The holidays are just around the corner, and you know what that means — it’s time for gift giving. We hope you enjoy these creative gift giving ideas from our guest blogger, Tanynya Hekymara.
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“When you give to another person, there's a physiological response. Your brain's pleasure and reward centers light up as if you were the recipient of the good deed — not the giver.”
— "The Science of Giving" on Happify
Giving gifts can be an extremely rewarding act. Take time to be thoughtful and mindful about gift giving and enjoy the physiological response in your brain’s pleasure center.
Running out of ideas for gifts for friends and family? If you are like me, you have given gifts to the same folks year after year. There are several ways to breathe new life into gift giving. Here are just a few…
- Purchase gifts when you travel. Even if you only take one trip per year you can purchase interesting gifts while on vacation. The gifts will be considered interesting because you bought them out of town and carry a story with them. You can include a nice card about the shop you purchased the gift in and why it spoke to you.
- Theme based gifts. Create a theme for the year, either for birthdays or the holiday season. Your theme could be favorite college, favorite athletic team, movies, music, framed family picture, art; the choices are limitless. Creating a theme for the year allows for a couple of opportunities, you can purchase all the gifts early and all at once. How cool would it be to be done shopping for the year in one shopping trip?
- Listen. Listen. Listen. All year long folks talk about what they want. Make a running list of other people’s wish lists. This will allow you to buy them something they expressed a need or want for and again, include a personal note.
- Living gifts. Plants are a great idea. Make them personal by purchasing a nice pot or by decorating one yourself. Take clippings from your garden to make your gift or visit a local nursery or home improvement store. This is another opportunity to write a note. Include interesting facts about the plant and the process you went through to create it. People will be impressed and so will you by your budget.
- Practical gifts. Don’t be afraid to give a practical gift. Of course know your receiver, but know that most people appreciate a bit of relief to the budget especially around the holidays. Purchase grocery store gift cards or if you notice something in someone’s home that needs replacing, get it. I would love for someone to give me a House Cleaning coupon. I always appreciate practical gifts, and I am sure some people on your list will too.
- Books. What are the people in your life interested in? Give a book, book on tape, e-book or DVD with information about their favorite subject. Your gift list may include someone interested in basketball, or yoga, or wine or basket weaving. They will appreciate that you took interest in and recognized their hobby or interest.
- The gift of time. This is a gift you may want to reserve for only certain people on your list. If you love to spend time with everyone on the list then create a list and rotate years. Odd years can be for female friends and family and even years can be for males, or something like that. Write a beautiful card that includes an invitation to join you for a manicure, pedicure, spa time, golf, movie, or a meal at a restaurant. Take advantage of sites like Groupon or Living Social to get a great deal.
Take delight in shopping! Gift giving is fun and healthy for the giver and the receiver. It is a way to share a part of you with another person. So be creative and innovative, and your gifts will always be memorable.
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti