The Perfect Gift

There are only 8 more FULL weekends until Christmas. That means there are that many less until Thanksgiving and most likely any other holiday get together you have coming up. Usually I am pretty good about buying all my Christmas gifts before December hits. So I thought we should talk about gift giving. It can be fun and rewarding but also extremely stressful. Let me share with you some of my tips that help get me through.

So before we get started, what REALLY made me think of this was that my 5-year old daughter asked me if I had another pair of jeans because I keep wearing the same pair over and over again. I said I only have 2 pairs and she told me that I needed to go shopping. It then got me thinking about what I really want on my Christmas list so I thought, let’s just talk gifts.

1. Make a list

Simple enough, but do you know how many times I forgot someone because I didn’t make a list and ended up last minute shopping for them?! Talk about stressful because then not only are you rushing, but you are also now not getting something you really want to get them. So make a list, starting now, because most likely, you will will be adding onto it throughout November as you remember everyone.

 

2. Pick your favorites

Start thinking about what YOU love and see if they can be gifted to someone on your list. For me, my favorites are Stitch Fix, getting pampered– nails/massage/good products, date nights. I think of where I am in my life and who is in the same boat and can benefit from the things I love or use everyday. While I know people don’t love to give gift cards, those are the things that are sometimes the most appreciated. I know for me, I can always use some new clothes to change with the season and allowing me to get something from Stitch Fix or Target helps me tremendously because I can get something for myself (vs always buying stuff for my kids). One of my all-time-favorite gift was a “date night” where our friends were offering to watch our kids for the night and allow us to go out on a date without the expense of a sitter. They included movie tickets, but honestly, the idea of just not having to A) find a sitter and B) pay for a sitter, was an amazing gift in itself!!! So besides thinking about stuff YOU love and use everyday, think about some of your favorite gifts you have gotten, what the gift meant to you and why. Sometimes the gift of time is really all someone wants, whether it’s the gift of time to be with the recipient or allowing the recipient to enjoy something without the hassle of figuring it all out.

3. Make something

Are you crafty?! Make your gifts. Some of my favorite gifts were made for me. They have meaning. I pull them out or they decorate my house everyday and I love the sentiment. I try to do this for people on my list that I just don’t know what they would LOVE but I know something made would be meaningful to them. It’s also a great budget saver. You can make some really amazing things on a budget!!!

4. Support local businesses or local mamas

We all have a friend that sells something. Support them. If they sell things you like and use, gift it to someone else. Not only do you have an amazing gift (and goes back to tip2), but you now have supported a friend and possibly well beyond the holiday season. If you have a local store in your neighborhood, head there before heading to Target. Something might stand out and now you have supported your town vs a large corporation.

5. ASK!

When all else fails and you are in a total loss on what to get a friend or family member, ask. Now there are ways you can do this without it being, “What do you want for Christmas?” but if you are close, this works, too. My mom has asked me that and I appreciate the ask because then I know I am getting something I want or can really use! But if you aren’t close, just ask general questions– maybe you ask what wines they like, restaurants they eat at, or places they frequent a lot because you need recommendations for yourself. Be sneaky and say you need gift ideas for a friend and need some help.

 

Don’t let the holidays bring you down! Gift giving should be fun and enjoyable. The feeling of giving an awesome gift is a really good feeling. Make it easy on yourself! Not one single tip was to spend an enormous amount of money. Gifts from the heart mean everything to someone, and when they see that you have taken the time to know what they want or need means that much more! I can tell you as a mom with young kids, anything that allows them to buy their own clothes, give themselves “me” time, or gives them the chance to head out on the town with their significant other or friends is a great gift.

 

 

Why I write…

I started this blog because sometimes I need to write down my thoughts. If you choose to read, then great. If you choose not to read, that’s great, too. It doesn’t affect me either way. I’ve been through quite a year. I needed a place to put my thoughts down. I also love to write. I’ve tried journalling with paper and pencil and I just can’t keep it up, but I can somewhat keep up with typing my thoughts (maybe a generational thing). I would love to be a paper/pencil girl but it just doesn’t get done.

This year has been crazy on a personal account and national account. I’ve been trying to wrap my head around stuff that has happened, especially this last week. I’m not typically an anxious person, but as a mom anxiety has trickled into my system. I have random fleeting thoughts. I think about the fact that as we sit in church, we all sit with our backs to the main doors and what if someone decides they want to go crazy by coming in and shooting. I am constantly looking around at large gatherings like marathons or metro stations wondering what others are thinking or if someone has left something behind. It’s not completely healthy, but at the same time, I do not let these thoughts consume me. I have them, but they are fleeting and I refocus my mind to something else.

But after this week, anytime I think about what happened, I think about how easily that could have been me or someone I love. That is an event I easily could have been to if it was in my neck of the woods. My eyes are tearing up just thinking about it. Then of course, my mind turns to my littles who I send off to school everyday and pray (and wonder) everyday for their safety.

I’m not someone that will EVER get into a debate with someone over gun control laws because frankly, I  don’t know enough about them to debate anyone and I honestly don’t think many people do. I do, however, think something needs to be addressed. Assault rifles are not something ANYONE needs. Mental health needs to start being taken as seriously as heart disease and cancer. People need to love more, reflect more, listen more, debate less.

I sat with my oldest (5 years old) and talked to her about being a friend to anyone who needs one. I told her that it’s important to look for the friend in the classroom or lunch room who doesn’t seem to be talking to anyone or has a hard time finding someone to play with and invite them in. It’s not going to erase what it going on in the world, but if I can raise two little ones to love unconditionally, be a friend to anyone around them, and be genuinely good people, than I feel like I have done something.

I love the fact that many news outlets were focusing on the heroes of this week. They were highlighting ways people were helping in the aftermath or ways people helped strangers around them. Highlighting

those throwing themselves on top of people they didn’t even know to shield them from what was happening. I believe that our world has more good in it than evil, but unfortunately the evil takes the spotlight. The evil has made me have these anxious thoughts and have placed fear in so many of our hearts and minds, but let’s remember the good we are surrounded by. Let’s focus on the love we receive and the love we are allowed to deliver each and every day.

Today, be kind to the person next to you. Smile at the stranger walking by. Lift your eyes off the screen of your phone and say hi to someone. Be the kind in the world, because that is all we can do and that’s what we need to live each day for.

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