unintentional ones. Take the Internet personalities of your favorite people, for example. I’m sure they’ve pinned, posted, and re-posted all sorts of little ideas for you to pilfer through. And if you’re looking to surprise the Luddite in your life, look at their things. Listen to them. A good idea will surface.
Have confidence in your own love and understanding. Chances are, you’re a good person who loves to make the people you love happy. And you also know how to do so – you do it all the time. Channel that love into something timely and tangible.
Be creative and research. A gift does not have to be store bought, new, expensive, full price, or factory made. Say you know what so-and-so wants, but you can’t find it in stores, or you can’t afford it. Comb those thrift stores, Google DIY options, dig around Etsy and Pinterest for ideas. Find an esteemed used book on something they love the most. This is the Information Age, after all, and your loved ones are worth the time and energy.
Never forget the tried and true element of surprise. So, you can’t afford anything this year. So what. Welcome to the club. I guess you just have to think harder than usual. Maybe get your hands a little dirty. We all want to feel loved and appreciated, and the tiniest of things relay that very message. Believe it. Make it happen.
So, those are my abstract rules. As for some concrete ideas…
Take your favorite recipe, or even one that comes highly recommended, and creatively package up all the ingredients. Write/type up the recipe on some nice, heavy keepsake paper and box it up all pretty. Voila – the pleasure of baking something delicious that they can enjoy at their leisure. I’m thinking of doing this very thing with this recipe. The gift that keeps on giving!
Or maybe your significant other has been meaning to mend something, or clean something, or paint something, or plant something, or create something. Chances are good that this is so. Well, do that something for them. Sew on a button, patch a hole, complete that project he/she has been talking about for forevs, replace their old shoelaces. Just get something done – we all appreciate being able to cross something off our lists, and to get something we love back and in better condition than ever feels SO good to those of us who appreciate the worn-in, well-loved things of life.
Here’s to a thoughtful holiday season – one where we don’t resent each other for the more money spent, or for the self-fabricated thoughts in our head that so-and-so only appreciates expensive gifts. People are people, and we all just like to give and receive sweet little presents sometimes. Big whoop. So have at it, with love.