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Gift Giving in Challenging Times

Updated: Jul 25, 2023

It’s that time of the year. Making gift lists. But with the manufacturing bottlenecks, worker shortages and shipping delays, holiday gift-giving presents problems never-before seen. Or is this really an opportunity whose time has come? I think it’s the latter.

Let’s Re-Think Holiday Gifts

Now is the perfect convergence of two ideas I’ve espoused for some time: “Gifts of Heart” and clutter-free gifting. And after reading Aimee Olson’s story in our monthly newsletter, clutter-free gifting sounds quite appealing.

Gifts of Heart

As I’ve written before, “Gifts of Heart” are those you make. The best ones are made specifically for one person, like a framed photo of something you and your friend did together, or a handmade wall-hanging designed to match a friend’s room where you hang out. The best of these gifts capitalizes on something you enjoyed together, or a passion you both share.

These gifts evoke sweet memories and warm thoughts. Just what we all need anytime—but especially on a dreary winter day. A store-bought or online purchase of a picture or wall hanging can’t begin to compare. The personalization is just not there. If you’ve never made a “Gift of Heart” before, this is the year to begin. Of course, I’m always available to assist—but they do require planning ahead. And for photo lovers, FOREVER® has guaranteed availability of its products to make such gifts this holiday season.

If you like to see mile-wide smiles when you give a gift or get comments month after month from a recipient about the joy your gift generated, it’s certainly worth a try.

Clutter-Free Gifting

I’m sold on these gifts. They require no space and are always a hit. Clutter-free gifts come in many categories. The largest requirement is that you know your recipient well enough to know what they would love. For example, is your friend a baseball fan, how about two tickets to a Twins game—or the team nearest you? Even better, you use the other ticket and you’ve ensured a delightful memory you’ll share for years to come.

Clutter-Free Activities—Tickets

How about tickets for: concerts, sporting events, art classes, lectures, restaurant gift cards, music downloads, hot air balloon rides, bowling, or gold passes or so much more.

Clutter-Free Activities—Cooking Classes

For your friend who loves cooking—or has many burnt memories—cooking classes of all sorts: meal planning, entrees like meat or seafood cooking, vegan cooking, wok magic, gluten-free cooking, dessert making, cake baking, airy souffles, flourless chocolate cake, pies, appetizers, charcuterie plates and so much more. Hungry yet?

Clutter-Free Online Classes

For your technology-challenged friend or mom or dad, how about a computer class meant specifically for people who dislike technology? Find a patient teacher who knows to teach the benefits of technology before dragging them through the details. Online Master Classes or research classes. These days, online music classes are popular. Entice your mom into playing the piano again. There’s also composing, voice classes, music appreciation and oh-so-much more. Music classes are a gift for life.

Clutter-Free Athletic Gifts

How about a gift of personal trainer sessions or golf, tennis, yoga, or ballet lessons? You don’t have to be good. Your recipient just needs to be willing.

Clutter-Free Art Classes

I have friends who claim they missed out on the artistic gene, but I think the right teacher may change their mind. How about a painting course, or a pottery class? Beading? Sculpture? How about art appreciation? Museum tour? Photography class? Now you’re talking!

Gifts of Time or Pampering

If you’ve got time, give some away. How about redeemable tickets for babysitting, or adult day-care? House cleaning—by you or a service—who’d turn that down? Then there’s manicures and pedicures, massages, car washes or detailing, lawn get the idea. Who passes on these things? Nobody I know.

The lists go on and on. The best place to start is with your recipient. What do they love—or hate—to do? Provide that service for them. What won’t they buy for themselves, but would love to do, or eat or enjoy? Bingo. You’ve found the perfect gift.

Hobby Time or some TIMEaway™—with Beth

If your friend has a hobby, check out the events I’m holding for such people. Participants have fun, laugh, and create things, all in a positive environment. And YES. It’s OK to give yourself a gift like that, too. I promise.

There you have it. Next time you see another news story about the shipping logjam or product shortages—smile, because this year you’ve got a better idea.

How many ideas have you thought of just reading this blog? Time to get going. Make this year’s holidays your best.


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