The best things in life aren’t things.
Most of us would agree that there is no possession in this world that we’d trade for a day with our loved ones or a once in a lifetime experience.
Because of this truth I’ve opted to give the gift of experiences whenever I can.
For my boyfriend’s golden birthday I thought long about what I could give him that would show him how much I love him, as well as be something he could use. After about four days of brain storming, researching, and running ideas past friends, I came up with what turned out to be the best gift.
A trip to San Francisco. It was a city he had never been to. A city with “Golden Gates” was the best place to celebrate his dirty thirty, golden birthday. The gift was not about extravagance or impressing him.
In fact, we flew a cheap airline and I named my own price on a perfectly located hotel. It was a trip filled with exploration, great restaurants, great company, and memories that would last us a lifetime.
When it comes to gifts it is not about the thing you are giving, but rather the love you are putting into it. If you give a gift with thoughtfulness and love, you can never go wrong.
When I am not gifting experiences, some of my favorite gifts to give are candles, bottles of wine, and thrift store treasures.
I like to think I have turned gifting into a thoughtful expression of love, while not going broke in the process. Here are a few tips I suggest to master the art of gifting.
Keep a calendar of upcoming celebrations
Gifting frugally and planning ahead are two things that go hand in hand. Have you have ran out to grab a last minute gift and ended up spending way more than you budgeted for?
Keeping a calendar will help you prepare for gifts and ensure give thoughtful gifts on budget.
Don’t be afraid to “Regift”
Whatever “taboo” thoughts occur when you think about “regifting” it’s time to let go of. I give you full permission to regift.
The act of giving a material gift is an act of love and should be accepted and reciprocated as such. You can accept that love without keeping the thing that does not give you joy.
When you receive a gift, accept it for the love and thoughtfulness that it is. Then ask yourself if the gift will give you daily joy. If the answer is yes, then cherish it. If the answer is no, then it’s time to pay that love forward.
Keep a gift closet
Take that gift that does not bring you joy and put it in your gift closet. It will be there to be given to someone who will find joy from it.
When there is a sale on jewelry, wine, candles, or anything you or your friends and family love buy a few. Then store the gifts away for an impromptu dinner party or other celebration.
Turn Trash into Treasure
Painting an old picture frame, framing an old map, making a card out of magazine cut outs, or gifting a piece of jewelry you never wear are all ways to turn something old into something new.
Recycling things not only gives back to the earth but recycled gifts can be some of my favorite.
Never buy a card
Cards are vehicles for words of affirmation, sympathy, or many other statements. All of these statements could by thoughtfully written on the back of a recycled piece of material or piece of wrapping paper.
Don’t have the words to say? Look them up. Just because someone else expressed it first does not mean that it is not what you feel.
All of these tips are meant to help you gift frugally so you can put your money into experiencing new things with the people you love.
Take the money you save and put it in a jar for your next adventure.
May the gifts you give bring love and joy to those who receive them.