What’s the most meaningful gift you’ve ever received? I would be willing to bet it wasn’t something store-bought — and most likely it wasn’t a gift card, either.
You might be thinking of something made especially for you: a hand-knit shawl for your wedding day, a poem, or a framed photo to commemorate a special occasion. Maybe you received a mix-tape (or mix-CD, depending on your age) years ago, with a custom compilation that you refuse to part with, even in this era of MP3 digital music files.
The holiday season is a frazzled time for many of us. And if you’re into giving gifts to loved ones, the “to-do” list can seem endless, making it tempting to resort to humdrum fallback ideas: a gift card for dad, another pre-packaged gift basket of lotion and bath gel for mom ...
It can be hard to take a step back and think, “What would this person really like to receive from me?”
Imagine the spark in your loved ones eyes if your gift or gesture is priceless — it is unique and can’t be bought in stores. Not only can you create something meaningful — you can save money, too. And those savings can go directly toward your retirement savings.
Here are a few quick, fairly inexpensive ideas for gifts with a personal touch:
Print photos from a trip or other experience you shared with a loved one and package them in a themed photo album or scrapbook.
Do you have a creative flair? Whether it’s knitting, poetry, art, music, or woodworking, use your gifts to create gifts — even a small or handmade object can be more meaningful than something you could buy in a store.
Bake or cook a loved one’s favorite dish or dessert and package it in a container (e.g., a festive cake stand for your sister’s favorite coconut cake) that the person can keep.
Enjoy time and experiences with loved ones. Your gift could be taking your mom to brunch or accompanying your dad to see the latest sci-fi blockbuster, for example. (Give them a “coupon” for this experience so they have something to unwrap.)
Once you’ve saved money by creating at least a few gifts of your own — reward yourself by increasing contributions to your retirement account. Think of it as a gift to yourself in the future!
What are your favorite inexpensive, meaningful gifts to give and receive? AC: 1214-7529