Usually ever year I begin my Christmas shopping around December 20th. Yes, like five days before Christmas. You can only imagine how anxious, stressful, and NOT enjoyable it was for me! Usually the procrastination was caused by stress of saving money, finding the best deals, etc. After some good conversations with friends, I had this break-through moment when I realized that gift giving is not about how much you spend.
Is that crazy that I just learned that? However, I'm realizing that whether they know it or not, so many other people are living with this anxiety that finding the perfect gift requires spending a ton of money. Gift giving is more than the monetary value, but the sentimental and thoughtful value add it provides. The idea that someone has taken time out of their day to find a gift, carefully wrap it, and give to surprise and delight their loved one to joyfully open is the TRUE beauty! Regardless if it costs $5 or $500.
Today I'm sharing the stress-free guide on how to approach gift giving this year which includes how to tackle your shopping list and how to make gifts more personal. I promise you none of this is revolutionary, but it was a new approach for me and a game changer in my gift giving experience. :) If you wrote a gift guide or any blog post related to gifts, share the link in the comments below! I'd love to hear your ideas.
HOW TO TACKLE YOUR CHRISTMAS SHOPPING LIST
1. Take a minute and write a list of names of people in your life you would like to gift this season. Now go through the list, name by name, and take three minutes to write as many gifts that come to mind when you think of that person. (Example: Jessica - lululemon headband, anthropologie candle, cute ring dish, external cell phone charger, subscription to Birchbox, lip gloss... spend limit $15)
- What have they mentioned they needed or liked in passing conversations?
- What stores do they often shop at?
- What are their hobbies? Do they collect anything?
- What are frequent themes on their Pinterest board?
2. Next to each gift idea, write an estimated dollar amount. Give yourself a half hour to draft up this list. After I did this, I was so excited and motivated to find the perfect, unique gift for each person. Breaking it down made the gift more meaningful and personal versus a daunting errand.
3. Tally up all of the estimated gift prices. Where did you land? Even the small $5-10 gifts add up, so it's good to see where you are netting and what you are working with. Is it above what you expected? Is it within budget? Although it's always nice to be generous, you don't want to be reckless or irresponsible!
Tip: If there are people in your life you want to gift, but cannot afford to buy something, try thinking of alternative ways to surprise them. Write a card, cook them a meal, or bake them cookies. It's always the thought that counts!
I keep coming across headlines with tips on how to survive the holidays, and this year, I'd love for us to think beyond that. It's not just about surviving (it's not finals week or tax season, people!) but savoring and cherishing this special time to reflect, celebrate, gather, and selah. Because the gift giving culture has become so commercialized, it's nice when we find little ways to make it more memorable.
So what are some ways to focus on being meaningful than just monetary? Here are some "priceless" gift ideas! I love learning new ideas, too, so please comment below with any suggestions you have!
- Make the gift. Try creating a photo collage of the two of you in a frame. Hand-knit a scarf in their favorite color. Create wall art by printing (or writing) a meaningful quote or bible verse and frame it. Or if you're super Pinteresty, try making a candle, lip balm, body scrub, etc.
- Create a care package. Find their favorite snacks, desserts, and cute stocking stuffers, and create a personalized care package for them. They will have so much fun looking through all of the little items.
- Write them a card. Give them the gift of love and remind them how much you mean to them this season. :)
- Personalize your gift wrapping! I took a stab at this this year and it was so easy (and so much fun). All you need is plain wrapping paper and a sharpie. Even if you couldn't spend a lot of money on the gift, adding in your own gift wrapping will make the gift seem so much more thoughtful and special.
Hopefully this post was helpful and got your wheels spinning on new ways to approach Christmas shopping this year! xoxo. How are you approaching Xmas gifts this year?
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