How to make a loved one feel extra special this holiday season.
The anxiety hits me the minute the leftover turkey goes into the fridge. “This means I’m going to have to go Christmas shopping soon, doesn’t it?”
I know there are people who do all their gift-buying well before Halloween. They do it all year. There are others—like me—who find themselves stymied before they even walk into a store or open that catalogue or log onto that website. So here is my pep-talk-to-self on gift-giving and gift-buying:
1) Linger in your loved one’s closet. I mean that both figuratively and literally. Give yourself a day where you think about their day. What’s in it, what its stresses are, what its delights are. The best response you can get is, “How did you ever think of this?” The answer: you thought of them.
2) Ask an expert. I’m not talking about some expert you find online, I’m thinking of that expert who is a best friend, who loves the same thing your loved one does, who shops in exactly the same places. “What would you get X or Y for Christmas?” Seek and ye shall find.
3) Maybe it’s not a thing. The perfect gift could be an experience, a dinner out, tickets to a concert or a play or better yet a gift that can be given all year: “I’m bringing you coffee the first Saturday of the month for the rest of the year” or “I’m going to help you clean up your attic by the end of February.” The gift is in the doing.
4) Give where they give. I’m always touched when someone gives a gift to a worthy cause in my name. It’s even more touching if it’s a worthy cause that they know I give to regularly. They’ve read my heart.
5) Go with a whim. Let the Holy Spirit help you shop. Every year I get my goddaughter who lives in France something special. One year when she was in her early teens I knew it should be a pair of jeans. Did I know what size? Of course not. But I stood there and pictured her in my mind. And picked a pair.
They fit! That’s what the thank-you note said, as well as the picture in the thank-you note. “You’re so lucky!” said my wife. Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid. And even if not, always remind the recipient, “I’ve got the receipt. You can take it back!”