OK, I will come right out and admit that I have finished all my shopping and now get to sit back and watch everyone else rush around trying to figure out what to give, where to go, and what to do. I love it. And no, I am not being cruel. I really do love the hustle and bustle – I used to work retail and I really enjoyed helping people find that “just right” gift. You know, not the gift that is within arm’s reach, but the one that hits the heart.
You say you are still looking? You say you would like a hint? Ok, well here goes. The following short list can, pretty much, still be done in time for this year or maybe you can get a head start on that birthday or next Christmas. Be forewarned, I like gifts that help or touch people. Not just “stuff.” If stuff is what you want to give, stick a twenty in an envelope and be done with it.
- How about a sheep? (I like sheep.) Or a llama? Or… all kinds of different animals. I am not talking about actually giving your intended an animal, but instead a donation of livestock in their name to those in need. Visit Heifer International to see how your gift can help end world hunger. And hey, I bet not many people can say, “I got a sheep for Christmas!”
- Ok then, how about a three month memberships to a movie service like Netflix? Or, if they are a gamer, to GameFly? No, it isn’t as altruistic as the sheep, but they will think about you each time they use the service, and it will keep on giving.
- Speaking of remembering you and thinking about you when the gift is used, how about a journal or some nice stationary. Writing, not typing but writing, is a dying art in many ways, and a journal or stationary can help bring it back. And with the stationary, there is actually a chance that the recipient might write to you!
- Along that same vein, in fact you can give this gift in accompaniment to the aforementioned paper goods, how about a pen? No, I am not talking about a $1.25 ballpoint. I am talking about a nice, sturdy, good looking writing tool. You can find them on-line or at your local office supply store ranging in price from five or ten dollars up into the hundreds or even thousands. Again, not the “usual” gift and something that will bring a thought of you each time it is used.
- Finally, lets talk gift cards. You thought I was going to forget those? Well, I would like you to forget the general “I have no idea what to give you and cash is crass” ones. Sure, get your friend or family member a gift certificate, but make it personal. Get it to their favorite restaurant and put it in a card with the menu or inside a small cook book. If they are in to cars, get it to a auto parts store or tool shop and wrap it up with a Matchbox or Hotwheel car. A young kid who just got their first car? Give them a gas card and wrap it up with a car air freshener or antenna topper. You get the idea. Don’t just essentially hand over cash, make it personal and show that you thought about them.
There you go! Just a few ideas for you to think about while trying to finish up and keep that greasy lunch down. And remember – smile, have a good time, and make it personal. They will love it.