Thursday, February 20, 2014

A good feeling

Finding presents for people is difficult.

You think and research and brainstorm and argue with yourself about your budget and do some more research. You find some options but they're not ideal, they feel a bit too much like a 'token' gift, given as an alternative to giving nothing, an empty gesture.

And then you find it.

It's something they are going to love. It's something they would never think to get themselves. And it's within your budget.

It's a wonderful feeling. There's a joy in this, in spending the time to come up with something that feels so right, that I know will communicate something to the recipient that I've made some efforts to understand where they are in life, that I've noted their interests and habits, that I wanted to give them something they would enjoy, with none of the 'strings' that some presents come with (perceived or otherwise).

Looking back, my presents are beginning to take on a certain pattern. I like to give people experiences. Not just a blank voucher, but to find an unusual or nice trip that they will enjoy but probably wouldn't think to do themselves. It sometimes involves buying a specific voucher from the place themselves or a company that build or curate 'experience days', and sometimes calling up a company and asking if they can do me a voucher as a one-off, explaining who it's for and why I've chosen them.

There's often a small supplement - something homemade, usually, or small consumables. This is the space I can bring the crafts I love but which are viewed with suspicion by my family - a small handmade token alongside a 'main' gift means a personal touch which they can value without feeling they've been given a gift which reflects my interests more than theirs.

 This kind of gift giving does take more time and effort, but I'm finding it's worth it not only because I'm able to give people more thoughtful, more personal gifts, not only because I'm spending less money, but also because the whole process is more rewarding and satisfying for me too.

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