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Gift Giving

by Bonnie Moss 2003-11 (c)

There was a time when gift-giving was a gesture of love and thoughtfulness. It had a personal quality. It was special.

Today, gift giving is a personal dilemma. With the advent of mass media and the internet, commercialism has invaded all aspects of human existence. Society is flooded with ideas for gifts,from the bizarre, the ridiculous to the ultimately sublime.These ads make it look like money is of no consequence.

It is time to bring back the true meaning of gift-giving- a symbol of affection, appreciation, thoughtfulness, or just to let someone know they are special. Gifts should be a symbol of these thoughts. And it should not carry with it a hefty price tag.The giver should not have to go into debt to " oblige". It takes away the simplicity and joy of giving a gift.

How could you make this task simpler? It helps to know the person, have a feel for what turns them on, how they spend their leisure time, their hobby, have you been in their home? If you are closer to them, is there anything they need? What services do they need- an oil change, carpet shampoo. Surely something can be arranged.

So, where do you begin? Being practical is not about being "cheap", it is just that-practical.

Gift certificates:

I love the commercial where the gift certificate was not to the liking of the person. Young adults may be more difficult to shop for, but it's not that tough a decision.A few questions may solve your dilemma as to what to give. What are their hobbies? Do they read books? Are headphones part of their daily attire? What is their favorite restaurant? Do they enjoy going to the movies? What about that hobby shop that they love to stop by and browse but never buy anything. Which stores do they shop?

I used to think gift certificates were impersonal- till I received a few certificates for Chapters.

Non- perishables:something practical, useful and inexpensive:

Film for camera: Not everyone owns a digital camera- I always appreciated gifts of films for my 35mm camera.Ink cartridge for printers- it 's good to have an extra cartridge,especially for one who prints a lot of documents.

Flashlight: There is nothing wrong with being practical. Does everyone you know carry a flashlight in their car? Or think of having one when they are on the road? What about spare batteries? What about a blanket to leave in the car?

Aromatherapy:

You can have your choice of products in this area- essences from citrus, flowers or herbs and trees. Do make sure the person you intend to buy for does not have allergy to some of the products, the oils and scents. Add to the list accessories like diffusers.

Candles and candleholders

The market for candles has become so broad- from tapered, votive, tealights, pillar, floating - name it, you'll find it.There is a variety of highly decorative and artful candles for the practical-minded person.

Jewelry:

A very personal matter and choice, but there is always something in the market that might add sparkle to someone's eyes as they gaze at the gift. Or do you care to check your jewelry box for someone special?

For the gardener, or the hobbyist: accessories for their hobby

For the packrat- anything goes, get something extraordinary- like a laughing hyena,not the live one.

What about stamps for one who still believes in writing letters and sending cards via snail mail?

For a caregiver- a day away for R and R

New age items:

Crystals- a healing pouch of crystals, specially selected for the special person. A mix of tumbled gems or semi-precious stones. Charm bags of crystals, or earth stones, and the like.

Tarot cards are special when given as a gift- what decks would they like to own?

Runes, charm bracelets, tarot bag.

Reading materials on the subject. A special horoscope reading .The list can go as far as you let your imagination take you.

Non-perishable gift baskets: a variety of cookies, coffee, tea,cheese, chocolate,jams and jellies, pickles and the like, special biscuits and crackers.

Clothes- this is your personal decision, sometimes one receives too many sweaters, too many neckties, scarves or pj's and more.

Food item:

You may decide to give food items, this is very thoughtful! Good for you if you have time to do the baking.Sweet treats are always welcome during the festive season, or any season for that matter. The local baker can deliver baked goods as good as home-baked.

A fruit basket is also welcome, make sure the fruits are firm and fresh.The local grocer offer excellent service in this area.

For the very young:

Children take sheer delight in the act of opening a gift.You don't know if you bought the right video game or toy. If I had grandchildren- I would start giving the gift of GIC's or small trust fund that will hopefully accumulate over the years. It may not amount to much, depending on what you can afford. But over time, there may be enough to help with the expenses of their first year of college/university education. Something for the piggybank. Yes,there are parents who introduce the piggybank to their little ones

A small gift of this kind will enhance having a piggybank.I would enclose a small item like a stuffed animal to add to their delight.

This does not cover the wide array of gifts to include travel, dining, expensive toys and more "toys", jewelry, travel accessories and many personal items.

It is intended to help you simplify the task of buying gifts for the special people on your list without getting your credit card maxed -out. The holiday season is stressful enough, minimize the stress where you can to allow you to enjoy the season with your loved ones.

Have a special and safe holiday season.

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