I’ve been wanting to do a post like this for awhile now but have held off because I did not want it to seem like: look at the amazing gifts I give people and how I present them. I am so awesome. How could it be when I am on a very tight budget? Nor did I want this to be superficial because for me, giving someone a gift is an act of love and celebration. When the person opens it, I want her to feel so warm in fuzzy and genuinely loved and cared for and known (it’s a love language so it definitely does not need to be superficial).
My mom is the best person I know at doing this and one way she does this excellently is with gifts. Since I was a little girl, I have watched her find the perfect present for someone–big or small (to be honest, big presents can be overrated and easy…it’s harder to find something within your budget with a lot of sentiment). When she gives these gifts, it has nothing to do, in fact, with the amount spent, but the love and creativity poured into whatever she gives anyone. I grew up seeing people’s eyes light up or tear up over her gifts and so naturally, I do love to give gifts. I hope that I have inherited her penchant for giving the loveliest and most meaningful presents–the priceless kind. I just have to give my mom props for all of this.
I don’t have the dollars right now to spend a lot on gifts for people I love. Yet the world continues to turn and there are things to celebrate. In this case, it’s the advent of Heather’s baby. Her shower was in the Carolinas so I knew I couldn’t make it and again there is that money thing. And yet, I, of course, wanted to do something special for my friend because I am incredibly excited for her family and you know, love and friendship and all those things people raise their wine glasses and toast.
So how can I make her feel extra special without breaking the bank? Here’s five tips for giving the perfect gift (or close to it).
1. Really consider special moments or something precious you share with the person who is receiving the gift. Start big picture without worrying about an actual item.
I knew that I wanted to do something to honor the way Heather and I met which was on a mission trip to Rome, Italy. I would have never met her if not for that città and it’s an experience that a handful of people in the world shared. Blogging brought us back together but we started in Rome. So I had the concept of Rome in my head.
Her shower had such an original theme of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s classic The Little Prince and I really wanted to have fun with it. That was my second big picture idea. I went from there.
Normally, I wouldn’t get clothing. It’s hard to know another person’s taste and babies just grow out of it. But Heather loves fashion and she knows what she is doing so this little stud is going to be killin’ it in that department. The Gap was having a major sale. Also, I happen to know she is obsessed with the Baby Gap probably because she texts me, “I am obsessed with the Baby Gap.” Ya think?
The jeans were on the registry but back again to my mom: while it’s important to get people what they need–especially for events like weddings and babies–people are also getting all the practical things on their list so if you can think of idea that a person will love that isn’t on the registry, go for it. Surprise people in some small way.
3. Give extra thought to the presentation…
especially if you can’t spend a lot on the present (me). This way, the time and effort you put into the presentation is a gift in and of itself. Be creative. In my case, while I would have loved to have gotten amazing wrapping paper, there was my budget again. I’ve also learned that I do not have room to store more than one roll of wrapping paper (hence the brown paper).
I made the wrapping paper to play off The Little Prince theme.
4. The Card.
My mom is amazing at this. Here is your chance to tie everything together. Anyone and everyone can buy a card and sign it. Do you want the person to laugh when they read the card? Cry? Make it happen. Ha! Also, the card is a chance to tie the bigger themes (tip number one) of your present. I created a scroll for Heather’s little prince.
5. Enjoy the process.
This one is simple. Give gifts out of joy and love, never out of obligation, and they will always be fabulous.
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