As the silly season approaches, it is time to start thinking about gifts for her, for the loved ones in our lives. Those special women.
Christmas gift giving is an interesting topic and one where, as a Professional Organiser, my views are constantly evolving.
Cultural changes are influencing our views on gift giving as well as the types of gifts that we give and receive.
The recent trend is to declutter and organise our homes. This is supported by our heightened awareness during lockdown on how clutter within our homes can impact our physical and mental health. Plus for many, our increased focus on our environment and climate change have all contributed to the comfort levels and decision making around giving frivolous, token, or meaningless gifts to our friends and family.
This is a decade where giving a meaningful gift for the lovely lady in your life is more important than ever.
Depending on the situation, if you’re choosing to give a token gift that doesn’t hold any true connection to the recipient or simply giving her a gift for the sake of giving a gift, you can also be doing more harm to your relationship than not giving any gift at all.
If the gift recipient has mindfully reviewed and decluttered the contents of her home and they’re given a gift that doesn’t connect with them, you may be giving them the gift of guilt. My clients often ask, “How can I get rid of this item without hurting my loved one’s feelings?”
Likewise, reconsider giving a plastic mass-produced gift to an individual who has made a very conscious effort to minimize her own personal waste.
If she is very ethical in her purchases to ensure that she’s supporting companies who are environmentally aware in their business practices, you may be giving her the gift of shame. Shame that she needs to take this item, which she doesn’t need nor want into her home.
You’ve added unwanted pressure and responsibility of how she can ethically and responsibly dispose of the item without it going landfill, all done without hurting your feelings.
These are huge considerations that our current decade has brought upon us, aspects that a decade ago the average person may not have even considered. But all is not at a loss – there are still a lot of fun and meaningful gift options that come without guilt or shame.
GIVING GIFTS THAT CONNECT
The act of giving a gift that is very meaningful and something that the recipient is interested in, would like, and enjoy will always be valued and loved.
Consider what they love to do in their spare time? Do they love spending time at the beach? Are they a picnic lover? Is Bushwalking a favourite past time? Do they love chatting over coffee or a good wine? Cooking, gardening, or relaxing with a good book…. think about what they enjoy.
There are lots of ways that you can give meaningful gifts that are personal without having to buy a lot of consumer goods.
Giving the gift of your time is generally always more valued than a physical item. Research shows that one-on-one company with a friend will increase an individual’s happiness significantly more than an item. Rather than spending your hard-earned money on a gift that your friend may not even want, why not consider an experience.
I’ve also heard people say that experience vouchers are impersonal, they’re not meaningful. This could certainly be the case if you opt out for a basic store voucher, but if you take that experience voucher with the objective of doing the experience together, then it changes the scenario.
Finally, consider taking your bestie out for lunch to their favourite cafe, have a day at a winery together, enjoy a girl’s staycation, go on a holiday, or enjoy a dinner and movie together.
Imagine all the joy your friends would receive if you chose to organise experiences like these with your sisters, girlfriends, and work colleagues, not to mention add to the depth of your relationship.
Plus, the best thing is, now as a group you have the perfect gear for that occasion. Perhaps you can make it a regular get-together if you both schedule it into your calendar.
STILL STUCK FOR IDEAS?
When thinking about gifts and you are stuck for ideas, you can always ask someone in your shared network, their other friends, their siblings, their parents, your colleagues.
If you don’t have the shared networks whom you can ask, then maybe this is a clear sign that you don’t need to. Maybe not everyone in your network needs to receive a gift from you this Christmas. Alternatively, a beautiful card with a thoughtful message would suffice.
If you have any questions, or simply want to clarify a point, please feel free to contact Amy Kennedy directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amy Kennedy, Professional Home Organiser
The Organising Bee
Amy Kennedy is a Professional Home Organiser and founder of The Organising Bee based in Canberra. Amy is a practical and fun-loving professional organiser who gets a buzz from supporting others to organise their home and life.
She has also supported hundreds of families within the Canberra region to ease the pressures of everyday life by reclaiming their space and time.
The Organising Bee has been awarded the Best of Houzz Award for Service for the past 5 years (2017-2021).