Do you give great gifts? Perfect gifts? Are you that person?
Each of us has that at least one person in our world who’s just a better gift-giver than everyone else. They make a high art out of giving just the right gift.
That’s a powerful skill to possess, my friends.
With Valentine’s Day next week, I asked the three Gift Artists in my life to share their secrets with you. Here’s the first of three.
My Amazing Sister, Lynn:
1. Always remember what you are really giving is love and affection.
Narrow your custom gift list to those closest to you and key in on their passions, interests or personality. Keep these things in mind throughout your travels and adventures all year long.
Cramming Christmas shopping into one day or weekend or even month will not yield the thoughtful gifts you desire to give.
For others, buy cool stuff in bulk. Johnson and Johsnon makes a lavendar lotion that they sell at Target for 99 cents. It promises to “melt away stress and help you unwind and feel at ease.” Jackpot! I bought 20 of those and keep them in my desk drawer for when a coworker is having a stressful day.
Put it in cellophane and tie with a nice ribbon (see #4)!
2. Imagine how you want the recipient to feel when they open the gift.
Oh, that’s nice, or Oh, my goodness, I can’t believe you did this. Go the extra mile to make that happen.
When the perfect gift for our parents was an October maple tree they admired at the neighbors house, I realized that a tree in December might not have much impact.
But when we all worked together to write on 50 paper maple leaves what we had learned or appreciated about them, it because much more impactful.
3. You don’t have to spend a lot.
My kids like their stocking stuffers better than big gifts. In fact we don’t give big gifts anymore.
The joy we share opening socks and underwear and fake mustaches and fair trade coffee…and …. on christmas morning much outweighs a pair of Uggs or an electric guitar.
They work to earn money for those big items throughout the year, giving those things more meaning too.
4. Wrapping tricks – develop your style, keep it simple and use quality products.
I never buy curling ribbon or stick on bows.
I buy fabric ribbon – preferably wired edged – only. It makes everything look better and you can get it cheap on on sale.
Other tricks – clear cellophane bags. But even a tea bag in one of those with a nice ribbon and you can give your assistant a gift of relaxation in a lovely package.
I also never buy holiday gift tags, but make my own. You can buy all kinds of inexpensive craft papers now that make this easy.
The message that accompanies the gift is important; with creative gift giving you sometimes have to explain why you got something for someone.
For holidays, I use only two or three patterns of gift wrap in the same color scheme and mix it up from year to year.
5. I have an amazing partner who executes my crazy ideas.
I am research and development; he is engineering and accounting.
If I say – you know what would make a good gift for so and so… he will track it down and find it at the best price.
We’re a pretty formidable team.
6. I like people to like what I give them.
I like packages to be beautiful and admired.
I don’t have the time I used to to devote to those things and it makes me a little sad.
When someone gives you a gift that makes you feel special and loved, it’s a wonderful thing!
Oh and one last thing, appreciate beautiful wrapping and thoughtful gifts when you are the receiver.
Don’t let it make you feel guilty or jealous. Some people just love to do it.
Calling someone Martha Stewart in those circumstances is generally not a compliment!
So good. Thanks, Lynn!! Tomorrow, you’ll hear Ryan’s secrets.