Friday, December 7, 2018

Gift guide: the Hard to Buy For

In case it hasn't already been drilled into your brain by my last three blog posts, not to mention the bell-ringers outside Macy's, the decorations everywhere, and the massive line outside Santa's Toyland in the mall, Christmas is near. Today I wanted to share a few ideas for the people that are difficult to buy for. Maybe these are the types that buy what they need/want whenever they need/want it. Maybe you feel you can never top the gift they give you. Or maybe they just aren't that into gifts period. Whatever the case, there are still plenty of ways you can show them what they mean to you this holiday season. Using their love language, you can provide them a perfect gift they will appreciate.

First, if you're not sure what the love languages are, pop over and check it out. I'll give a little summary with each before sharing my gifting ideas. I'm concentrating on three of the five because the other two are a little more self-explanatory.

Words of Affirmation
expressing your appreciation for another through words

You don't have to be Shakespeare, John Lennon, or Walt Whitman to be a writer. Just jot down how much this person means to you. Maybe format it into a story, a poem, or a song to be extra playful. Even if it's presented in a silly way (like stand on the chair and sing out your song for everyone to hear), the recipient will be super honored you took the time to put it together. Remember the key to gifting is always showing the person you know them and you recognize what makes them special - not about the actual gift.

Acts of Service 
taking on a task or project that the recipient normally does

This is a great one to gift parents. Even as adults, we tend to let our parents do the things they have always done for us. A mom will likely always jump up to do dishes after dinner and if you're anything like my grandpa, if you mention something is broken, he tries to fix it. So now is your opportunity to do that for them. Give the gift of handling their least favorite chore. Maybe they pick up dry cleaning every Monday or wash their car each Saturday. Do it for them! And don't just offer and expect them to hunt you down each time. You have to be there to fulfill the gift. Do it before they ask. Unable to do this because of proximity or schedule conflicts? Purchase a service that will do it for them. That could look like a cleaning service for 3 months or a gift certificate to the car wash. They will appreciate the fact you know they need more time to relax and less time working.

Quality Time
separating some time where they have your undivided attention

The person that receives love most by spending time together is the easiest to please! Take them out for a meal or coffee, schedule a manicure together - whatever the person likes to do! Just arrange time on your calendars to do it together. If your dad loves to golf, book time at the driving range for the two of you. Have an aunt that loves road trips? Block out a day to go to restaurant or museum or shop a couple hours away. You'll have plenty of time to catch up on the latest news in each other's life, enjoy the scenery, and maybe go somewhere new.

Lastly, if none of these ideas really seem like the best fit, consider making a donation to a charity in the recipients name. Choose a cause that relates to them, what they're passionate about, or an organization they are already involved with. This shows that you support their projects and causes and it benefiting more then just the recipient. If you're unsure what organization they may appreciate, here's a list of a variety of causes and non-profits to get you thinking.

Animal Protection
Your local animal rescue service

Civil Rights

Children & Education
Your local Boys & Girls Club
Your local United Way

Food & Health
Your local food pantry or food bank

Relief & Development

*This list is merely a recommendation to provoke thought. While I'm a supporter of some of these organizations, I encourage you to do your own research before determining what organizations you would prioritize and support. I am not able to vouch for the entire list and would always recommend you support local organizations first.