By Amy K. Andrews
This time of year comes around fast, doesn’t it? We barely change out of our Halloween costumes, cure our candy hangovers and already the Christmas decorations are adorning the stores. It can be overwhelming. Trying to find a gift that is just right for every person you love, while not breaking the bank, is no easy task; however, with a little time and energy, I am certain that you, dear reader, can thrive this holiday season. But you must start now. Here are the top tips…
Commit to Making Gifts, Not Buying Them
Announce to friends and family alike that this is your plan for the holiday season. Reminding them that you live on a budget is something to be proud of — you are responsible, not frivolous, with the precious money you have earned and saved. In the conversation, it is important to remind others that your gift is one of time and energy and thoughtfulness, each handcrafted, with only the receiver in mind. A true showing of spirit, generosity and love… all things that the holiday season is supposed to be about.
Keep Your Own Requests Small
Encourage friends and family to reciprocate in the same fashion. Or, if they don’t have time to do so, ask that they keep their gift to you small. Most of us are so lucky to have most everything we need. A roof over our head. Food in our belly. And although there are other things that we may need or want now, my guess is that if you are lucky enough to be 80 years old someday, you won’t be holding up the pair of jeans that no longer fits, or the iPhone with outdated technology, and think back on the gift giver with deep adoration. You might, though, enjoy rereading a love letter from them, or holding a handmade gift that has brought true beauty to your life for years. That’s the real stuff, reader.
Think Outside The Box
Starting now, think outside the box in order to come up with an array of possibilities for all the special people in your life. I’ll be back next week with ideas so that we can all use our break time over Thanksgiving efficiently. For now, though, glean inspiration from pinterest or etsy, troll through Real Simple magazine to see their creative uses for ordinary objects, and make your list. That’s right, Johnny might like a painting and Susie would love something for bath time. Close your eyes and try to think of the essence of each friend and family member, a favorite pastime they enjoy perhaps, or a place they love to visit. That is where we’ll begin, now, so we have time to create a personalized gift filled with love, handcrafted, special.
Do this with me, dear reader, and by the time December rolls around, you can actually enjoy the season.
Amy is a woman of wellness, a writer, and the winner of Seattle’s Ultimate Housewife contest. As a liberated Texan, she has lived on both coasts, and on the high streets of London. Most days you can find her teaching Pilates to her beloved clients, editing her memoir, An Expat’s Wife, swiffering her home, or writing thank-you notes. At this very moment she is undoubtedly cuddling with her wife and cat.