It’s easy to get stressed out this time of year. Stress tends to suck the joy out of Christmas. Here are five simple ways to work smarter – not harder – when it comes to buying presents for loved ones.
1. Keep your ear out. Listen to what catches people’s interest and attention. Notice if they mention liking something repeatedly. This is key to good gift giving. Pay attention to details. I try to jot them down. I even have a friend who has an Excel chart of gifts she’s given and gift ideas for the future. Not a bad idea.
2. Keep your eyes out. Be on the lookout year round. If you’re out on holiday and find something you know your Mom or friend would love, grab it. Give it when you return or stash it for the special occasion. Just last week my dear friend gave me the original expresso maker from her trip to Italy. She traversed all over town, hunting down the exact store that sold the first model. Legit. That definitely made it on the list of top gifts ever given to me.
3. Get personal. Know what their hobbies are and what’s on their bucket list. If they dream of going to Paris, how about a gift card for a fancy French restaurant and movie tickets to a French film? If they like to cook, give them a French cookbook and gift card to a specialty food store. Give a subscription to an interest magazine, or “of the month clubs” ( 3 month to 24 month club options) for their special obsessions.
4. Think of what they would want. As obvious as it sounds, it’s actually counterintuitive. We tend to default to being attracted to and giving what we would want. Try to imagine what they would buy for themselves. On the same note, give them something they would want, not what you think they need. For example, don’t give a fashion challenged brother, who buys the same pair of tennis shoes every year, a pair of fashion sneakers in a trendy color. They might end up gathering dust at the back of the closet.
5. Small gifts and thoughtfulness. Big, expensive gifts aren’t the only things that spark warm fuzzies. People feel loved and appreciated by thoughtfulness. Express why you purchased or made what you gave them. It will be more valued by them when they hear the heart behind it. The more personal the gift is, the more endearing it will be. If you are short on cash, upping the thoughtfulness increases worth. For example, if your friend has a sweet tooth, you can give a them a $5 gift card to their favorite local creamery, and tell them it’s for a scoop of their favorite ice cream and topping after their big work project or college finals are completed.
Great gifts don’t have to be expensive. The more thought you put into your giving, the more meaningful and joyful giving the gift will be. What a wonderful way to celebrate the best gift of all this year, Jesus Christ and His gift of salvation.
Please Share: What’s the best gift you’ve received. Why was it so memorable?