How do we show those we love how we truly feel? Are you starting to feel the pre-made gift sets or standard trendy gifts are not quite aligning with your personal zest for gift giving but lack the time or resources to pull off something more intentional and unique? Here are some of my strategies to keeping a tight budget, maximizing a busy schedule and still being known as a great gift giver.
- Start thinking weeks/months in advance. I always set annual calendar reminders in my phone for folks who I know I want to give a little more TLC and appreciation to on their birthday, special milestones, or even holidays like Christmas.
- Listening to what your loved ones say. Usually, when your loved one says something in Sept/Oct they are not typically thinking you will remember what they said months ago and it means so much more to them that they know that you were listening, that you remembered and you took the time to prioritize it for them.
- Think about what that person means to you. I always like to give cards with an essay about why I appreciate that person, our relationship and their/our growth during the last year. It’s like a little time capsule that person can keep as a memento to look back to when they need a pick me up or even a chuckle.
- Ask yourself if there are any special items or activities that your loved one is usually too humble or busy to personally splurge on. I remember once, my friend got me a gift card for a very fancy custom making bra store because she knew with my budget lifestyle I was not likely to splurge on for this type of thing. At first, I thought it was a weird gift but I actually ended up loving it because she hit the nail on the head with helping me pamper myself in a more practical way.
- Research, explore, and embrace the gift giving experience. I like the old saying “work smarter, not harder.” This may sound counter intuitive but spending a bit of time here or there to research different products or blogs/Pinterest with their mountains of ideas and resources; it can truly help get your creative juices flowing. Once you have your idea. SLEEP ON IT. Impulse gifting, can sometimes work out but more often than not it can be disastrous.
You picked up that box set on your way home after work, or grabbed that pretty jewelry piece at your local store, it’s wrapped and discretely hidden… But… in 5 years… will you or the receiver remember that gift? Do you feel the gift reflects your relationship? Let’s say, Margaret has been really wanting the GoT box set for forever but… it is out of her budget. This could be a great gift BUT I encourage you to personalize it. When I’m buying gifts that are less obviously thoughtful, I always add a little sparkle, this can be a heart-warming message in a card, adorably hand made wrapping, homemade cookies etc.
- Don’t be afraid to let your inner artist shine. Adults can often struggle to still find opportunities to maximize their personal creative side. Gifting can be one of those conduits to tapping into that inner drive to make something beautiful and impactful for the people who mean the most to you.