I am a gift giver. I enjoy giving presents to those I love. I find the hunt of finding just the right gift for the right person to be very exciting. It makes me happy. And usually, the recipient is happy as well. This is part of the reason I believe that you always have to be ready and have your eyes peeled for something that just might make a loved one happy.
I have said that you can never be too late with a gift, in part because if you know you are not going to see someone special, say until right after Christmas, Valentine’s Day or Easter, you can get great discounts. I’ve been in stores on these actual nights (well not Christmas) and many items have already been reduced fifty percent. In that case you can do very well, looking like a big spender!
Since Jeff and I have moved in together, he has gotten me to be much better organized. I have places for things that I never really had set up decently before. I had been more of a here, there, everywhere kind of person. For Christmas this year, we had those storage bins with stickers, showing who’s gifts were inside. It made things so much easier. Now that he has given me more of a system, I can plan better. At this point, it is early in the year so I have two or three bins with items in them. I have already come across things that were 75% off for Christmas stockings next year (they ended up being twenty five cents each – but don’t worry, they are not edible. They will be safe). I have oddball things that can go along with birthday presents. You know, those little extras. Just last weekend when Christine and I were thrifting, I found two brand new Christmas mugs – not typical, run of the mill ones – I won’t give too many details, because I am still not sure who is getting them, so…after Christmas you find new items that people received as gifts, but didn’t want. Brand new items are always a good thing. Yet things don’t have to be brand new to make them a good present.
I am a big gift-basket fan. I have made all sorts of gift baskets. This year for Christmas, I had a really large basket that I filled with all sorts of snacks, both salty and sweet and two nice mugs for my ex husband and his girlfriend. They both loved it, and I must admit – it did make an impressive gift. That was large, but I have also done small baskets. You don’t have to stick to actual baskets, either. One of my favorites that I did was a pedicure bucket – it wasn’t an actual bucket, per se – but more of a large kind of container, big enough to soak feet and toes in. Inside I included foot scrub, a scrub brush, lotion, emery boards, pretty soft socks. I also included two bottles of nail polish. I wrapped this all up in cellophane, attached a bow and curling ribbon, and it was a very well-received gift. I wanted one for myself!
Some other “baskets” that I have done included Italian Night – two jars of sauce, a pre-baked pizza crust, a box of angel hair pasta, pepperoni (that needed no refrigeration), a small pizza pan, grated parmesan cheese – and I put two single $1 bills so they could get some mozzarella cheese. They loved it. Another successful one was the Ice Cream Social – this one I think was in an actual basket. I found two parfait glasses, two regular ice cream sundae bowls…and dishes (I bought two) specifically for banana splits. With this I put a container of chocolate syrup, a jar/container of rainbow sprinkles and I also included two of those long spoons – I think they call them iced tea spoons. Didn’t include any extra $$$ for ice cream or whipped cream, but this was also a good gift that made the recipients smile. Another basket I made was for a couple that each liked one thing – one coffee, one tea. I used two travel mugs, two mugs for home. One box of “pink” sweetener. A container of creamer, the powdered kind. Not sure if they were fans of that, but it filled up a space in the basket that I needed, haha. I also included a box that had twenty tea bags of a flavor I knew was liked, and three small boxes of coffee “K cup” pods. This was a very well liked gift, and I am told the travel mugs still get used to this day (and this gift was from at least two years ago).
One of my last “ideas” on gift giving, believe it or not involves color. My sister is a BIG Walking Dead fan. She has so many things involving this show that I didn’t know what else to buy, didn’t remember what she had (despite at the time we lived together). For her birthday one year, I got her one Dead item – I can’t even remember what it was. I think it was a pair of socks. With this gift I either used a plastic red or black basket type container from Dollar Tree. Whatever item was the centerpiece, I built around it. I got her black gloves (since Winter was coming and her birthday is in November). I bought a red reusable cup with a straw for water (or more for her, iced coffee). I got a small bottle of black nail polish – don’t know if she ever used it, but…oh well. I don’t remember what else, other than red napkins and black plates – to use for her birthday cake or cupcakes, which I baked. Red velvet cake, white icing and black sprinkles. It was a theme, and I went with it.
I think summing up this whole gift giving thing is that you have to KNOW your recipient. And if you do, with proper planning – you do not have to go broke showing you care, and making them happy on a special day…
Any other gift ideas? I would welcome hearing them…