What makes a great gift?
“What should I get for X this year?” “Y is impossible to shop for.” “What is the best presents for Z-year-olds?” Sound familiar? Yes, as joyous as the holiday season can be, we are sometimes pressured into consuming without conscious choice when it comes to picking presents. We mean well, but sometimes we buy something just to have something to give. Guess what? It doesn’t have to be that way. Slowing down, even by 10 seconds to reflect on the relationship with the person you are giving a gift to will give meaning to all your presents.
So what makes a great gift? To us, a good gift will highlight the connection between you and the recipient, will stand the test of time, and will include a piece of you in it.
Time is quite fine
Shiny packages under the tree are pretty and can be great. But our options are not limited to physical gifts. While it may not wrap up as nicely and easily as a new smart watch, our time can be a great gift. We can gift outings and adventures, or even more simple gatherings. Creating the plans for an outing to a new coffee shop with a friend is the gift of time and love and coffee. The possibilities for gifting time are endless.
Not only can we give the gift of time, but we can also use time as a tool to improve our gifts. Yes, timing the distribution of the gifts so that the last little special present in the back is opened to grand effect can be quite exciting. But we can also give gifts during the holidays that are meant to be redeemed later. You could plan a trip for a more enjoyable time of the year, or you could offer to help fix things up around the house at a time when the recipient really needs it. DIY coupon books and gift certificates are a great way to show that you care, but make sure that you can follow through and make sure that they are redeemed in a timely fashion.
Create a connection
A good gift doesn’t just provide the recipient with something they want or need. It also highlights and builds on the connection you have with them. Giving something that reflects a shared interest or that demonstrates your knowledge of their passions is good, but it can be hard to keep track of those preferences over time. Consider giving them something meaningful to you that might also be memorable to them, like a memento or an old accessory. This might also mean that you are giving new usefulness to an item you no longer need and preventing the impact that would come with buying a brand-new item.
Make it last
Whatever you decide to give, make sure that it will last. Picking a well-constructed, durable item will keep the present around long after the holidays are over. Even better, you can pass forward a favorite item that you have taken good care of over the years. Have an old favorite in mind that is fundamentally functional but in need of some love? Repair and clean it yourself, or find someone that can help you out with that, and then gift the item forward. Have a great idea for the perfect gift? Make it yourself from scratch or embellish an existing item or gift. Any of these options are a great way to make sure that you are sharing a bit of yourself as a part of your gift. Also, remember that it’s not just what you give but how it is given. Great memories accompanying a gift can last a lifetime.
Searching for presents, like shopping for anything with the Renewable Life mindset, is about adding two new questions to your process - where did it come from and where will it go when someone is finished with it? Thinking about the connections with the object and the person at the same time makes the process circular from the start. The best part of gift giving is the celebration of a relationship with each other and with the world we share. That's the spirit of the holidays we hope you experience the most this year.