Christmas: Are You A Giver or a Getter?

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Are you a giver or a getter at Christmas? Is that a weird question? Every year around Christmastime I think about that. There are some people that enjoy getting Christmas gifts and others that prefer to give them. So, what are you?

In my case I think I am a little bit of both. I enjoy getting a gift like anyone, but the key is making sure the gift is thoughtful.  Aren’t those the best gifts? Its very easy to give someone a gift card and call it a day (more on this later), but is there much thought in that? For me, when someone is giving me a gift, no matter how little, I always get more satisfaction in knowing that the person giving it to me put a good amount of thought into it or knew it was something I just had to have.

The real fun, for me, is giving gifts. I take each person on my Christmas list as a challenge. A challenge to find the gift that’s just right for them or to be creative in what I give them. For example, in our work secret santa this year (I hope he doesn’t see this), the person that I got is a big Red Sox fan. My initial thought is to create a custom t shirt, like the Red Sox jersey t shirt, that says Red Sox in a similar font with a number and his last name on the front. The budget for our secret santa is $25 so this allows me to keep costs super low, get him a gift card or something, as well as something that I know he would like.

That is just one example. Another example is my wife, who bless her soul, is not very helpful in providing things she wants for Christmas/Birthdays/Anniversaries. To battle that, I have literally started taking notes. Throughout the year I keep a running tab of things she says that she wants to do, is interested in, or just flat out wants to buy. This has made it so much easier to put together good gift arrangements for her. Its also why I am EXTREMELY excited for this Christmas.

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Now, I said more on gift cards later… it is later. A gift card can still be 100% thoughtful. There are people I get gift cards for every year because I know without a shadow of a doubt that they shop at that store and will use the gift card. Getting gift cards isn’t necessarily a bad thing, its just important to give a gift card to a person that they will actually use. IN other words, don’t get your mom a Quizno’s gift card, if the closest Quizno’s is an hour away. Do Quizno’s even still exist? I also like to dress up my gift cards a little bit. Putting it in some kind of festive box that you need to unwrap in order to get the contents, or one of those maze gift card holders. It makes it a little more fun to see the person work to get the card.

As a giver, for my gifts at least, there are a few do’s and don’ts to Christmas gifts for me. In my last article, I spoke about how the experiences are what’s remembered. I apply that same philosophy to Christmas gifts. For me its much better to have a night out planned as a gift than it is to give a toy or some type of material thing. Time for another example, last year in lieu of gifts we decided with my aunt to get together once a month for dinner and a movie/game/show. Personally, I found this to be one of the best ideas for Christmas because it creates value all year round. For me, there is so much “stuff” that we buy or consume, it’s nice to get (or give) something like this where you allow yourself an experience, or the chance to catch up with family, even if it is only once a month. Both Jess and I continue to put an emphasis on doing things as opposed to buying things because we feel it helps cultivate relationships and create memories, something that I personally find extremely important.

To answer the question am I a giver or a getter? I would lean toward giver because I enjoy the challenge of shopping for the perfect gift for someone. Whether it is scouring the local craft fairs and Targets, I always enjoy finding that one item that will make a persons day. That being said, I do enjoy getting the same type of thoughtfulness in return. Not for the gift itself, but for the sense of care and time that I know the person on the giving end gave me. Are you a giver or a getter? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter @ShopWithBYT and Facebook!