The Art of Gracious Gift Giving
doesn’t need to include stress and last-minute rushing! To reduce
holiday stress in a big way, you may want to rethink your gift giving
CAN save money and hassle, even your sanity — and there’s still time!
To help yourself be a more gracious gift-giver this season (and
throughout the year) consider these suggestions:
1. Don’t wait till the last minute.
Get in the habit of shopping for gifts all year! Remember the hobbies,
interests and quirks of your colleagues and loved ones — maybe they love
watches, elephants, sunflowers or anything hot pink!
You can often have fun and pick up unique items while you are on holiday
or at charity auctions, flea markets or craft fairs, or find them on
sale throughout the year. If you find something you love that you know
will make a great gift, buy several. When I returned from Morocco, I
gave many of my friends a set of small ceramic shoes, meant to bless
travelers, which they still cherish. Keep your finds in a special
closet or cupboard and label each gift with the name of the intended
recipient. They’ll be glad you did — and so will you!
2. Give gift certificates or pre-paid gift cards
for things your loved ones will enjoy and appreciate throughout the
year, like massages, facials, pedicures and other pamperings. Or how
about travel, florists, books, sporting equipment, restaurants, hotel
stays, home improvement, theatre, concert or even movie tickets?
Perhaps you know of something a co-worker is dying to try, like a
cooking class, jet ski ride or pottery class. Prepaid gift cards rank
high up on most lists of preferred gifts — you can be certain they’ll be
delighted with their gift!
One of my clients just called about giving a series of private coaching
sessions to her Mom, who’s been under lots of stress. What a great
idea! Email or call me to discuss how you can give the gift of personal
coaching to someone you care about. Special introductory packages are
DrDonna@DrDonnaGo.com or 954-893-0123.
Use your own creativity
to show you care (and use your ingenuity to leave the malls behind)!
Consider giving certificates for your own personal services – ways to
make a loved one or friend’s life easier.
Make sure it’s something you enjoy making or doing! How about internet
searches, house-sitting, closet organizing, dog walking or sitting,
plant care, baby or elder sitting, calligraphy, photography, preparing
meals or baking are just a few choices.
4. For the person with everything
(or a big heart) give a gift to a charity in their honor. For example
your local homeless center, the Red Cross, the Special Olympics.
One of my favorites is the Heifer Project
www.heifer.org. It allows you to buy pairs of animals, like goats
or chickens, for needy families in developing countries. I have given
these special gifts for holidays and special occasions for many years.
It’s a mitzvah (blessing) for the sender and receiver too!
My stepmother’s name is Bunny, so I buy bunnies in her honor! (I’m sure
they have multiplied by now into hundreds, maybe even thousands of
rabbits for disadvantaged families worldwide.) Many charities and
museums have beautiful holiday cards and decorations to sell. UNICEF's
are always favorites for all ages!
5. Simplify your life and your gift wrapping.
Your gifts can still look special but in a third the time if you use
gifts bags or pre-wrapped boxes. Choose one elegant, all-purpose
wrapping with matching gift tags and fancy bows for all your gifts.
6. The gift of your time and attention is often the one most
If you are more relaxed and balanced you can be more present when you
give your presents! Think about who needs or would appreciate your love
and, even more important, remember to think about how can you best love
YOURSELF this holiday season!
Perhaps one of the nicest gifts you could give yourself this season is
personal coaching. Give me a call and I’ll give you a gift of a free
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa or the Winter
I hope this season and the year to come will be full of joy, wonder and
meaning for you!
Donna Goldstein, Executive Director of Development Associates
International, has helped thousands of individuals to live more balanced
and fulfilled lives. She has contributed to 20 books on personal and
professional growth. She is available via telephone for personal
coaching no matter where you are! Email or call her