Meaningful Gifts Make the Best Gifts

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”

Mother Teresa

When it comes to the holidays and special occasions, what kind of gift-giver are you?
Are you the slapdash purchaser who spots something on a shelf, presses on a bow, and calls it a day? Or are you the thoughtful gift-giver who carefully chooses gifts for each special person in your life?In 2011, a record $52 billion dollars was spent on holiday shopping with the average shopper spending approximately $398.62.  It’s too bad we can’t quantify the love and thought behind all those gifts.

Without a doubt, gifts with thought put behind them make the most meaningful and best gifts of all.

Sometimes those gifts are made by tiny fingers in chaotic classrooms, like a painting made with small handprints or a carefully hand molded clay figurine. These are more than gifts, they are thoughtful moments captured in time that will be cherished forever.  Or maybe the gift is something painstakingly created in hopes that one day it will become a family heirloom passed down from generation to generation, such as a quilt or piece of furniture to celebrate a marriage or birth of a child.
The good news is that handmade gifts like these aren’t the only way to make gifts meaningful.

Store bought gifts are not invaluable because they’re purchased versus being handmade. What truly makes a gift meaningful is that it is chosen with care because we take the time to really think about the person we’re giving it to.

When you have a lot of people to buy gifts for such as, parents, friends, family, party hostesses, your child’s teacher(s), coworkers, the mailman, the list goes on–that much thought can quickly become overwhelming.
Here’s a tip that has helped me to simplify and streamline the gift-giving process while making those gifts meaningful at the same time.  Start by making a list of the people you have to buy for with their qualities or characteristics next to their name. Next think about their interests and hobbies. What is their favorite color? What is it about them that you think makes them so special?

Once you’ve compiled your list, choose one item that fits something you have written down that can be personalized to fit the recipient, like Julee Ireland. This way, you can check off part of your holiday shopping in one stop while making sure to choose a special gift for each person on your list. You’re taking the stress out of gift giving and being thoughtful at the same time.  What I like most about this idea is that you can do it from home while wearing your pajamas and sipping a cup of your favorite brew!

Whether store bought or handmade, a meaningful gift will always win out over the hastily given, latest new gadget on the marketplace.  After all, it’s the thought that counts!
“Black Friday weekend shines as shoppers line up for deals, spend record $52 billion.” National Retail Federation. N.P., 27 Nov. 2011. Web. 15 Nov. 2012.

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