Don’t overthink gift giving

Whether it is holiday time, a special occasion, or simply a time to celebrate, we can feel pressure to buy gifts for others. But don’t feel that you need to buy a gift just for the sake of buying something. Gifts should be genuine and personal. The best gift we can give someone is our time, whether that’s spending time making something for them or spending time with them.

Don’t overthink trying to find something to buy someone, celebrations are not about things they are about memories.

Spend time together

Being with someone can be more meaningful than giving them something.

Spending time together doesn’t just mean physically being with them. Taking time out of your day to sit and talk on the phone or go to an online event together lets others know that they are a priority and important to you. The best gift we can give someone is our time. When we share experiences and laughter those memories stay with us and help connect us to others.

Don’t overthink how you will spend your time together. Think about things you both enjoy, things you have done together before, or things both of you have wanted to do. Don’t feel that you need to do something complex or new, catching up at a local café with a cup of coffee and slice of pie is an excellent way to spend an afternoon.

Ways to spend time together

Take an online course together

Watch a movie or TV show

Host a trivia night

Read a book together or to each other

Make a meal together

Buy second hand

Don’t shy away from buying second hand items to give to people. There is no rule that says you need to buy a new item, though companies may try to convince you differently. Our society pushes us to consume by buying new and replacing things that are only a few years old. Try to look for new items after first seeing what second hand items are available.

Reasons to buy second hand

You’re keeping something from ending up in a landfill or the trash.
When you buy something second hand it means it has a new home, someplace to go, and someone to use it.

It helps you focus on the item and not the price.
Maybe you are worried about how much something costs or maybe you are of the mindset that spending more means you give a better gift. Buying second hand means you are thinking about the item first and how well it will fit the person it is for and not how much it is.

Write a note

It could be a card, a postcard, a letter, or anything else you can come up with. Gifting someone with words of love, encouragement, acknowledgment, or congratulations is a lasting gift. The person receiving your words will experience the gift over and over again whenever they read them.

Heartfelt words go a long way and make a truly meaningful gift but it can be easy to get caught up in the details of what to say. Don’t worry about trying to fit a certain amount of words onto a page, don’t worry about how much white space there is or is not. Say as much as you need to say and leave it at that. Think about what you would say to that person if you were physically with them. It could help to talk out loud to get in the mindset of what you would say. Don’t worry about eloquence or grammar or making it sounds grand, just make it sound like you.

Don’t hesitate to regift

If someone has given you a gift that you are not going to use, there is nothing wrong with regifting it. Maybe it wasn’t something you wanted, it wouldn’t work for your life, or isn’t something you need. Whatever the reason, if you know someone who would get use of something given to you, don’t hesitate to regift it.

Regifting is giving a home to an item that would just take up space in your home.

Keeping things around that you know you won’t use can cause a weight to hang over you. It can make you feel guilty because you aren’t using it. The best thing you can do with a gift you aren’t going to use is to give it to someone who will use and appreciate it.

You may worry that whoever gave you the gift will be unhappy that you gave the gift away. But if the gift is not something you are going to use, the most respectful thing you can do is to ensure it gets used and enjoyed. Returning or donating an item may mean it doesn’t get used at all and ends up in the trash and eventually a landfill. Finding a home for an item shows that the gift and the person who gave it to you mean something.

Don’t wait for a reason to give a gift

If you find the perfect gift for someone or wrote down exactly what you wanted to say in a card, don’t feel that you need to wait until a certain date or event to give it to that person. The best gifts are the ones are from the heart and are given when you want to to give them.

If you find something that would be useful to a friend or something they would enjoy having around, why wait to give it to them?

Giving gifts when people don’t expect it is such a wonderful surprise. It means you found something that made you think of that person and were excited to give it to them as soon as possible. Spread joy as far and as often as you can, don’t just save it for special occasions.

Final thoughts

Giving gifts should be enjoyable for both the person receiving the gift and the person giving the gift. Don’t stress yourself out trying to find the perfect gift, it can lead to buying something just for the sake of buying something.

A gift doesn’t need to be a physical object, it can be an experience or simply time together. Making memories together is a gift that will last much longer than any item you give someone.

When you do find a gift that you know someone would enjoy or need, don’t feel you have to wait to give it to them. There does not need to be a special event in order for you to give a gift.

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