We all tend to go overboard at the holidays. Christmas brings out this need to impress and surpass the Joneses’. Most people seem to covet all the newest and snazziest stuff, often doing irreparable harm to their wallets.
What did we do in days of yore when necessity over-ruled glitzy? In the first half of the 20th century, gifts were homemade and from the heart. Often they were more practical than anything else. The jars of fruit, vegetables, and preserves from the basement became special gifts for special people. Help with building a barn or fixing a fence were greatly appreciated and not reserved for a holiday. In the cities more people did shop, but they tended toward the useful; the dreaded slippers, a scarf or new gloves were anticipated and prized. We had not yet been bombarded with technology so the big ticket items may have been a trip or a special piece of furniture, original artwork or photographs were treasured.
Maybe you and I should consider going back to those old ways. People really like getting gift that are homemade. Brainless gifts that don’t really match the recipient end up being re-gifted or thrown in the back of the closet.
Speaking of re-gifting; just do it. It takes a lot of thought to match your gift to your friend. Something that you can’t use may be just the thing your friend wants; if you have taken the time to really match the gift and the beneficiary. Shopping at thrift stores is also a good thing. It will present the opportunity to find that “something special”. Flea markets and garage or tag sales may also yield unbelievable treasures.
All this boils down to being mindful when choosing your holiday, or other special occasion, gifts. Dollar signs should not be your guide; think hard about what makes your gift distinctive and how will it make your friend feel. If you choose the most appropriate gift that matches your friend’s needs or wants they will be truly pleased and you will be warm and fuzzy knowing you have done a very good thing.