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Intentional Gift-Giving

The art of gift giving is sacred in my mind. There is joy in finding a perfectly matched gift for someone who is exhilarating to me. My gift giving strategy for birthdays and holidays does not consist of running into a store just prior to the gifting. Throughout the year, as I take the knowledge of and experiences with my loved ones into account, as I see items that would fit those individuals, I purchase and save them. When you find a perfect gift, you can’t pass it up!

Contrary to the methodology that I employ in gift shopping/giving, culture inundates the population at large with flashy “must have” items for any gift recipient. Since before Halloween, ads with Christmas gifts have been circulating in the newspaper inserts and have dashed across the tv screen. There are things that I didn’t know I “needed” before seeing them in ads (marketing works!), and many lists have been made off of catalogues in my lifetime.

Personally, I love to receive gifts that showcase that I am known by the gift giver. However, that is not the prevailing approach to gifting in culture currently. While I may not predominately receive gifts that communicate personal and intimate knowledge of who I am, I have chosen to give gifts that communicate that I have taken the time and thought of a personalized gift for the recipients

You may be thinking that my method would be too hard and time-consuming for you to adopt. I would like to challenge you on that way of thinking. Yes, intentionality does take effort and effort takes time, but if you choose to be open to purchasing items on a rolling basis, there is not the stress associated with deadlines of events. Sometimes perfect gifts are from the dollar store and sometimes they are from a department store.  Other times they are serious or funny dependent upon the occasion and the person. For example, when a friend of mine was having her second child, I bought them sporty socks that reflected the husbands love for sports. Then I bought their first child a ‘yay, you’re going to be a big brother’ gift that was age appropriate and reflected my knowledge of my friends college obsession with the importance of good pizza. My friends were touched because of the personal tie in to them and the thoughtfulness of the gifts.

For Christmas this year, I have purchased a giant container of gold foil chocolates for my grandpa. That may sound cheap and inappropriate to some of you. However, this is a perfect gift and my “Pa” will understand. You see, growing up, he would always joke at our birthdays/holidays that we were only getting a shiny penny. He would put them in our cards and hand them out with a twinkle in his eye. Every year, shiny penny’s show up in some way, shape or form. My Pa is also a chocoholic, and I will happily feed his addiction (helps me stay in his “favorite granddaughter” ranking), thus the gold coin wrapped obscene amount of chocolate. Perfect.

Coin tin under a christmas tree

A great personalized gift doesn’t have to be the most expensive to be just perfect.

Think back to a time that you received a “perfect” gift. How did you feel? I believe that we have been created as relational beings who desire to be known. When you receive a gift that captures a part of your personality, gives homage to a hope or dream, or relates to an experience you’ve had with the giver, you are known and the warm fuzzier ensue. I love playing a role in validating people through gifts and get a “high” from giving the perfect gift. What are some perfect gifts that you can’t wait to give this year?

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