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Christmas Gifts From the Heart

By Edited Dec 9, 2015 2 14

Choosing the Right Gift

Choosing gifts for family and friends--at least choosing gifts that will be appreciated and enjoyed--is all about knowing the likes, interests and needs of the gift recipient. Gift Giving 101 mandates that you give a gift the receiver would enjoy receiving. No where does it say that said gift must cost lots of money--or any money at all.

Choosing the right gift may seem like an art form and perhaps it is. Choosing a gift is not only about the gift itself, but that you put thought and effort into your choice. That's what a good gift says to the recipient, "You really know me. I am important to you."

For example, you know someone who collects old jewelry. You might spend time throughout the year collecting jewelry finds at thrift shops or garage sales. Doing so, and presenting such a gift shows that you thought about the recipient and knew them well enough to give them something to delight.

On the other hand, you may be a last-minute shopper and decide to buy a new piece of jewelry for this person. The recipient may still be pleased with your choice, but it doesn't show the same level of effort and consideration as the former choice would.

Giving From the Heart

Some people are reluctant to give photos as gifts for whatever reason, but family members in particular are happy to receive pictures of their loved ones.  I've found that medium-size pictures, 4x6 or 5x7, are the preferred size to receive. You can go the extra mile and have the photo matted and framed, or frame it yourself.

Digital photo frames are another good gift idea; the prices on these have become more reasonable than when first introduced. You can literally put hundreds and sometimes thousands of picture files in these photo frames.

Parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles enjoy receiving gifts that children have made.  You could put together a small scrapbook of drawings and/or stories the kids have done and present them. Another idea is to frame children's drawings or artwork and give as a gift.

Inked impressions of little hands and feet put into a suitable frame is a great memento for family members. So are the plaster castings of hand prints and/or footprints.

The gift of music is a popular choice, especially if you know the type of music the recipient enjoys. You can buy or create CDs of a group or genre, and present encased, to recipient.

Coupon books for personal services never go out of style. Create a book of coupons that are redeemable during the coming year for activities you are willing to do for and with the gift receiver. Ideas might include babysitting young ones for a several hours, cooking dinner, giving a manicure, weeding a garden--the only limit is your imagination.

Put to good use any crafting or art skills you may have. I cherish doilies and table runners my grandmother made and gave to me. The people in your life will feel the same way about something you have created just for them.

Buying Gifts on a Budget

There is no shame in choosing a budget for your Christmas gift giving and sticking with it. And in these tough economic times, perhaps you cannot a lot any money for Christmas.  Don't let either of these situations cause you anxiety.

Try to avoid using credit cards or payday loans to get you through the holiday season, because come January, any anxiety you had about buying gifts for Christmas will be replaced by the anxiety of paying bills caused by spending money you didn't have.

Spending time with one another really is the best gift of all. Being able to break bread together is a nice bonus. Exchanging gifts is not mandatory when you don't have the financial resources to do so.

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Comments

Oct 26, 2011 5:25pm
Tom_Carver
You are quite right about putting the time and effort in gift selection at Christmas. As you point out too, giving of your time might be the best thing of all. Nice article.
Oct 27, 2011 12:41am
LLWoodard
Thanks for stopping by Tom_Carver. Too often older relatives become somewhat marginalized and get less of our attention--usually without meaning to ignore them. I've always enjoyed listening to the stories of older people, particularly about their early lives.
Nov 1, 2011 7:31am
Tom_Carver
You are quite right. I was explaining to an old neighbor about the correct way I was going to fell a tree which bordered our two gardens. Imagine my surprise when he revealed that he had been a forrester for over 20 years, in his youth. He knew more about saws and blades and cutting trees than I will ever know. We have a good laugh about it still.
Oct 27, 2011 12:53pm
divaonline
A great reminder to all of us to put thought into each gift. Good job.
Oct 28, 2011 8:23am
Lynsuz
Good tips on gift giving from the heart. I like to give and receive handmade items, pictures are always nice too.
Oct 29, 2011 12:21am
LLWoodard
Divaonlne and Lynsuz, thanks for stopping by to read and comment. Handmade gifts are perhaps one of the gifts that most say, "You mean a lot to me," because handmade items show forethought, not to mention precious time and energy that went into the creation of the gift.

When I was younger--and more materialistic--I couldn't believe my parents wanted no Christmas gifts. All they wanted was their family to be together for the holiday. I certainly understand that now.
Oct 29, 2011 12:38pm
EGreen
It's interesting what we learn to appreciate as we get older. This is a nice reminder in time for the holidays.
Oct 29, 2011 6:17pm
LLWoodard
Thanks, EGreen. Yes, there is something to be said about growing older, many positive things. When we were 20, we were sure we knew everything; at 50, we know we have barely scratched the surface.
Oct 30, 2011 3:24am
Info-by-Naomi
Nice suggestions for gifts that don't cost much money, but mostly require some of our time to create. With people so busy today, time is very precious, which makes gifts like these even more meaningful.
Oct 30, 2011 1:23pm
LLWoodard
Info-by-Naomi, you've hit the nail on the head! A gift that is truly prized by the receiver displays some level of personalized thought on the part of the gift-giver. What gift says more than something in which you have invested your time?
Nov 2, 2011 6:06pm
Ddraig
I always put the effort into thinking if the gift will suit a certain family member. I then go on a bargain hunt for the same product at a better price.
Nov 2, 2011 6:57pm
LLWoodard
Ddraig, I agree with your method. I am on the lookout throughout the year for gifts I know will please the folks I care about.
Nov 8, 2011 12:42am
JudyE
Great article. I pick up items throughout the year so Christmas isn't so rushed. There is less impulse buying too when time is getting short and ideas are even shorter!
Dec 6, 2011 11:12pm
AuroraWindsor
Your article was good. It is important to choose a gift that a person would really appreciate. I try to shop whenever there is a sale.
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