“No one has become poor by giving.” Anne Frank
The season of gift giving will soon be upon us and if you’re looking to embrace your inner Santa we are here to make it possible! And, it’s as easy as embracing the habits of thoughtful gift givers so you too can be a rock star gift giver!
Research suggests that giving helps relieve stress, promote happiness and even lead to a longer life. Generosity is a wonderful trait, but it doesn’t have to be costly.
If you’re living a frugal life and trying to give gifts that are meaningful but reflect your budget, consider adopting these habits.
6 Habits of Thoughtful Gift Givers
If you’re rushing out the door on Christmas Eve to do your holiday shopping, you’re not giving yourself enough time to choose thoughtful gifts. I don’t buy a ton of gifts, but the ones I do buy, I like them to be either something I know the person wants or is special in some way to them.
I bake my famous Italian Lemon Cookies each year for a whole host of people who love and appreciate them. Instead of just throwing them into a store-bought tin with a Santa on it, I personalize each package for the person I am giving them too.
For example, long-time family friends, Maureen, and Pat get their cookies wrapped as if they came directly from the bakery. This is how my father always did it, and it’s a way for them to go back in time and remember all the times my parents gave them those cookies.
For my friend Lori and her family, I give each member of the family their own package. This way no one has to fight over who ate more cookies – it’s been known to happen.
Outside of my cookies, when I’m planning, I usually spend some amount of time brainstorming ideas.
I list the person’s name and jot down activities they enjoy, things they find meaningful, or hobbies they might have. Then I’ll write out some ideas related to those things. I leave the list alone for a day or two and later come back and revisit the list, crossing off what no longer appeals to me.
Eventually, I’m left with one idea on the paper. That’s usually the one I buy.
Don’t Focus On Cost
Cost isn’t my sole focus when choosing a gift. With most thoughtful gift givers price isn’t the priority either.
You don’t need to worry about spending a lot of money to be considered a thoughtful giver. In fact, if I look back at the most thoughtful gifts I’ve ever received, they typically were not more than $30. What they were was personal and creative.
With that being said, I don’t advocate going over your budget. Make sure you set a realistic gift giving budget and stick to it at all costs. If you find the perfect gift, and it goes over what you’ve allocated, rethink what you’ll buy that person.
Given time, you’ll find something spectacular and within your means.
Gifting is an opportunity to let a person know how much you appreciate and love them, and to show how well you know them.
I’m quasi-crafty. I like to make arrangements, wreaths, etc. for people I know. I’ll head to the store with the right color scheme that matches their home and ends up with a beautiful, artistic creation that will last a lifetime.
I’m also an excellent cook and have been known to put together “Italian Feast” gift baskets that include my homemade sauce, dried Italian herbs, homemade pasta, along with some store bought items to complete the feast. These low-cost baskets typically go to the noncooks in my life so that they can enjoy a home cooked meal.
The ideas are as endless as your particular talents. We all have something we’re good at, and we can share that at the holidays with those we love.
Pinterest is like an online wish list.
It’s full of places many of us will never go, recipes we’ll never make, home interiors out of our reach. But if you scan a friend or family members Pinterest page, what you do see are the little things that catch their eye. It might be books they want to read, or a print from a favorite artist, a piece of jewelry they’d add to their collection if given their choice.
Whether you’re a Pinterest fanatic or not, it’s a great place to get inspired and find ideas for the people you care about.
There’s always someone on the list who leaves you baffled. When I’m truly at a loss, and it’s important to me to give a gift, I ask. Sometimes I ask the person directly and other times I ask a close friend or family member for assistance.
Don’t be shy. Remember you’re trying to purchase the most thoughtful gift you can. If you’re stumped, just ask.
Focus on The Presentation
This is one area that I could do better. I have the cookies and baskets down pat, but I’m not a great gift wrapper and tend to use gift bags to make it easier, mostly on myself.
But, thoughtful gifters pay attention to the details and present well wrapped, beautiful gifts.
Score the stores for inexpensive holiday fabric or towels to cover something like a bottle of wine, or a homemade product like jams and jellies. Ornaments can be used as a decoration on your gift too. Cellophane and ribbon can jazz up a gift.
The ideas are endless, and I know I’ll be more focused on the presentation this year.
There are so many ways to be a thoughtful gift giver. Use these tips, and give something memorable this year.