For some of us, Christmas is a time of great excitement. The magic of the season overtakes us, and we become silver and gold pinnacles of loving kindness. For the rest of us, we feel stress over finding the perfect gift for everyone that made the “Nice” list this year. If you are in the latter category, then don’t fret. Here are five heartfelt gift ideas to help you navigate the choppy waters of holiday gift-giving.
Give the gift they want or need
John Tierney of the New York Times asserts that the perfect gift is neither the most expensive nor the most inventive. The studies to which he refers suggest that the gifts that people appreciate the most are either items for which they have asked specifically or cash to purchase what they truly desire. If you have great listening skills and a steady line of communication with the recipient, then you may be able to give him or her exactly what he or she asks for.
A picture is worth 1,000 words
Sometimes the best gifts are the ones that you can’t find in a store. Compiling your favorite memories with the person into a photo album or scrapbook is a great way to give something unique this holiday season. If you are not the scrapbooking type, then you can also upload photos online to a service that will create a high-quality photo book for you. If you have one photo rather than a whole slew of them, then frame the image and attach a personalized note.
Think about what your potential recipient enjoys, and then imagine if they had a customized version of whatever that thing is. Maybe your person enjoys writing. A journal with his or her name or initials or monogrammed stationary are practical and enjoyable. Maybe this person loves his or her dog. Get them a tote bag, a t-shirt, or a coffee mug with a picture of their pet’s face on it. If the person loves a dish that you make, then make them a batch of that food, place it in a nice container, and attach the recipe.
Sometimes, the most heartfelt gifts are the most unique. Giving a local specialty such as a craft beer or honey harvested in your area might offer your recipient something which they cannot purchase. If the person for whom you are buying lives in your neighborhood, then they may appreciate that you have supported a local business with your gift purchase.
If you live in a place where local businesses are few and far between, or they don’t match your recipient’s interests, you might reach out to small businesses online. The Huffington Post compiled a list of unique gifts that appeal to many different audiences.
Support a cause
We all have that person on our list that already has everything. Their house is full, their needs are met, and they never seem to want anything. These folks unintentionally inspire the most stress-inducing holiday-shopping moments. Does this person have a cause to which they are particularly dedicated? Maybe a donation in their name to a charity that they value would be the most meaningful gift for them. Last year, New York Times writer, Nicholas Kristof, compiled a list of meaningful gifts. He highlighted charities that provide critical services and help to lift people out of poverty.
If Kristof’s list doesn’t resonate with you, then think about your recipient’s interests. There are plenty of causes to support anything from wildlife to education to veterans, and with the world at your fingertips, you can do plenty of research to make sure that your money is going to a good place.
Finding heartfelt gifts for everyone on your list this holiday season doesn’t have to break the bank. “If you consider what your recipient wants, needs, and feels passionately about, then you will find the perfect gift,” said Ornaments with Love.