Have you started thinking about holiday gift shopping yet? Around this time of year, catalogs come in the mail, emails offer suggestions, stores stock darling items, and commercials highlight the hot toys and treats for the season. Finding the “perfect” present sometimes poses a challenge, and can add stress to an already hectic time of year. Creating lists based on insight and foresight can help ideas start flowing, making shopping that much easier.
Add things you know about the person next to each name you include. If they have a favorite color or interest, a gift can focus on this part of their personality and make it special just for them.
One trend that warms our hearts during this season is purchasing gifts that give back to somewhere or someone that needs it, or to organizations meaningful to the recipient. Many organizations or non-profits connect you with items made by others struggling in another country, or allow you to see the direct link to your donation or purchase, and how it benefits someone in need.
Another way to give back in a similar manner comes from portions of sales going to designated charities. Look for tags indicating “one-for-one” or a percent donation from a sale of an item. A gift can benefit even more than just the receiver when this gets put in place.
For the food-lover in your life, give your local food bank a call to see how monetary donations get handled for the holidays. These locations always need help and often donations can be made in someone’s name.
Some libraries offer an opportunity to purchase books in honor of someone and include a stamp or sticker inside the book indicating the donation or gift. Think of how special your avid-reader-mother-in-law would feel when you let her know a copy of her favorite book sits on the library shelves in honor of her.
Perhaps think of chores or things that need to get done for friends or family and offer to do them as a gift. Maybe your older neighbor struggles with getting their car washed or taking their trash to the curb every week. Offer to do these things for a specific amount of time as a present to thank them for being a wonderful friend.
Sure, giving at this time of year creates challenges and can get tricky, but when you offer gifts that connect to the people on your list in meaningful ways, it makes giving even more special. We wish you a season of happy shopping – full of creative ways to give AND give back!
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