What to get, what to get…? So many options, but nothing seems right. Finding Christmas gifts is sometimes the hardest part of Christmas, especially when looking for someone important to you who seems to have everything he wants or needs. However difficult it may seem to be, it is not impossible.
Before we continue, it’s important to realize that your gift does not have to fill a void in any person’s life; it’s just a Christmas present. The job of void-filling is the Holy Spirit’s, not yours. If this person already has everything he needs, then your gift ought to be something thoughtful and, if possible, personal. You do not have to go out and spend your life’s savings, either. Gifts are just meant to remind people that they are valuable to you and you appreciate the role they play in your life.
So let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.
First consider the person you’re buying for. If it helps, jot down a list of hobbies this person enjoys and what he or she does with their free time. Think about each hobby or activity and what each requires. For example, if they love gardening, they would need gloves, gardening tools, plants, seeds, fertilizers, proper attire, etc. While they may already have these items, they might appreciate a new set.
If the person likes movies or television shows, then a particular favorite may be a good idea. You can even go out on a limb and buy them a movie or show they haven’t seen before. Of course, if you do that, make sure to consider their preferences. If they’re the “Mission Impossible” or “Walking Dead” type, then an entire season of “Gilmore Girls” is probably a horrible idea. The same rule goes for book-lovers. Try to stick within their preferred genre, and ask around if you don’t know other shows or movies like their favorites.
If that doesn’t give you a clue as to what to buy them, then think back on your relationship with this person. If you are close — family or a long-time friend — then personalized, DIY (do it yourself) items can make kind and thoughtful gifts, maybe a picture of you both from a long time ago in a nice frame to match their décor. Even a silly gift can be touching. If your history together includes childhood, you could even rummage through some of your old things and wrap up a favorite toy you used to share.
One year, I bought a Dr. Dreadful Drink Lab for my cousins; as kids we all used to own a set and played with them incessantly. That year, as adults, we all sat on the floor of the garage sipping questionable concoctions and having a wonderful time together. It made for a memorable Christmas together.
Although some may have hobbies that are too specialized for you to buy for or if you don’t have a long history together, there are still options on the table.
If you don’t know too much about this person, it is a good idea to give something they can use and be rid of. It sounds terrible, but haven’t you ever been given a present you didn’t like but couldn’t get rid of for fear of hurting someone’s feelings? If, instead, you give someone a gift that can be used up, they won’t have knick-knacks cluttering shelves or drawers for the next fifty years.
For that reason, a candle can be a great gift; candles are almost universally used and, best of all, they can be used up rather quickly. Food items — like homemade hot chocolate or cookie mix, a basket of assorted crackers and cheeses, etc. — are also great items and fun to receive. If you know the person appreciates a glass of wine with their food, perhaps a specialized local wine could be a good option or a pair of wine glasses. If they’re a coffee-addict, try a new, interesting coffee blend from their favorite coffee house or a new mug.
Another great idea is to treat them to an experience. The best part about a gift of this nature is that it will never fade away; they will always be able to cherish the memory of that day. You can buy them tickets to a concert they would enjoy. If they’re the adventurous type, tickets to go skydiving might be in order. You could go a more relaxed route and get them tickets to a wine tasting or a soothing massage. Entrance to a cultural festival in their area would be a great gift for those who enjoy travel or trying new things. A great resource for these kinds of gifts is Groupon; they offer great deals on countless around-town activities for all types.
No matter what…
Most important of all, give this person love. Any gift is supplemented by your attitude and intentions. If you’re giving a small, inexpensive gift, but you’re giving it with the best intentions and a heart overflowing with love, then the gift will be treasured. I guarantee it.
Tami Fernandez is an intern at the Good News. You may contact her at [email protected]