This post is sponsored by Minted.com.
You know those people who are great at selecting just the perfect gift? Yeah, that’s not me. Gift giving is not my love language. Maybe that’s why I feel like I’m not great at it. Let me just say, I agonize over choosing the right gifts.
A big part of the challenge for me is that I so badly want to be sure the gift I give will be loved, used, and appreciated. The last thing in the world I want to give is something that will just end up being clutter. Because I really hate clutter. And I guess I project that feeling onto the people to whom I give gifts. But what makes something clutter is relative, I suppose. What you consider clutter, I may consider eclectic decor. And what I call clutter, you may call necessity. Like my sister and her bazillion beauty products. To me, that’s clutter. To her, it’s not at all.
So I guess the point is, gift giving really is about the person receiving the gift. Not about the giver. My exasperation over clutter doesn’t really matter. What really matters is that the person receiving the gift feels loved. And what better way to make a person feel loved than to take interest in their story.
Gifts that tell a personal story have become my new go-to when I just cannot think of what to give. Truly personal gifts are meant specifically for the person receiving them, and no one else. It takes great care and thought to pull it off. But when done well, these types of gifts can be small treasures.
Simple Gifts with Personal Meaning
Support a Cause
Contributing to a cause that is close to someone’s heart is such a thoughtful gift with huge meaning. It shows the gift recipient you care about them and the things they care about. Be sure to check out any charity you are giving to to make sure your dollars are making the impact you intend. Two websites you can use to research before you give are guidestar.org and givewell.org.
When someone deeply cares about a cause, contributing to that cause in their honor is so touching and thoughtful. I have a friend who lost a baby to SIDS. She would have been almost the exact same age as my oldest daughter (5 years old this past October), and the pain is still very real for my friend. She moves forward by making SIDS awareness and safe infant sleep habits her causes, and she is always moved when someone thinks to make a contribution to one of her favorite foundations in her daughter’s name.
I think books as gifts get a bad rap. I personally love books and love receiving books as gifts, but I remember hearing jokes as a kid about books being bad gifts. Grown-ups would ask, “What do you want for Christmas?” and as a super-shy kid I would sometimes say I didn’t know. And sometimes they’d say jokingly, “How about a pile of books?! Haha!” or something like that, clearly implying books were a bad gift and trying to get me to speak up in protest.
But books can be a fantastic and meaningful gift, even for non-readers, if selected with thought and care. The key is to know what truly interests the person who will receive the book and understand how that person learns. Some people learn through stories, others devour cold hard facts, and others learn through visuals (not all books require tons of reading!).
These are a few of the books my husband and I have given each other as gifts over the years.
I don’t wear a ton of jewelry. But I love the idea of jewelry that has deep meaning, like wedding rings. I’ve been dreaming of a piece “mom jewelry” since we got pregnant with my second baby. Stacking rings with my kids’ names, or a bracelet with their birth dates, or a necklace with their birthstones.
Like me, my mother-in-law loves jewelry but doesn’t wear a ton. She also absolutely loves her grandchildren and she loves being Grandma. So I knew she’d love a Lisa Leonard birthstone crossbar necklace with birthstones for her grandchildren. This necklace is simple and classic, but also deeply personal.
Clothing isn’t usually seen as a particularly meaningful gift. But LuLaRoe leggings come in so many fun prints, there’s bound to be one that fits your gift recipient’s interests perfectly. Just look at the gifts my friend, Alyssa, found for some special people in her life.
How thoughtful each of these are! And comfy to boot.
Alyssa’s gifts inspired me to come up with a few ideas of my own. Abstract cityscape for an architect, vintage radios for a public radio host, birds for an ornithologist, and black cats for a friend whose birthday is on Halloween.
Fine Art Prints
Giving art as a gift can be tough because you might not know exactly what type of art the person enjoys. That’s why I love the idea of fine art that tells a personal story. These simple, yet beautiful, foil-stamped zodiac constellation prints from Minted.com caught my eye months ago. Their subtlety lends itself well to a wide range of decor style, so they are really fantastic for gift giving.
Art that tells a personal story is a wonderful conversation starter. Similar to the zodiac constellation series, Minted.com offers a foil-stamped birthstone fine art print series. But that’s just scratching the surface. The location-inspired series would make a fun piece of wall art commemorating a place special to the gift recipient. Completely custom art prints, including silhouettes, house portraits, wedding vows, and baby feet, are also available.
What are your favorite types of gifts to give? What gifts have the most personal meaning to you?