With the holidays upon us, I’d like to take this opportunity to address gift-giving for adults. Many of us purchase gifts for those whose relationships we cherish. There is a common notion that the size and/or cost of the gift demonstrates the amount of our affection or that it will make up for the time we haven’t spent with
them. As if the holidays aren’t stressful enough, we then spend countless hours shopping in stores or online adding additional stress to finding the “perfect” gift(s). But if we haven’t asked the recipient what they want or need, then more than likely our gift will end up being thrown in the back of a closet, donated, re-gifted or even in the trash, etc.
So I have a few suggestions that I hope will make the holidays easier and more meaningful for everyone. If you’ve exchanged gifts with an adult in the past, I think it’s worth raising the topic with them in advance of the holiday. Will this be an awkward conversation? Yes, it could be but it may be well worth it in the long run. Perhaps, you both agree NOT to exchange physical gifts and instead, to spend time together doing something you both enjoy. Wouldn’t that be a win/win for both of you?
But if you do decide to exchange a physical gift, ask the individual specifically what they want/need or what activity they would like to experience.
I’m also a huge proponent of giving the gift of one’s time. If you’re so inclined t, ask these or similar questions:
I have a friend whom I love. She’s a thoughtful, selfless and generous soul. Each year she hosts a Christmas luncheon in her home for friends but her invitation specifically requests that attendees don’t bring hostess gifts. IF they can, her preference is for them to bring nonperishable food items that she will donate after the fact to the local Food Bank/Charity she supports. To take it one step further, she realizes that some attendees may not be able to purchase as many nonperishables as others; or perhaps they can’t afford to purchase any at all. To maintain their confidentiality and avoid embarrassment, this hostess has plastic bins lining the walkway to her front door. As guests arrive, they’re able to drop their bag(s) of nonperishables into bins outside her home and then enter her home without guests being able to scrutinize the quantity of their donation, if any. This is a beautiful woman who is truly concerned about everybody else but herself!
In my opinion, the holidays (and life in general) should be more about demonstrating how much we care about someone than giving them a gift they don’t want or need. Let’s all have more of those awkward conversations. And if you’ve already done all your holiday shopping, that’s fine. But why not use the gift exchange as the perfect opportunity to have that conversation about future gift-giving events.
Wishing you and yours a beautiful holiday season and a New Year filled with much love, great health and less “stuff” that you don’t want/need!
“For it is in giving that we receive.” ~ St. Francis of Assisi ~
Brenda Tringali, Organizing, Productivity & HR Specialist
At Your Fingertips Organizing
Serving Greater Myrtle Beach, SC or "virtually" anywhere (via phone/video)
Brenda Tringali is the owner of At Your Fingertips Organizing. She provides Life/Workplace/Residential Organizing & Productivity services to clients in the Myrtle Beach, SC area & “virtually” anywhere via video, phone, etc. Drawing from her 30 years of Human Resources/Staffing experience, she also helps clients with HR/Staffing/Job Search needs as well. Brenda is an active member of NAPO (National Association of Productivity and Organizing professionals). She is also Chair of the NAPOCares Committee which highlights the community outreach efforts of NAPO members, NAPO Chapters, and NAPO Business Partners as they reach out to share the three “T’s” of Social Responsibility: their Time, Treasures, and Talents.