Here's the problem. For many adults, gift-giving has lost its magic. Gift registries for weddings and baby showers are great, but isn't it a little sad to think that we've taught ourselves and society that a "good" gift is the one we pick out ourselves, even sometimes purchase for ourselves?
Convenience is king, but maybe not the best approach when it comes to gift-giving. Even making a specific list loses its luster when you consistently get everything on that list, and nothing outside of it. Where is the fun in that?
So why is giving good gifts so hard? We think primarily, because it takes so much time and intention to do well. In our fast-paced world, it can feel impossible to take enough time to give a thoughtful gift to each person on our list.
Not to mention, the one-size-fits-all gift guides out there, that just don't fit all. Even when we know this, it's hard to admit it. Your parents who have had the same couch from 1984 don't want the same thing that your siblings with plenty of disposable income and a travel fetish do.
You want to show someone you care. And something is better than nothing, right? But giving 42 of the same blanket might be missing the mark and leaving you feeling flustered every year. (Just us?)
If it's the thought that counts, what can that really look like this year? Thankfully, we're right there with you, and we have a few ideas.
Our founder, Clayton, and his wife Kristen, sat down on The GoodKind Podcast to talk through their holiday giving this year. They're focusing on adults, but with a few thoughts for kids in there too, and brainstorming how to give the best gifts they can this year, reflecting back on the best gifts they have ever given and received.
Here is the punchline: Every gift, no matter how big or small, should say "I see you, and I care."
What does that mean?
- It doesn’t mean expensive and it doesn’t mean you have to get them the perfect gift. That is not what gift giving is about.
- It doesn’t mean it has to be an amazing surprise or something used every day.
- It doesn’t mean you have to draw names or do white elephant. (But those aren’t bad ideas, either.)
Set a timer for 15 minutes sometime in the next few days. Make a list of everyone you're giving gifts to this year. Start brainstorming ideas thinking through the options below. Write down some options, even if you're not set on something yet. And revisit the list until you land on just the right thing.
Chances are, you won't complete the list right away. But as you go about your day, something will pop into your mind that's just right.
We think that there is a spiritual practice of noticing— slowing down just for a moment to see what God is doing around you, and considering how you can engage with him, and the people in your life. What a better way to practice that, than in your holiday gift-giving this year?
Try some of these and hopefully they will prompt your thinking.
- Try giving a gift someone has wanted for a long time but never gotten.
- Try giving a gift of something that is hard to find. (The effort means something.)
- Try giving a gift that is meaningful and shows you know the person well.
- Try giving a gift that is a need they don’t know they have.
- Try giving a gift that is a surprise.
- Try giving the gift of time.
We promise, your loved ones will feel the time and intentionality. And your 15 minutes of prep will stick with them for years to come!