Thanksgiving is like the alarm clock of holiday gift giving. A slap in the face to the short amount of time you have to not only decide what to get but to purchase it, wrap it and maybe even ship it. If you’re shipping gifts, Thanksgiving is more of a panic button. All the thought put into gift giving has now gone out the window and you are in a horrible place of just buying a gift that could honestly have anyone’s name on the tag.
Here is my chart for you to follow for gift giving for the holiday season. You can use this chart for birthdays, anniversaries and any time that society dictates that you need to bring a gift.
Easy Peasy: Money; just give a check or a crisp bill of any denomination, although 20’s and up are more appreciated than ones and fives. Money is always useful for the receiver and you can not get any easier for the giver. There is nothing wrong with giving money.
Smart: Gloves, socks, pistachios. Gloves are lost all the time and a good collection is helpful. Socks can be fun. If you know your receiver has a hobby then you can be sock specific; hiking, running, hunting, skiing. Be aware that gloves and socks come in sizes and you will need to be thoughtful enough to know if the receiver of the gift has large or small hands and feet. I wear small socks, the stores always put the small socks on the top shelf. I can’t reach them and have to ask for a step stool. If you are six feet tall and wear a 4.5-6 sock you are probably unable to stand upright and would need the socks on the lowest shelve as well. And who’s not going to smile when they open a Costco size bag of pistachios. This has the illusion of a large gift but in reality it’s mostly inedible shells.
Local: My personal favorite, shopping locally. Most of my Christmas shopping is done at the local breweries. The breweries stock a wide variety of promotional items such as shirts, growlers, koozies and stickers, You sit at the bar or table and they bring you everything, even a tasty beverage.
“..could I see that tank top in a women’s large please”
and they bring it
…”and I’ll take 3 of your hydro flask tumblers as well”.
Without moving from your bar stool, all of your Christmas shopping is done and you’ve shopped locally.
“….all of this shopping has made me hungry, could you bring me a pizza too”.
Consumables: Sometimes you have to shop for the person who has everything. The person who you know has a closet in their house that is full of all the presents you have ever sent them. This person needs something consumable like chocolate or wine. The other nice thing about chocolate or wine is that it is easily re-gift-able.
Personal: This may be my all time favorite even over local. Personal can be a story or poem that you wrote for the person. It could be something hand knitted or sewn. Some hand-crafted jewelry or pottery. It could even be a hand-written coupon for a foot massage by you. Oh! A foot massage, there is nothing that beats a foot massage. There is no money involved in this gift, yet the receiver will be thrilled to be given a foot massage.
Nocturnal Rodents: I do not recommend this gift at all. Giving nocturnal rodents is a poor choice. If you or your children are the receivers of such a gift you will need to exam the relationship you have with the gift giver. I can tell you from personal experience that you may be passively aggressively on someone’s shit list when given a nocturnal rodent.
Books: Books are one of my favorite things ever. But giving books for presents is questionable. You must really know the person well to pick out a book for them. Using Wild About Books blog is an exceptionally good resource but still risky. For example, one of my favorite books is “Born to Run”. I love this book and you don’t have to be a runner to enjoy this book, in my opinion. After I read this book I wanted everyone to experience reading this modern classic. Let’s say I give this book as a gift to my son, daughter, mom, sister, dad, beautiful man, and best friend at work. If I think about this more in depth, there is only one person in that list that might read and finish this book and that would be my dad. As good as this book is, you would still need to have a passion for running to have an interest in reading “Born to Run”. There is one person in my life who not only reads everything that I suggest but enjoys the books as well, my friend and superhero Carol. I think this is rare to have someone who enjoys all of the books that you enjoy. The answer to this book giving conundrum is simple. Give a Kindle. My Kindle has been a life changer. It’s easy to read, downloads books on demand, very portable, battery charge last for weeks and you can adjust the font size to your eye needs. A Kindle Paper White would make a great gift. If the people you know already have an e-reader, then go for the amazon gift card. You can purchase this online, give it online and they can use it online. That’s almost as easy as the money suggestion. With the amazon gift card the receiver can buy more books that they chose to read.
Happy shopping. Several Christmas Bazaars in Darby today. If you are in the area check them out and I hear that Santa will be at Bandit Brewery.