How to give a more meaningful Christmas gift – words Al Woods
For just a moment, let us be the Ghost of Christmas Future. Picture the scene…
It’s Christmas morning, and you’re with your nearest and dearest, enjoying an early glass of mulled wine to celebrate this most festive of days.
The Christmas gifts are all nestled under the tree, and as you start to pass them around, you watch in anticipation as people open the presents you have bought for them. Your heart sinks as their looks of excitement turn into something approaching disappointment, and you realise that once again, you have messed up with your Christmas gift buying. Still, they thank you anyway, but you know, and they know that the gift you so generously bought is only going to end up on eBay or Amazon in the days to come.
If only you had put more thought into what you were going to buy them.
Still, to avoid the embarrassment, now is the time to think a little more carefully about your shopping list. To avoid giving something that will ultimately prove meaningless, here are some tips on giving something a little more meaningful.
Be direct and ask people to give you an idea of what they want. While there will be no element of surprise, you will at least give your family and friends a gift that they actually want, instead of something that offers no meaning or worth to them whatsoever!
Give a lasting gift. Forego novelty gifts or those presents that are used once and never thought about again. Choose something more practical; a gift that will offer value in the weeks and months to come. Examples? Well, you could buy something that has health benefits, such as an Oral B electric toothbrush or a Fitbit. Or you could buy a subscription box, with a monthly supply of whatever the person is into. Buy anything, other than that gift that once opened, will barely be looked at or used again.
Think about the person’s hobby. Not only will such a gift prove useful to the person you are buying it for, but it will also show that you have given some thought and consideration into who the person actually is and what they enjoy. Check out our gift ideas for hobby lovers to get you thinking.
Go back in time. Not literally, unless you happen to bump into the Ghost of Christmas Past. Rather, we are suggesting you appeal to the person’s nostalgic side, with something that will cause them to squeal in childlike excitement when they are able to relive old memories. From classic music albums to vintage toys, scour charity stores, and visit online gift places such as Prezzybox for some awesome retro gift ideas.
Give something you have made yourself. Do you have a specific skill? If so, use your talents into creating a gift for your loved ones. Got a skill with wood? Create a decorative sculpture that would look lovely on their mantelpiece. Have a flair with a paintbrush? Paint a family portrait. Have skills in the kitchen? Cook up a storm and give them something they will love eating. When giving a homemade gift, it’s not only the present that can be enjoyed but also the fact that you have spent time creating something with the recipient in mind.
Donate to a charity. If the recipient has a passion for a certain cause, then make a generous donation in his/her name. Not only have you thought about the person involved, but you will also be doing something that will extend meaning to others, beyond that warm and fuzzy feeling you and the recipient will receive as a personal reward for doing something good.
Make a promise. Promise to do something for the other person in the year to come. Promise to mow their lawn for once a month. Promise to do their shopping. Promise to cook them a meal every so often. Promise anything that will mean something to them; a kind gesture that is practical, kind and thoughtful. Of course, don’t just promise it! Ensure you are actually able to live up to the promise you make and act upon it in the weeks and months to come.
Let’s return to the Ghost of Christmas Future. Picture the scene…
It’s Christmas morning, and you’re with your nearest and dearest, enjoying an early glass of mulled wine to celebrate this most festive of days. The Christmas gifts are all nestled under the tree, and as you start to pass them around, you watch in anticipation as people open the presents you have bought for them. Your heart lifts as you see the smile on their face and the tear in their eye. You’ve done it! You have given them a gift that is meaningful, and you can rest easy for another year knowing that you haven’t messed up!
Let’s just hope their gift to you holds just as much meaning!