Have you been gathering gifts all year in your gift closet? Maybe you have been tucking away your unloved gifts to regift to another. It may be an important gesture to share gifts teachers and others you want to appreciate. The holiday season sweeps us up into gift giving. It’s the time of year we feel required to match gift for gift, dollar for dollar. According to a Gallup poll, American’s spend close to $850 a year on holiday gifts. At the same time, 81% of Americans would rather receive an experience based gift. Holiday gift giving involves emotions, finances, and practicality. Is this the year you decide to make your holiday gift giving more meaningful? Here’s how to simplify holiday gift giving.
Review your gift list each year.
There’s many times that gift giving changes. Maybe you haven’t been in touch during the year. The nephews are getting older. You and your siblings have all gotten to retirement stages. When life transitions happen, it’s a good time to agree with family and friends to decline gift giving. You can open the conversation so that no one feels ambushed when you get together. Another option is to give gifts to families in need in your community.
Know what you want to share, more than just a gift.
There’s lots of different expectations about gifts. Does the recipient enjoy a practical gift or a gift that is an experience? Can you gift money or a gift card? Would a thoughtful card with a meaningful note be the right gift? Thinking about the recipients expectations makes holiday gift giving easier. As you are creating your gift list, jot down a few ideas about that person to help you decide.
At the same time, think about the meaning of the gift you want to convey. How can you best convey joy, gratitude, and love in what you give? Your expression and your gift may be more powerful in something small. There’s more to share than the gift. It’s the thought behind it.
The word is out that homemade gifts are a thoughtful way to share. It makes your gift special in that you took time to prepare something for friends, family, neighbors and colleagues. Your something special can be a simple baked treat, practical item or ornament to share. It can also be the same treat year after year as a tradition. Start early preparing your homemade gift and be sure it is wrapped and easy to transport. My favorite homemade gift is holly cookies and banana bread. You can take a wallet size photo and place it in an ornament frame. There are so many ways to simplify your homemade gifts.
Wrap it up
There’s a process for gift giving. Purchase -> Wrap -> Deliver. Set up a time and space to get it all out and get messy. Be sure you have all the supplies including boxes, tissue, bags and ribbon. You can delegate the wrapping or share the fun with a wrapping party. Write on your calendar when you are going to get this step and delivery complete. A gift at home is of no value, and makes you feel less, when it’s undelivered. Wrap up your holiday gift giving with a time to deliver your gifts.
A word about the kiddos
Our kids have gifts galore at the holidays. Some families have chosen the 4 gift, something you want and something you need, one gift to wear, and one gift to read. Carefully decide on what you want to gift kiddos because an overwhelming number of gifts can make kiddos uncomfortable, ungrateful and unable to play with it all. Get relatives on board with this option to be sure everyone agrees that giving one gift per child is plenty.
When you are paralyzed in not finding the perfect gift, step back and think about what you really want to express in gift giving. You will know what is the next, how to simplify and how to express what you have in your heart. As Mother Theresa says, “It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”