We need to spend a little more time thinking about what we receive for Christmas. Yes, I said receive! That may sound selfish, but hear me out. What criteria do you use to judge the gifts you receive. "Judge" may sound harsh, but really, there are some gifts that warm our hearts more than others. Thinking about what's meaningful to us on the receiving end can drive our giving to more meaningful gifts for others.
Is it the amount of money someone spent? Is it the number of gifts we receive from them? Is it how much space we need to store it? Well, maybe if it's a BMW. But in general, that's not the criteria that creates a cheerful receiver.
Of course there are times when a shirt, sweater, toy, or trinket can be meaningful too, but since you're reading this organizing newsletter, I'm thinking you're open to some meaningful, clutter-free and maybe less expensive gift ideas for Christmas.
Timely Tip #1 - Food Gifts
Food passes the clutter-free test since it's consumable, but I think it has value beyond that. Eating is often an activity we share with our loved ones. Homemade cookie mix, soup mix, muffin mix-- these are all gifts that can create shared experiences, making and eating them. There's an endless list of recipes for gifts in a jar online. If you're not that crafty, purchase some local nuts or dried fruit, specialty coffee or tea, or anything covered in dark chocolate (if it's for me). Email me for a copy of my easy-to-make Pumpkin Bread recipe. It makes plenty to share!
We all enjoy a night off from cooking! Create a gift certificate with three menu choices and dates for your gift recipient to choose from and then bring dinner over on the agreed date (in disposable containers). You might want to make enough to stay and enjoy with them, or if cooking isn't your thing, a gift card to a favorite restaurant is always appreciated.
Timely Tips #2 - Activity Gifts
The gift of an experience is a way to build relationships and meaningful memories. You can give a round of golf or create a certificate for a day-trip to the mountains or coast. It might be as simple as a movie and frozen yogurt date. The key is to set a date right away so the gift isn't lost in the busyness of life.
If kids or grandkids are on your list, consider age appropriate activities that you can do with them or give them certificates for their families to enjoy-- a membership to the zoo or aquarium, tickets to a sports event, or bowling.
A true gift of sacrifice is finding an activity that your spouse would love and then signing up both of you-- dance lessons, cooking classes, sports or concert tickets, etc.
Timely Tips #3 - Gifts of Service
Lunch 'n Labor combines food and service! My sister and I gift to each other a day of service and lunch out. Over the years we have organized each others photos and recipes, cleaned light fixtures and a garden shed, arranged a bookshelf, and more. Those tasks are enjoyed much more when shared.
One memorable gift was when some friends came to our house while we were gone and planted flowers in our front yard. Think about something you enjoy doing and consider making that a gift for a friend or family member. It might be gardening, painting, computer help, music lessons, organizing, cooking, babysitting, or even decorating and un-decorating for Christmas!
Go to CreativeCertificates.com for free downloadable gift certificate templates.
Click on the angels for a beautiful gift of music by Pentatonix: