It’s Christmas time!
This is one of my favorite times of the year. But like most people, I often struggle to find that perfect gift. Now that it is crunch time with not that many days until Christmas, the pressure can often be more than one can bear. But never fear, here is a list of 10 rules of gift giving that will help guide you to the perfect gift.
- It’s not the gift, but the thought that counts. This is often a statement we hear, but seldom give much consideration. Think about that person on your list and give them something that you know they want based on what has come up in everyday conversation or something that they may have been eyeing or browsing. One of the most memorable gifts that I gave my wife was a purse I found while on a business trip. She had mentioned to me that she was needing a new larger purse, but could not seem to find one she liked. I took note, but didn’t say much at the time and of course she didn’t think I was listening to her. About a month later, she was quite surprised when I came home with a new purse that I came across while browsing the airport gift shops.
- Do not just give money. This sends the message that you couldn’t be bothered to think too much about that person. This is the time to give from your heart.
- Give gifts that are an experience as compared to objects. Many people prefer experiences such as a one hour massage or tickets to a concert over objects as the experiences will create longer lasting memories.
- If the person you are trying to buy is pressed for time, give a gift that doesn’t take up much time or fills up dead time. If your friend or family member has a book list that they have been trying to take the time to read, but just can’t seem to carve out the time in their busy schedule, consider an audio CD of that book so they can listen while they drive on their way to work. Now their commute through busy traffic can be their story time.
- Always wrap your gift. There is great joy for both the giver and the receiver in the slow unwrapping of the gift. Even if you are just giving something small that fits into an envelope. Choose the envelope and wrapping paper carefully and give it a personal touch. This shows that you have taken a good deal of time and care over the gift and value the act of giving more than the gift itself.
- Include a thoughtful message with the gift. Put this on either a card or hand written letter. Don’t just buy a standard message card, but compose the message yourself. Use your message to bring to mind the shared moments or strong ties you have with that person. In our current technological age, we are slowly losing the power of writing.
- Give them something that you can share in with that person. This is much like number 3 as it creates longer lasting memories and will help to create stronger bond with that person. My daughter and I take Taekwondo classes together. She has decided she wants to become a black belt. So as part of her Christmas gift, I enrolled her and myself into the black belt training program at the Taekwondo studio. We surprised her with the news at her recent graduation ceremony. Now she and I can continue to train together and create lasting memories and she works toward her goal of becoming a black belt in Taekwondo.
- Like all things in life, timing is everything. Make sure that you are both happy and relaxed and that there is plenty of time to slowly unwrap and enjoy the gift. After a nice meal is a good time.
- Surprise them! You can add the element of surprise by double wrapping the gift or give them two gifts with one as a decoy first. Make the decoy a “gag” gift or something to throw them off before you give the real one. You can also hide the gift and have them follow clues you have hidden like a treasure map to find the gift.
- Most of all, give from the heart. Christmas is a time of giving and showing those around you how much they mean to you. I often think we get too caught up in the commercialization of the holidays that we fail to think that this is the season for peace, joy, and love.