Friday, November 30, 2012

Giving thoughtful gifts...

I recently read an article about gift giving.  It was rather informative, and I must say, enlightening.  

One of the things that drive my nuts is buying a gift that goes unused and takes up valuable space.  I don't want to receive that kind of gift, and I don't want to GIVE that kind of gift, either.  

I know, I talk a lot about "there's no such thing as perfect."  Gift-giving is no exception.  So many commercials talk about "the perfect _____________."  I hear people say things like, "I can't seem to find the perfect gift for __________________."  That's because there isn't one!

When buying gifts think about what you remember most about past Christmases? 
   Was it the year you went to a cabin for Christmas?   
   Was it the year you gathered up 20 of your friends 
   and went caroling?  
   Was it a ski trip?

In most instances, when I ask this question, I don't hear "It was the year I received...."  Most of the time it was an experience that makes the lasting impression.

Stuff won't make you happy -- experiences will...

Experience gifts are a great option for those on your list that are hard to shop for.  Yes, they tend to cost a little more, but in most cases, they are worth it.  Experience gifts can be done alone but are usually more fun with a friend.  

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but here are a few ideas for you to consider:

Tickets:  Plays, movies, concerts, air shows, sporting events.

Adventures: Hot air balloon rides, bi-plane sight seeing tours, ski lessons, race car driving opportunities, foreign language lessons

Memberships: Zoos, museums, theme parks, water parks, swimming pools, the gym

Activities: Skating dates, paint your own pottery, photo sessions, cooking lessons, golf lessons, photo classes

Wrapping the gift is important to the whole gift-giving experience.  Having a small box to open suggests to the recipient that this was a thoughtful, meaningful gift  -- and not just an afterthought.  

As you start - or finish- your shopping this year, think about ways you can give the gift of the experience.  

Only By His Grace,


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