Christmas is the perfect holiday in the year for passionate gift-givers. Yes, I will publicly admit, I LOVE gift-giving. Oh, if only I were wealthy, my children, grandchildren, family, friends and co-workers would be so blessed by my gift-giving!
But alas, I am on a serious—and, some may say pathetic—budget.
As a true, self-proclaimed, passionate gift-giver, I lie awake nights thinking of clever gift ideas to make recipients’ hearts feel something as they open the hand-picked gifts I have chosen just for them. The exhilaration is immeasurable when the perfect gift surfaces in my brain! Today, I will share the process with you!
There are simply THREE secrets to buying the perfect gifts:
- They have to be so memorable that, by next Christmas, the recipients are still remembering last year’s gift.
- They must make the recipients SMILE!
- Learn to LISTEN! Then, buy the exact color, food, socks, toothpaste, straw, ribbon, ring, box, car, pen, dresser knobs, blue hanger, box of baggies, gum, worm, jewel, gloves or hat they mentioned two months ago.
That is it! Shocking, though it may seem, COST is not important.
I first realized this when our three kids were young. It was the Christmas after we had lost everything—home, businesses, bank accounts gone. It was our most painful Christmas, knowing we could not afford gifts for our own three kids. (You may read our story in chapter 10 of my book Teaching Kids Authentic Worship.)
Christmas morning, our children opened pictures of what we would have purchased each of them if money had not been an issue. Yes, they were pictures, cut from magazines. I also wrapped gift catalogues for the children to choose what they would buy their siblings, parents and cousins if they had unlimited funds.
What an unexpected HIT!! Our kids spent hours that day choosing gifts for everyone on their lists! They cut out pictures and wrapped them for each other all day! It was probably one of the best Christmases ever for our family.
Admittedly, I still love shopping for all ages. Yet, my favorite gift-giving is for kids.
This year, I am Mimi to ten and favorite aunt to over 46 nieces and nephews (including great nieces and nephews) counting both sides of our family and babies on the way.
This could be paralyzing for some people. However, it is the biggest thrill in the world, for an addicted gift-giver, to analyze, dissect, and process for weeks and months before the event – planning what perfect gift could be given this year to cause a smile.
When ideas hit, I wake up at 3:45am, jump out of bed and search through my catalogues for possible financial solutions to get the genius results of my ideas!
At this writing, I cannot divulge what I have found for this year; because, they are being wrapped and shipped today to various family members; but, admittedly, it could be my best gift-giving year ever. (I’ll tell you next month how I did!)
Over the years, I have been known for wrapping boxes of breakfast cereal for certain kids on my list. Have you ever heard one of your kids say, “I love Captain Crunch; but, mom won’t let us have it because she says it is pure sugar?” Voila!!
Personalized gifts are beyond brilliant ideas. Statistics say the most important thing to a child under 12 is his/her name! (The 2nd most important thing is for it to be spelled correctly!) Buy a pencil, pen or cup with their name engraved on the side. Or, engrave it yourself! A t-shirt with their name in iron-on letters makes it theirs and theirs alone. A one dollar gift- with their name on it could be the best gift they EVER receive!
Learn to LISTEN. Our youngest grandchild has a favorite color. Guess what color scarf will be around the neck of his new teddy bear on Christmas morning. I can promise you—ahead of time—when he opens the box, his first words will be, “My favorite color is YELLOW, Mimi!”
The countdown is here. Pick up your final gifts, knowing they will bring smiles, because they were from you!
However you look at it, when it comes to successful GIFT-GIVING , it IS the thought that counts.
P.S. REMEMBER! In a few days, you will be able to tour our house and see my decorations for this year! Sign up (FREE) for my blog; because, it will only be available to subscribers!