I read a book a long time ago called The Five Love Languages, and wasn’t at all surprised to learn that one of my “love languages” is essentially giving gifts. What that means specifically is that the way I prefer to show my love for friends and family is through gifting. Considering how much I spend at T.J Maxx, Marshal’s and Homegoods on a regular basis, picking up “just a little something” for my godsons, or “something silly for my sister, because she’s having a tough week,” plus the fact that I had a gift wrapping station IN my office once upon a time should tell you everything.
I just love everything that goes into gifting — start to finish, from thinking up and shopping for the gift itself to beautifully wrapping it, to seeing it opened. Here are a few “Gift Guides” I’ve put together over the years: Gift Ideas for Commuters, Gift Guide for Female Co-workers, and my very popular Gift Guide for Minimalists. I usually start by think about the person and what they love. I’ll consider what they’re interested in and then think through things they need, but don’t have. It’s like a puzzle and when it involves roving around the aisles of some of my favorite shopping haunts, to me, it’s basically heaven. My brain is in overdrive thinking of who I know who could most use the goodies I discover. Often I’ll think of my own new purchases and consider if it, or something in a similar vein, might be suitable for them as well.
For example, I love to be outside in our garden, so as the temperatures have dropped and we prepare for winter, I’ve been trying to eek out as much time on our patio as I can, taking in the last of the fall foliage dotting out tree-lined yard. I want to sip my coffee without bundling up in a huge coat, so I had the thought: what if we had some dedicated blankets specifically intended for outdoor use. My mom is also a garden-fiend and often takes her morning coffee outdoors as well — I bet she’d love a heavy duty “garden” blanket. Maybe something by Pendleton, or a fleece-lined camping quilt from L.L Bean.
Usually the next place my mind goes is how to round out the gift, thematically. If I was gifting a cozy blanket for my mom to enjoy outside each morning, maybe I’d supplement the blanket gift with a bag of coffee beans from a coffee shop she’s never tried, a new insulated thermos (I LOVE and own this Aladdin Heritage one that looks kind of vintage) and an insulated coffee mug to keep her morning brew nice and hot.
For wrapping, I love wrapping paper almost as much as I love a good book. I absolutely abhor gift bags, because what is the fun in pulling tissue paper out of a gift bag?! I think everyone loves to excitedly tear into a beautifully wrapped gift, right? Plus, the patterns of my gift wrap selections are so stunning, sometimes I just walk into my office and gaze longingly at them, sad that they’re not being put to use. I could probably spend $1000, easy in the Paper Source Store, on gift wrap and adorable boxes alone. But I’ve also made gift tags and wrapping papers myself in the past. One year, I even cut up Crate and Barrel Christmas shopping bags to make gift tags because the designs were just too pretty. I remember sharing them on social media and Crate and Barrel AND the artist who created the design motifs actually tweeted me back!
I’ve been wracking my brain to think how I could help busy people around the holidays with their “Christmas tasks” and here is what I’ve come up with:
– Christmas card organization
Digitize and update address lists, design and print addressee labels, order return address labels, pick up the stamps and, if desired, assemble and mail
– Christmas gift list
Organize and create gift list based on likes/interests/wants/needs.
This could be fun to do with the client, more like a tutorial session where we work together to creatively wrap all packages. If desired, I could deliver or post whatever needs to be sent off.
If you, or someone you know would like some assistance managing your Christmas task list, please leave a comment or reach out to me on Facebook. Referrals who mention this post will receive $15 off their first 2-hour help session.