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10 Unique Christmas Shopping Ideas
- Renew a Membership - Ask the person who you are buying for if you can help support their special interest. Perhaps they belong to a club or organization that has yearly membership fees that you could pay as your gift to them.
- Plan an outing - Most people would enjoy spending time with you rather than receiving a gift. Think about a creative way that you can enjoy the company of the other person over a meal, during a concert or by visiting a museum together.
- Offer a gift of service - Do you have a special skill that you could share with someone? Perhaps you could offer babysitting, cook a meal for them or wash their car? Because people are always so busy they will likely be thrilled that you are willing to invest your time and talents instead of just purchasing something for them.
- Ask for suggestions - Most people have "wish lists" - at least in their heads. Make sure that you get all the details such as preferred colour, size and style before you head to the store.
- Purchase a gift certificate- You have to be careful with this. Sometimes people give me gift certificates for places that I would never shop because they have things that I'm not interested in having. It is also annoying when the amount is not enough so that it costs extra for the person who receives the certificate. On the other hand, gift certificates allow the person to enjoy your thoughtfulness twice - once when they open the certificate and once when they choose their own gift.
- Focus on the season - Baking cookies, sending a Poinsettia or preparing a basket that includes Christmas napkins and teas are usually welcomed and usable right away. Just be careful that you respect any allergies and consider taste preferences.
- Send memories- Photographs can framed, scrapbooked or scanned and given digitally. My sister isn't able to hold albums so once we gave her a digital photo frame with all her photos that she can watch and another time I purchased large poster-sized frames to make collages of our childhood pictures. She loved all of these!
- Give a treasured item - Perhaps you have a family heirloom or an item that has been admired by someone in the past. Why not give it to that person and know that it will be valued?
- Your time and expertise- My grandson loved it when I cruised the car lots with him and offered ideas about the best time and methods for buying and financing a vehicle. You likely have a great deal of experience that others would really appreciate receiving from you so that they can make wise choices.
- Consider engraving and personalizing- A key ring is just a key ring until you have the person's initials engraved on it. Anything that has the receiver's name will likely bring a big smile in return!
You don't have to spend a lot of money in order to give the "perfect" gift. All you really need to do is start with a piece of paper and a pen. Write down the names of each person who you want to give a gift to and then start writing down ideas. Consider their preferences, interests and needs. Then match these with your budget, skills and ideas. Before you know it, you will have created a wonderful plan for your holiday giving.
About the Author
Dr. Hancock has written a regular weekly column entitled “All Psyched Up” for newspapers in two Canadian provinces for more than a dozen years...