Monday, November 30, 2015

How to do a Smart Christmas Gift-Giving

Last Sunday Gracia and I were doing the part two of our shopping for Christmas gifts. Gracia and I wanted to give gifts to all the people we care for, however, we just could not do that. It was a hard decision to let go of some precious people from our Christmas list in our lives to match our budget.

It was funny that we started listing a lot of relatives and close friends then ending up with un-listing some of them. Gracia and I decided that it had been a hard year for all of us and to show the appreciation to all those who were used by God to help us, those who had been part of the new book of our lives as husband and wife, and to inspire and encourage those people dear to us by giving simple but meaningful gifts.

Given this situation, we learned to be wiser in completing our Christmas gift-giving. Below is a short list which might interest you.

1. Personalize your gifts.

This is so given. Of course, we want to give someone we love the things that person badly wants to receive this Christmas. But we know that most of the times, these things they want to receive are quite expensive. It is because if these things are not expensive, why would they wait for Christmas to get these things, right?

So we decided not to take that route. We go for the other route. You know, putting twist on it. It is still personalizing in the way you see that person in your own perspective. How do you define that person in your life? What does this person mean to you? How this person had helped you in the past? What does he or she really like doing? What is his or her role in your life?

By knowing this person in a deeper sense, you can choose a gift which is not necessarily expensive but something that describes that person. It could be a book that you think would help that person. You can personalize it more by writing a little note telling that person why you are giving this gift to him or to her.

A couple of years before, I gave Gracia a beautiful lamp. I told her that when I saw that lamp, I remembered her. It was because she served as a light during the darkest time of my life. I know it’s cheesy but hey, it did work!

2. Choose simplicity.

One thing we also realized was that it’s so hard to find a gift for our Ninongs and Ninangs who are rich. One of our Ninong is actually a president of a company. Another is a general manager of a bank. One of our Ninangs is a finance manager. How could you get simple things for these people who seem to have everything they need? Of course, they do not have everything in the world but you get my point, right? You want to please them but how? We sure don’t want to get things which they could buy themselves.

Pondering on some ideas, Gracia and I both agreed that they don’t really need to receive expensive gifts. These people could buy the most expensive TV, laptops, cell phones, or any gadgets when they decide to do so. So we go to simple things that more often than not, they tend to miss. Here, we help them see more of themselves and also to let them know of our impression of them.

It could be those things they tend to take for granted in their daily lives. For example, this person likes coffee so much. Everyday he drinks coffee. That when you see a coffee, this is the very first person that comes in your head. You can buy that person a book that tells more about coffee. Or you can buy him a different kind of coffee products which he might have not tasted yet before. It could be something that is only available in your province. You know, something like that which defines more of themselves in little things.

3. Get a partner.

If you really feel that budget would not be able to cover all the people you want to give a gift this Christmas, why don’t you look for someone to partner with you? If you know someone who wants to give that same person a gift, you may want to consider talking to that person to partner with you in getting the best gift for that person. The gift you are eyeing on could be really outrageous. But if you could get a partner, you could instead share paying only the half of it and he pays for the other half. That is less painful in the pocket.

4. Go out and explore.

It is always exciting to travel different places. You can make it even more meaningful by looking for gifts for people you love. It is fun and you can also learn new things. You can try the next city or town and discover what they have to offer. Here in the Philippines, every province has something unique to offer. You can also try the garage sales and who knows, you could find there something you need for yourself.

The famous destinations here in the country always include Divi or Divisoria. Have you been there? It is a paradise of good finds at amazingly low prices. But it is also a jungle. The game here is the survival of the fittest. You don’t go there just for buying a gift or two. It is more recommended to those who want to buy all their gifts one time big time. And you need to be prepared and be careful when you get there. It’s always jam-packed with a lot of people from different places. And always ready a list before you go there. The early the better.

5. Go electronic and creative.

If you have considered all options but still, it’s out of the budget. Why don’t you try creating a slideshow for that person telling his life story? You could do a little movie about that person which you could exaggerate for the sake of arts and entertainment. All you need is a computer and creative mind. That would definitely be appreciated.

We’re still doing our little gift-giving project. We hope that you have enjoyed and learned from our little list above. Always remember, it’s the thoughts that count. Whatever gifts you may come up with, that receiver of that gift would always feel your heart with it. Be experimental. Do it with sincerity. Bless more and be blessed. Happy giving!

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