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As Black Friday (known to retailers as the busiest shopping day of the year) quickly approaches, shoppers everywhere may be searching for the sales, overspending and scrambling for ideas about what to buy others for the holidays. Consider this story as you make your gift selections.
Shortly after Christmas last year, I asked a friend to tell me the best thing that he received. Without hesitation, he replied, “My best gift was a new set of golf clubs but my favorite gift was my Detroit Tigers coffee mug.” Certainly, new golf clubs are a great present but it did not surprise me that a notably smaller and less extravagant gift was his favorite. Perhaps the smooth cup with the bold logo reminds him of exciting and fun times watching the games. Or maybe just feeling the weight of the warm mug in his hand with the steaming, rich coffee inside leads his thoughts to the special someone that gave it to him. Regardless, he probably uses that gift often and when he does, undoubtedly, it helps him to start his day with a smile on his face. But it is not really about the mug. Whether he or she realized it or not, that person gave him a memory. It may be either a reminder of the team and game that he loves or of the person that cared enough to find the perfect gift. It probably makes him happy every time he uses it. Isn’t that what giving a gift is all about?
I love to give things like that. I brainstorm for presents that you don’t just find in stores. It seems like most of the people on my list buy anything that they really want. These are the hard people to shop for. Challenge yourself to choose things that will be unique to them or you. Give someone a special photo and customize the frame with embellishments. Make someone a shadow box of inspiration and include a collection of their favorite things. Maybe learn a hobby that you have always been interested in (knitting, beading, jewelry making) and create your own gifts. Yes, it will take more effort but isn't that the point? Certainly, there will be things you will buy but do your best to create real meaning for your gift.