Let me start this off by saying that I love giving gifts. There’s just something about seeing the receiver’s reaction and knowing that what you got them is just right, and I take pride in that. But the thing that no one talks about? All the time, research, effort, and cash that goes into getting the “perfect” gift. And the more seasoned I become at the gift-giving game, the more I realize that it is the intention and the thoughtfulness that matters, not the size of the gift or the amount spent on it.
For the last couple of years I’ve been leaning real hard into experience gifts and it has worked out well for me and my family and friends. Last year, my boyfriend and I went to Seattle for a couple of days and I was able to surprise him with tickets to see one of his favorite bands while we were there. And the best part about it? Not having to stuff a bulky gift into his suitcase. This year, my grandma is turning eighty on Christmas Day. The older she gets, the more she talks about how she doesn’t need any physical gifts. So, what am I to give my Harry Potter obsessed 80-year-old grandma who doesn’t want any physical objects? Tickets to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, of course. And with that comes memories I’m sure we’ll both cherish for years to come.
The only harsh reality about experience gifts is that time equals money. And I don’t have the time to take every one of my family members to different shows individually (and you probably don’t either). So my Plan B when I can’t find or think of an experience gift is to head to my local independently-owned businesses, like our local spice shop. Seriously, it’s the shit: they sell gift sets in all sizes and even if someone isn’t the best home chef, they have gift sets for other things too. Like tea, DIY tonic water, and Mexican hot chocolate. Everyone loves chocolate, right?
Most of the time I really try hard to avoid putting things off till the last minute, but sometimes life just gets in the way. So I have a Plan C for that. I’m not ashamed to ask someone to send me their Amazon wish list so I can get them something they A) want and won’t end up in the trash, and B) will show up at my front door in two days or less. So my gift-giving runs the gamut of small biz purchases, to experiences, to last-minute delivery to my front door. It’s a process that works for me. But what about you?
What gifts are you giving this holiday season? Do you have a small business near you that we can support from afar? What’s the best gift you’ve ever received or given to someone?