Friday, November 27, 2015

To give and what the heck to give.. that is the question!

It's the time of year for merry-making, candle lighting, tree lighting, holiday eating and gift giving. If there's one question we ask ourselves over and over as the turkey starts to wear off and holiday looms large in front of us it's "what in the world should I get so-and-so?" Now, so-and-so might be your best friend, your parents, your love, the love of your goals, your sibling, a favorite teacher or who knows who. I am not here to judge who all you want and need to gift this holiday season. But, I am here to make suggestions and lighten your anxiety.

Family Gifts Suggestions: When it comes to family, it's the thought that counts every time, so be creative and use what you know to make it a special holiday moment. Great options, include:
  • Inscribed books: head to the thrift store or used book store and carefully select a book for each member of your family based on their interests, maybe a bass fishing guide for dad, a history book for mom and for each of your sisters a steamy YA romance. Inside each book inscribe a message about why you selected this particular book for the receiver. Make it heart felt and the value of your gift will sky rocket.
  • Photo albums: mini-albums packed with memory-inducing photos and fun little messages inscribed on cards is a great way to go.  Check the dollar bins at your local stores or even make your own using duct tape and cardboard.
  • Service coupons: create fun mini-coupons to promise to do chores, give massages, help siblings with homework or a cook a meal. These little acts of service will go along way with parents, especially.
Friend Gift Suggestions: Friends give so much of themselves when you're having a hard day and need a shoulder to cry on or someone to stand guard while you make mischief. After all the laughter you've shared consider these awesome gift ideas to help you friends feel your appreciation.

  • Cheer box: collect items that you know will make your friends smile, fun little notebooks, pens or pencils, erasers or post-it-notes in funny shapes and favorite candies and place in a decorated box intended to bring cheer to your friend. Consider adding small notes with funny sayings, quotes or silly questions intended to make your friend laugh. This one is good for friends who are going through a hard time, too, not just as a holiday gift.
  •  Theme box: consider a box of movies or music with matched snacks or a box of cooking items for the friend who loves to cook or soccer items for the friend from the team. The sky's the limit with these boxes. Let your imagination roam free.
  • Concert tickets: Look at the local listings for little known bands that are just starting out. Check out their websites and if you like their sound buy tickets for you and your friends on the cheap, since they aren't well known yet, and make it a group outing to go and see the show. 
Special Someone Suggestions: If you're dating this holiday season, the pressure is on to find the perfect gift. Depending on how long you have been together it's hard to know what to buy and how much is too much. Sometimes it helps to set a limit with each other in terms of how much you will spend. That takes some the stress of whether you'll go to far or not far enough off, but also could act as a way to force creativity, especially if the amount is low or even that you will make each other gifts. Any of the friend ideas are good to consider, but here are a few more specially tailored to a special relationship.

  • Jewelry: depending on your finances and how long you've been together, you might choose a simple ring or necklace, or a basic watch. Something you can personalize with initials or engraving is always a nice touch.
  • Mix CD: in the old days we made mix tapes, but today you could create a playlist and copy it to a CD. Make it special by adding voice overs in-between songs sharing why you selected that song for inclusion and what it means to you.
  • Website: Make your love a website that celebrates the two of you together. Free sites are easy to put together using services like Weebly. Add pictures and video and share what you love about this person. You can use privacy settings to keep it just between the two of you or, with their later permission, share it with the world.