Is gifting even a word? Did I make that up? I don't know, it doesn't matter. What matters is it means giving gifts. In Eden Sword we find out that one of Claire's super powers is giving amazing gifts.
I have to admit, I'm not quite as good at gifting as Claire but I do love giving good gifts to those I love. (It's one of my top two love languages so that could be part of it.) Birthdays, Holidays, just because...I love it when I find the perfect gift for someone. You know the one...the one that they didn't think you knew they wanted or that even they didn't know they wanted until they opened it and realized it is exactly what they wanted.
Gifting, especially at Christmas can be more frustrating and stressful than awesome and loving, if we are honest. (Let's be honest, please.) We could all use a little help to be as awesome as Claire. (I mean did you see the thoughtful gifts she got for her family? They were epic and I'm not just saying that because I'm the author. Trust me, I surprised myself.)
So how can we be gifting superheroes?
1. Know that it really is the thought that counts, so put some thought in it.
What do they like? What are their hobbies? What do they talk about? What is their personal style? What are they passionate about? Take a little time to think about the person you are buying for and what would make them smile. Don't buy them what you think they need, or what you think they should want. There's always a place for socks and underwear (Trust me, I don't turn my nose up when opening that gift.) But gifting is about the other person more than you. So what will put a smile on their face?
2. Listen for the hints.
When Christmas is approaching my husband and kids always start talking about what they want. Sometimes they just text me links. Sometimes they are more subtle. I'm sure it's the same for you. Be sure to pay attention.
3. Plan and Prepare.
Christmas is the same day every year. Don't wait until the last minute. That only makes it more stressful and harder to be thoughtful. Start making a list early. (I start in October.) And make a budget too! Again, it's the thought that counts not the price tag. Don't go into debt over Christmas, it's not worth it. You can give thoughtful gifts they will love without going over budget.
4. Sometimes Less is More.
Have you ever watched a kid get bored and need a break in the middle of opening all their presents? I have. It's kind of sad. I know what it is to want to get your kids (or anyone you love) everything they want for Christmas. But some of the joy gets lost in the pile. Sometimes just a couple really special gifts are better than a ton of stuff that just takes up space.
On this note what we've done for our daughters is a three-present rule (three because that's how many presents Jesus got.) They each get three gifts from us, plus one gift from Santa (and not the most expensive thing from Mr. Claus) and then they get candy and little (and I do mean little, read cheap) things in their stockings. We also limit the list they send to their grandparents. My husband and I do the same for each other, or less depending on budget. Another idea is to give them something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read. I know you might read all that and think we are a scrooges but trust me, we are able to be much more thoughtful and give special gifts when we put limits on it.
So there are my thoughts on how to take the stress out of gifting and make what's under the tree even more special this holiday season. Or next, if you are a planner like me.
What are your tips and tricks for being a world-class gifter?