Christmas Gifts…time to mix it up!

My mom has always said that gift giving is an art – either you have it or you don’t. I think most of us really enjoy giving – it’s the shopping part that can sometimes be a dreaded, stressful event.

A couple of years ago, my side of the family realized that pretty much all we were doing for Christmas was exchanging $50 gift cards. It really had no sentiment, and no point. So, my mom had the idea to do a “Homemade Christmas”. While I’m pretty sure we will never do it again, we definitely won’t forget it, and a year later, we’re still laughing about some of the gifts. We had homemade beef jerky, 4 hours of free handyman labor, a thorough car detailing, homemade kahlua…you get the point. My sister gets the award for creativity. She made Brandon and I a sports trivia game that took her hours! Too bad we learned all of the answers and could only play it once. She also sent my parents on a scavenger hunt all over Northwest Arkansas. Good try Chere’, good try. 🙂

This year, we decided to just draw names and everyone sent out an email list of 3 or 4 things they would like. We banned gift cards and this way everyone gets something they really want and we can spend a little more.

If “Homemade Christmas” or drawing names aren’t for you, here are some of my favorite gift ideas. They won’t collect dust and they can even be great options for the person who has everything.

Give…

Experiences
• A trip! Maybe a girls’ weekend getaway to Dallas, or a ski trip for your entire family
• An annual zoo pass (If you live in NWA, consider a day at the drive thru safari in Gentry)
• Concert or play tickets
• An IOU for dinner & a movie
• Think outside the box and consider what that person really loves. My sister and brother-in-law gave Brandon a day of a Harley rental for the two of them for his 30th birthday. He loved it!

Give…

Services
• Cooking Classes
• Art Lessons
• Spa Services
• Car Detailing
• Dance Lessons
Or time with a…
• Lifecoach
• Handyman
• Professional Organizer
• Decorator
• Personal Trainer

Give…
Practical & Useful Things
• Food & Wine
• Bath products
• Label Maker
• Sheets
• E-Reader

Give…
Something Different
• Harry and David Fruit of the Month Club
• Monogrammed bag or beach towels from Lands End (my go-to gift!)
• Personalized address stamp or stationery
• Magazine or newspaper subscriptions

Whatever you decide to give, have fun with it, sit down and really consider the person – their personality, their interests, something they would never buy for themselves. And most importantly, I hope you’ll remember the ‘Reason for the Season’. Merry Christmas!
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