Whether it's Christmas, a birthday, an anniversary, or even daily life, the art of gift giving is essential! A poorly thought-out gift leaves a bad impression, while a well thought-out gift brings great joy to everyone. Here are five wonderful and free gift ideas, plus a bonus idea at the end!
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1: Words of Affirmation
Did you know that good relationships typically have a 5:1 compliment to criticism ratio? And excellent relationships have a 20:1 compliment to criticism ratio! In other words, people really appreciate compliments and affirmations. We can give others a handwritten note or a card complimenting their positive qualities.
"Dear Mom, thanks for being such a caring person and helping everyone in the family have harmony. I am fortunate to have a great mother like you! Merry Christmas and happy new year!"
2: Words of Gratitude
The most common complaint in the workplace is "You can do a hundred right and not hear a thing about it, but if you do one thing wrong, they're all over you." This complaint is not just true for the workplace, but also for personal relationships too! Our words of gratitude just might make someone's day!
"Hi Andy, thank you for being my meditation buddy and keeping me accountable to maintain this healthy habit. I'm fortunate to have a great friend like you! Merry Christmas and happy new year!"
3: Quality Time
When it comes to relationships, it's not how much time we spend with others that matters but rather the quality of that time. Some ideas here could be doing something with them that they really like, such as playing their favorite board game, or watching their favorite movie and then talking about it with them after, or joining them for a hobby of theirs.
"Happy Birthday Leon! I know you love to watch Avengers. Here's a ticket for us to watch Avengers whenever you want! I'll buy the snacks!"
4: Act of Service (Favor)
This gift is especially appreciated by people who show their love through actions rather than words. For example, some people show their love by doing the chores or cooking or running errands. For these people, we can do their chores as a gift.
"Dear grandma, thanks for always cooking delicious meals for us whenever we visit. Today, you can rest, and I will cook for you!"
Some people might not be in the festive spirit due to personal reasons. For them, we can give them the gift of prayer or best wishes.
"Dear Judy, I know things are challenging right now. I am here for you, and I am praying for you (or I am wishing the best for you)."
Bonus Idea: Philanthropy
Most of us have too much stuff, and we often have to pretend to be happy to get more stuff that we don't need. Well, rather than getting people stuff that they probably don't need or want, we can give them the gift of philanthropy!
In the past, I used to make donations using the names of other people. Recently, I found a website called Charity Choice. It's great because I can send a gift card and let the receiver choose the charity from a big list. I can also design a customized picture (I like to send a past picture of me and the receiver) to go with the gift.
This article went over six different gift ideas, five of which are totally free. To make your gift even better, you can combine multiple ideas. For example, you could give words of affirmation AND an act of service AND a charity donation! If you bought a physical gift, adding one of these free gifts would be the icing on the cake.
Gift giving does not need to be arduous or expensive. The key is to give a gift that is thoughtful, meaningful, and sincere. As Maya Angelou said, people might forget what we did or what we said, but they will never forget how we made them feel!