Everyone knows the holidays can be stressful. While they can provide a great opportunity to connect with family and friends, there’s also a lot of pressure to attend more events, host holiday guests, and pick out the perfect gift for everyone on your list – all while keeping up with the demands of everyday life.
While research shows that spending money to make meaningful connections is rewarding, it can be overwhelming considering all of the options. So, we’ve prepared a list of five thoughtful gifts for the important people in your life. Making this a little easier means you’ll have more time to sit back and enjoy the holiday festivities. Trust me, these gifts are so good, you won’t find these in the “re-gift” pile!
5 Thoughtful Gift Ideas
A Favorite Treat
What’s their favorite treat? Did their grandmother used to make homemade peanut brittle when they were growing up? Have you heard them rave about an excellent cheese they tried on a recent business trip? Did you enjoy a nice coffee from a vacation spot that will bring back some warm memories? Perhaps they have a favorite local jam from their hometown? Do some research. Ask their family. Learn how to make it or do some research on how to order it and have it shipped right to you.
A make-up bag, shaving kit, wallet, jewelry or coffee mug…the possibilities are endless! Monograms add a fun touch with an extra dose of thoughtfulness. And the best part? With the popularity of computerized sewing machines and Cricut Cutting Machines, you likely know someone who can help you personalize a gift at a fraction of the cost! Thoughtful and affordable all in one!
Before you scroll past this idea, hear me out. Even if you’re not crafty, Pinterest has a ton of great ideas (search “DIY gifts for husband/wife/coworker/mom/dad, etc”). My current personal favorite is a variation of map art. Find maps of places you’ve traveled together or places that are special to you – where you met, where you married and where you live – to create a sweet gift for your partner.
“5 of My Favorite Things” Gift
Choose 5 of your favorite things to share with your partner, family member, or friend. You can also modify this gift into a gift giving tradition if you have a large family and typically draw names. Everyone chooses one of their favorite things, buys and wraps 5 of the same thing. At the Christmas party or family get-together each person draws 5 names and gives one of their gifts to each of those 5 people. Everyone will end up with 5 different gifts. It’s a fun way to share some of your favorite things with family, friends or co-workers and takes the stress out of having to choose multiple gifts. See below for some of our favorite combos:
-pretty ramekin bowls or jewelry dish, lip gloss, dry shampoo, and a candle
-leather notebook or calendar, aftershave, wine/craft beer, vintage tape measure or tool, letter opener, and headphones
-coffee mug, coffee, wine, nuts, and chocolate
“Hunt it Down” Gifts
Thrift stores, antique stores and yard sales aren’t the typical go-to for holiday shopping but they are an untapped resource for some really unique and thoughtful gifts. Take your time browsing and see what you find. Does your wife like to entertain for coffee or host brunch? Try putting together an eclectic mix of antique tea cups and saucers for a pretty surprise. Wood and leather are often good go-to gift ideas for men. Try your luck at finding an old leather briefcase, duffel bag or shave kit.
Invest in an Experience
The possibilities are endless with this option as are the price-points. You can spend a little or a lot and create a memorable experience for your loved one. Is there a skill your mom has expressed interest in? Pay for her to take a class to develop that skill. Don’t forget annual memberships to their favorite local attractions (think the zoo, a museum, etc.). Quite often, these places will have a holiday special making this thoughtful gift even more affordable.
The Bottom Line
Don’t let the stress of holiday shopping weigh you down. There is so much to enjoy about the holidays but it can be easy to focus on how much we have to do. When you start feeling overwhelmed, make a list, take a walk, or do something you enjoy…and then re-group. Don’t forget to check out our other article, Proactive Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday Season.
Perhaps the holiday stress is compounded by other stressors in your life. It can be helpful to talk with a trusted therapist to sort through the things that seem so heavy. Call us or schedule online; we can help.