I’m not a good gift-giver. I have the best intentions, but consistently fall flat in this area. Here’s why I’m so bad at it:
- I second-guess myself all the time. I’ll have an idea and immediately dismiss it, thinking it’s not enough … not big enough, not thoughtful enough, not personal enough, not valuable enough.
So then, I second-guess myself until it’s too late to do anything. Then I’m stressed to do something, regretful that I didn’t give it more thought.
- The second reason this is hard, is I don’t like to shop. So I’m not naturally out getting ideas or even having the opportunity to pick things up.
I’ve realized I need some structure in place for gift giving. So I’ve determined to make changes. I’ve been collecting ideas that are helping me get better, but it comes down to planning in advance. I can not wing it – or else everyone is getting a mug.
If gift-giving is stressful for you, here are some tips for making it easier.
1. Plan two or three months ahead. I’ve made a list of everyone’s birthdays through April, and am giving myself enough time to not feel so stressed.
2. Put these names and dates on your master to-do list, with a deadline for when you need to have the gift ready.
3. Keep an idea list of what people like. I’ve learned this from Karen, whom you heard from yesterday. I use the app Wunderlist on my phone and computer. When I hear people make comments about things they like or need, I put it on my list. It’s how I got my son’s girlfriend the cutest giraffe bag for Christmas. (She loved it – SCORE!)
4. Sign up for a few good shopping emails that you like. I’m in love with Groupon. They have the best bargains on the most unique things. For instance, I just ordered a customized wooden serving board for $5 plus shipping. I also ordered a customized sticky note collection for under $10. I’ve also recently given some friends a gift certificate (half-price) to an escape the room place. These are ideas I would have never thought about on my own, but they popped up in my inbox.
Etsy is also great for unique gifts. I bought one of my sons a personalize leather toiletry bag, which will last him years.
5. Don’t underestimate the power of a small gift. I LOVE handmade soaps. If someone gave me one bar of it, I would be deliriously happy. So I need to remember that a gift doesn’t have to be big to be meaningful.
6. Consider themed gift baskets. This gift involves a bit more planning, but with a theme, it becomes easier to shop. Karen Ehman shared an idea on my blog a few years ago about giving a book basket. The book was the centerpiece of the gift, but then other items related to the book are included in the basket. This would be great for any reader.
Some themed baskets might include a spa day (lotion, candle, bath salts), devotion time (Bible, journal, special pen), at the movies (movie, popcorn, candy, special bottle of soda), or themed food baskets (Cast iron pan with a cast iron cookbook) (Crepe pan, crepe mix and filling).
7. Give a gift that supports a favorite cause. If you know someone is passionate about a certain cause, then either make a donation in their name or purchase a product where the proceeds support the cause. An example of this is jewelry from Fashion and Compassion. Not only are you getting a beautiful product, but you are bringing dignity to and supporting vulnerable women around the world.
Ok – that’s it for me. Now it’s your turn. If gift-giving is your thing, or even if it isn’t, please share a gift idea in the comments today. The gift-giving challenged will thank you.
Just one more day in my simplified living series. Tomorrow, I’ve got one final tip that will help simplify your relationships.
In His love,