A few days ago I was thinking about the most memorable gifts I’ve ever received. Interestingly, there wasn’t a purchased one on the list. Here are some of my top picks to give you a few ideas as the final countdown to Christmas begins.
A few days after my husband and I lost a beloved dog, a friend dropped off a gift basket for us which cheered us up immeasurably.
She’s a single working parent with two young boys so money isn’t exactly plentiful. But everything was perfect. There were hand picked flowers, several jars of jam made by one of her boys and some biscuits for our other dog. It brought tears to our eyes.
My sister works in theatre — not exactly the richest field — so she paints lovely cards which I use year round and I always receive the nicest comments when I send them out.
A dear friend gave me homemade body scrub last year smelling wonderfully of honey and lavender. She’s a busy woman with a television career and I appreciate the time she spent in her kitchen making my gift.
My husband’s late godfather specialized in making electrical fixtures out of found items. Every Christmas he gave us a whimsical lamp which cost him nothing but time.
When my husband was an impoverished college student he made me a sand cast candle in the colours of the season with cute decorations imbedded in it. No diamond ring could have won my heart more quickly than his slightly tilted, red wax tower.
Note to guys: Forget the mall. Make something for your best beloved and she will swoon with surprise and delight.
The secret to thoughtful but inexpensive presents is putting a little effort into the conception and execution of the gift. The ads are screaming 10 shopping days left until Christmas! Consider instead 10 thinking and doing days left until Christmas.
Alison’s Money Rule:
With gifts, the thought really does count. Dip into your time instead of your wallet and the results will be inexpensive and memorable.
– Alison Griffiths is a financial journalist, author and host of Maxed Out on the W Network. Write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.