Make your Presents Count


By Thamar Jones
Christmas is a time of joy and celebration but it is also a time of hustling, bustling, and tension because of all the time and money we spend to make it just so. There is a fine line that can easily be crossed. On one side there is the simple joy of togetherness and Christmas cheer and on the other is the aggressive commercialized atmosphere that implores us to do so much and spend, spend, spend.
The gifts we purchase for others often takes a big chunk of our Christmas holiday budget. Mind you, there is nothing at all wrong with presents. I like presents-Giving and receiving! However, if we are going to be spending time and money to gift to the ones we love, we should make sure to put some love and thought behind it. Thoughtful gifts are ones that say, “You are someone special to me, I have gotten to know you, I want to add value to your life with this gift!” It’s rarely about the cost of the goods, but the value they bring to the person receiving them.
Here are some simple, and surprisingly inexpensive ways of giving the perfect gift.
Plan ahead
Considerate gift giving is as much about planning as it is about how well you know the person. Take time to think about the recipient’s personality and interests to figure out how he or she will get the most value or gratification. Map out a list of your ideas to help you stay organized and make sure you find the perfect fit for everyone.
Don’t focus on cost
The practice of thoughtful giving offers a wealth of benefits, but that doesn’t mean givers should focus on big price tags. In fact, thoughtful gift givers don’t dwell on the cost of presents. It seems that having more cash could actually reduce compassion– and isn’t compassion what this time of year is all about? So don’t sweat it if you don’t have a lot to spend. Instead, get creative.
Make it personal
Gifting is an opportunity to let a person know how much you appreciate and love them, and show how well you know them.Your Aunt Margaret is a terrific cook? Why not make her a cook book of her best recipes?! Even when gifting an item that is store bought, personalize it in some way. Engrave a fountain pen with your best friends name and his favorite quote on it!
Get crafty
Homemade gifts can add a bit of sparkle to the holidays. Love to sew? Keep your friends or family warm with mittens, a scarf, or a hat. Feel at home in the kitchen? Whip up some special treats and place them on a pretty, vintage dish. My mom often gift her nieces with a ‘baking canister,’ She fill a canister with ingredients for a cake, or cookies or brownies, with exact measurements. Then she attaches a handmade recipe card around the top of the lid. Talk about sweet and thoughtful.
Presentation is key
Thoughtful gifters pay attention to detail, including how their gifts are wrapped. See what you have around your house to customize generic packaging. You can tie on a decoration that fits the theme of your gift, such as a small sequined keychain if your present is a wallet or handbag.
When in doubt, ask
There’s always someone on the list who leaves you stumped. If you’re truly at a loss, it’s totally OK to ask for a little help from a close friend or family member of even the person you’re shopping for. Also, remember that the old clichéa about the thought counting is often spot-on. The act of giving a gift is in itself a thoughtful gesture!