The gift giving season is upon us! The next two months are full of company parties, family gatherings, travel, and the cyclic optimism of welcoming in a New Year. The exchanging of gifts is a common denominator between many of these events. How do you address the gift buying and giving tradition?
We all have different approaches for successful exchanges. I put a lot of thought into gifts. Does the present make him or her happy, do they need it, will they remember it in six months? As I’ve gotten older (and become the mother of three children) my own gift preferences have shifted from nice-to-have items to those that either make my life easier/simpler, or to experiences that involve spending time with someone I love.
In that spirit, I have come up with five ideas for delivering meaningful gifts:
1: Print out curated pictures of family or friends. Digital pictures are great, but they tend to permanently live in our phones or computers. Taking the time to print out and frame a picture is an even more thoughtful gesture in our digital age. If you want to up the ante, find an old unique frame to house the picture.
2: Plan an event or adventure to make a memory such as a daytrip, concert, museum, boat trip, or hike. For birthdays in our house we have a tradition of giving our children one gift and one adventure we do together. Our girls will talk about the adventure for months afterwards.
3: Make a donation to a 529 college savings account instead of spending the money on a gift. This is a great idea for doting grandparents, as this gift blooms profoundly when the recipient walks the college graduation stage. If college is not in the picture, how about a donation to a favorite charity in honor of your loved one?
4: Share a talent such as teaching a child how to make a favorite recipe, play tennis, garden, or a card game. I have great memories of my Granddaddy teaching me how to play dominoes and playing with me for hours on end.
5: Give the gift of time and catch up with old friends. Call, visit, break bread, and share your time to renew old friendships and reaffirm those still going strong. Facebook, Tweeting or texting do not count! The enjoyment of a good conversation will stay with you through the season.
I hope this list sparks a gift idea that will be well received by the recipient and a joy to give. Would love to hear of new ideas or if you used any of my suggestions.
“To gain the full measure of Joy, you must have someone to divide it with” Mark Twain
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