Christmas is coming. The geese are getting fat, but you are likely getting thinner and thinner as the stress and anxiety of gift giving has turned you into a nervous wreck. This is especially true when you’re trying to buy for someone who has it all. Giving fancy store-bought gifts to a person who already has all the new-age gadgets and luxury items will never make the sort of impact that a holiday gift is supposed to make. However, you don’t need to worry. By following a few golden rules, you can get the juices in your brain flowing in a whole new direction. Here are three sure fire ways to wow someone this year.
Experience the Unexpected
No matter how rich someone is, they can never own a unique experience surrounded by they’re loved ones. There are no Black Friday or holiday season deals for such a gift. It is the subject of seemingly half the Christmas movies we love: a man has all his material needs taken care of thanks to his salary, but he works too much to reap the rewards of spending that money on, or time with, his loved ones.
This experience doesn’t have to be some fancy vacation to Milan or Machu Picchu. Try this: make your own gift certificate for a “Free Surprise Dinner.” Then, make a reservation at a time of your choosing, for a blowout four-course meal at their favorite restaurant.
If he or she is a runner, sign them up for a half-marathon in a few months so they have time to train — but no ability to back out. If they like wine, take them to a nearby vineyard with an overnight stay nearby. Or plan a deep-sea fishing voyage. Take salsa lessons. Host a costume party. Maybe do something really unexpected like book a hot air balloon ride for the family.
Whatever it is, there is no doubt that it will be more memorable than another watch or an Italian tie. Possessions can be enjoyed for a while, but memories last a lifetime.
Homemade Is Where the Heart Is
While everybody loves getting the latest new mobile phone or the pair of sneakers they have been wanting all year, creating a homemade gift strikes an emotional chord. A jar of homemade applesauce, delectable raspberry jam or spicy hot sauce can truly make someone’s month. After awhile, every pair of shoes just feels like a pair of shoes — no matter the brand. But each time a person spreads some jam on their toast or heats up their chili, they will think back to your gift and remember how thoughtful it was.
There is nothing like some homemade food or condiments to stretch the impact of your gift. And making people feel good about their relationships is one of reasons we love giving, and receiving, presents so much.
One of a Kind
Every life is unique, and that means that there are some gifts that can only be given to one person. To come up with the best idea for your loved one, think about some of the things that make their journey distinct. An easy one is to find old photos. Chances are, their parents or relatives have old images lying around from their childhood. Combine these with some from their college years and closest family members. Put copies of each all together in a printed book. Nowadays, most of our photos are online — easily accessible but largely taken for granted. But putting them all in one place in a nice, bound book will give the person a jewel to treasure forever.
If you have some musical ability, write them a song. Tell the story of some of your most incredible experiences and then hand-write the results into a pretty journal. Or if you have some multimedia talent, you can make a video. Create a “This Is Your Life” documentary including some interviews with the recipient’s favorite people, telling why they’re special or which of their shared memories mean the most. It may strike you as a bit corny, but if done right, it could be the best gift they ever receive.