Holiday gifting is an opportunity. Giving means I see you. I recognize who you are. I appreciate what you mean to me. I honor you.
What? How do you get that out of a new pair of socks? Well, some gifts are practical, designed to fulfill a need. You want someone you care about to escape the cold or avoid a flat tire. You want them well fed. You want them to live in a clean environment and enjoy good health. These are matter of fact wishes that express care for a person’s well-being. Through your gift you are trying to meet a specific want, a need of the recipient that you wish to fulfill. Practical can be very thoughtful. Pragmatic gifts say I care.
Passion gifts go a step further. They recognize the unique in the recipient. You like to sew so I find the best materials for your latest project. You are a gardening fanatic so I research the latest botanic breakthroughs. You love JRR Tolkien so I find a book bag with hobbits printed on it or a calendar from Middle Earth. Passion gifts honor the recipient through your acknowledgement of the things that matter most to them. You are saying that you want them to have the things that make them happy, that you recognize whatever their individual interests are and that you honor their individuality.
Romantic gifts directly speak to your relationship. Perhaps a negligee or crystal wine glasses will evoke memories of private moments shared. Jewelry often falls into this category but so do other items such as framed photographs and childhood memorabilia. Maybe you know a side of the recipient that no one else has seen and found a way to reference that through a special present. You get her a candy she loved as a teenager or find him that special aftershave. You find a photo of the two of you from 1970 and add a special caption.You make an ornament with a shared saying on it. Romantic gifts are a personalized statement of affection. Your gift is a direct reflection of your shared bond.
Oh, but I wouldn’t want someone to misunderstand the intent of my gift. If I frame a photo or go with the romantic, does that imply a diamond ring must be in the offing? Of course not. BFFs often choose to shine light on the personal. Your gift reflects the bond that is, telling the recipient that your relationship matters. These gifts speak to the heart. Love is always a gift.
But my wife needs a vacuum cleaner. Well then, that might be the best gift you can give her. Or she might treasure a shell you picked up off the beach while thinking of her. Or you might have heard her say that she loves dancing and set her up with some lessons. Your husband has had his eye on that workbench for a decade. He can never find a tie that matches his grey suit. He loves a certain craft beer.
The trick is to think about your recipient as a whole person. What are their passions and dreams? What times do they cherish? What makes them smile? Are they more practically minded or prone to flights of fancy? Of what do they dream? What can you do to give them a moment of happiness?
But there are so many choices…so many directions! Practical, passionate or romantic- how do I choose?
There is no wrong answer. As long as it is meaningful, your choice will be perfect every time. The key to giving is thoughtfulness. Understand and appreciate the person and honor them through your choice of gift. Special doesn’t mean big, expensive or fancy. It means making or choosing a gift with care.
Who do I need to give to? That is strictly up to you. Your list can include anyone you wish to make happy, to recognize in some way the part they play in your life. The holidays are a celebration of what we hold dearest, an opportunity to show appreciation and love to those who make our lives worth living. Enjoy your opportunity to show gratitude. Celebrate!