The days before Christmas are disappearing. Is all of your shopping done?
I woke up this morning with some anxiety over that too, and it’s getting close to the time when it would be really easy just to resort to giving a gift card or cash. Some people on my list specifically asked for that.
But if I’m aiming not only to check a gift and recipient off of my list, but also find the “joy in giving,” a gift card or cash alone rarely satisfies me.
Can you relate? When looking at the people on my list, I like to think through what each might like to have, while also thinking through whether it is something I’d like to give. To me, personal gifts are the most meaningful and usually get a positive response. Photo gifts usually appear under my tree each year for a few people, and sometimes those even bring a happy tear.
But what can you do this close to Dec. 25 that is created from your heart and felt in theirs?
I have three ideas for you that don’t require much money or time.
If you’re like me and don’t find as much joy in giving a gift card or cash alone but that’s what your recipient wants, you could pair one of these with that to satisfy both giver and receiver.
1. Write a letter.
My husband and I have letters and cards that our grandparents wrote us when we were younger, and it’s priceless to still have their words and their handwriting even though we don’t have them. In today’s fast-paced world, we rely on technology so much that a handwritten letter or story is even more special.
You can write encouraging words or share a story. Need a prompt? How about, “Here’s what I love/admire about you and wish for you in the year ahead, and why.” Or, “I remember this …… and my wish for you is …..” Or “Right now, I want to tell you ….”
The main point is to share from the heart. That is, after all, the point of the season: Love.
2. Make a collage.
Pull out your scrapbook papers and tools, and find some extra ‘doubles’ photos that you have sitting around from days gone by. Or print up a half dozen photos that you have of your recipient. Use a 12×12 sheet of scrapbook paper and make a collage of photos and words that describe how you feel and think about him/her. Once done, you can find an inexpensive frame at a craft or discount store if you choose to frame it. You also can create this digitally if you’d prefer and print out at home.
3. Make a small ‘highlights’ album.
Don’t overthink this. As picture takers and album makers, we think we need the perfect album, the perfect theme, the perfect papers. Here’s a secret – we don’t. If you have leftover supplies, with generic paper and a few stickers, you can create something that will be loved, and it won’t cost you much money or time.
Use what you have.
Scroll through your photos and print out 12-36 of them. You can select one per month, or three per month, with a little more thrown in from really special days.
The result does not have to be worthy of going in the Smithsonian. Just do it. (You’ll also start the new year having pared down your supplies a bit.)
So who’s left on your gift list? What words of affirmation do they need to hear or read? What would they like to receive? And what would you like to give?
Please share in the comments below any other ideas you have for making a quick, meaningful gift in the few days leading up to Christmas. Do you have a photo you’d like to share, too? I would love to see it.
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