As promised, I’ve got a couple of quick ideas for gifts to share with you today, but first I wanted to talk a little about gifting and receiving. Christmas can make people a little crazy, it can be stressful. They’ve made more than a few movies on the back of the Christmas Craze alone.
Side note: I went to see ‘Bad Moms Christmas’ the other night – hilarious. And by the way, the movie buffs in your circle will love a package of movie tickets. Check it out at your local cinema, you can probably get a pretty good deal and make someone on your list really happy.
I digress. What I want to discuss is a little gifting etiquette. As the receiver, remember that your Santa went to a lot of time and trouble to find something they felt was just right for you, even if it ends up being a gift card. It might not be what you want, but guess what, that’s not the point! What matters is the kindness and consideration that went into the gift. And yes, if it’s really not to your taste, by all means donate it, return it, or swap it out. You are under no obligation to keep a gift you don’t like, what you do need to do is be gracious in the moment. It really is the thought that counts, and someone out there cares enough about you to have gone out and bought something just for you. Hold onto that care.
Now, as the giver, please don’t be insulted if you don’t see the receiver wearing your carefully selected sweater -in fact, ask for a gift receipt to include in the parcel, just in case. Ditto the houseware or whatever, if it’s not displayed on the mantle every time you visit, get over it! People change, their tastes change, just try to enjoy the magic of the giving and don’t get your nose out of joint if ultimately your gift gets passed along, it will bring joy to it’s ultimate owner. Again, just hold onto what really matters, the people you love.
Okay, on to the fun stuff: So, I’ve put together a couple of ideas that are pretty easy to assemble and make nice household gifts.
This one is basically a tea time basket, so we have a tin of tea, the cup, and assorted biscuits, and fine chocolates. To expand this to turn it into a household gift you can nix the mug, add a cute little tea ball, maybe some spiced pecans, a little soup mix, crackers and fancy jellies. Find a cute basket or tin, line it with a holiday themed tea towel, and arrange your goodies to be pleasing to the eye. You may need to bundle up some tissue paper under the tea towel to help keep everything in place. Stick a card in it and deliver it with a smile.
This example is more of a dinner for two. All you need to add to this is a small block of parmigiana and maybe a loaf of crusty bread -if you’ll be delivering it that day. Again, put it into a basket, make it look pretty, and deliver it with a card and a smile.
Oh, and you can use any of your favourite brands, for goodness sake! The point is just to do something really nice for someone you care about. I just used what I had on hand this morning to give you some ideas.
Now, the secret to giving a great gift pretty much every time, is to consider the person who will be receiving it.
Do they have pets? If so, they might appreciate having their pets thought of, too. Word to the wise, label the pet treats, just in case.
Are they parents of young children? If so, the time for tea idea that has a variety of tasty treats in it is a great choice. If you know them fairly well, then you can of course offer Mom and Dad a night out while you babysit. Get them tickets to a show, and let them get all dressed up and have a night off.
Is the person you’re trying to buy for a snappy dresser? If so, they’d probably love elegant accessories. For him, maybe a nice scarf, leather gloves, or pocket kerchief. For her, actually, the scarf works here, too. Or possibly a bottle of scent, but you might have to be crafty here to figure out what scents they already like, try to keep it in the same family. Bonus points for noticing what sort of colours they regularly wear, it’ll help you pick pieces that will fit seamlessly into their wardrobe.
How about the foodies? For people in this category, pretty much anything kitchen related is a sound choice. Or how about getting them tickets for a wine or whisky tasting? Or treating them to a bottle of one of their favourites. Chocolate or tea tastings are also available. You could also see about cooking classes. Any food related event will usually grab their attention, so you have got a lot of options, here.
Then there are the more generic gifts. If you don’t know someone all that well, but still need to provide a gift, then your usual host and hostess gifts are usually a great option. A bottle of wine, port, whisky, or something along those lines is a good choice. Champagne says “I celebrate you.” Flowers are also very thoughtful. A box of chocolates is also a nice choice. I know these all seem to be done to death, but it’s because they work.
Now, if you have a special recipe, something only you can make, then there’s your gift. It’s something that the receiver will not be able to get anywhere else. Plus, you have to make it especially for them, which makes it a very thoughtful gift.
Don’t get too wound up about trying to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list. What really matters most during the busy holiday season is taking time out to relax and have a good time with your friends and family. I guarantee, the time you spend making memories will matter far more than the perfectly decorated tree, pretty presents all stacked up underneath it, or the stockings all hung by the chimney with care.
Cut yourself some well deserved slack and block out time right now on your calendar to just pop some corn, cuddle under the blankets, and watch a goofy holiday movie. Make a date to go skating or sledding. Have a cookie swap, you’ll get all the baking you need out of just one party. Go build a snowman or make snow angels. Above all, just have fun!