Thursday, April 15, 2010

Gift Giving Part II

In my last post about "The Art of Gift Giving" , I was looking for some more good advice on how everyone else finds the perfect gift. A couple of you responded with some good ideas. Then I thought of a few more more, but I would still like more of your advice.  How do you find the perfect gift? Are there any online sites or stores where you find good gifts? What kind of gifts do you like to give?

Here are a few more pieces of advice that I try to follow:

  1. Plan Ahead.  Not always as easy as it sounds, but I almost always give better, more thoughtful gifts when I think about what the person wants about a month before I give it.  This is especially helpful when buying a gift online--which I like do.
  2. Include a nice handwritten note with the card. Some people from whom I have received gifts always give me such nice handwritten notes inside the card that I look forward to opening the card as much as I do the gift!  I try to follow in their example and write something personal to the recipient. It's not always easy to think of something to say, but just remember, anything is better than just a signature--even if the card seems to say it all.
What kind of gifts do I like to give? by far, I like to give religious gifts. I think anything to help the person gain a closer relationship to God is the best gift you can give.  My favorite place to find religious gifts is online where the selection is huge and the prices are fair.  One place to find very unique gifts of all kinds, but also religious gifts is a online store: . Everything is handmade, and therefore, one of a kind.  I recently found some pretty things for Mother's Day there.  I can't divulge any more details because I want the gifts to be a surprise :)

You're turn! I would love to hear a little piece of advice from a great gift giver as yourself!


Allison said...

I don't know that I am a great gift giver. I used to write letters, notes etc. to folks and have fallen from this habit.

When I do give gifts, however, I try to think of something I have in common with the giftee. In other words, what would I like that she or he would like too? What do we have in common?

Often it can be easy to give someone something YOU like or you think they SHOULD like, with no reflection on who they are as people.

I too, have found wonderful gifts on etsy. In addition to your site, Sarah, I also like Ann Burt's retablos and am giving one to our son for his Confirmation gift. Handmade gifts, even if you don't make them yourself, are best, in my opinion. They show lovingcare.

I wrote about gifts here. I love Sarah that you are writing not only about WHAT to give, but HOW. It is an almost lost art.

Anonymous said...

I have mixed feeling about giving gift cards, because I like getting them as gifts myself. It's fun to go shopping for myself, when I don't normally do that. But sometimes giving a gift card can seem impersonal. Depends on the person, you really need to think about what they like, not yourself.
Julie M

Gardenia said...

hello. I've seen your blog name on many people's sidebars, and today I'm stopping by to say hello. your rosaries are beautiful, as is your family. As to gift giving, Ido best when I write down gift ideas i have (usually months before a birthday of that someone) and then pull out the list hen the birthday nears. because I'm not that great at last minute brainstorming for the right gift. nice to meet you.

Sarah Harkins said...

@Allison- good point about the gift reflecting the relationship you have with the person. I can see how this would make the gift even more memorable.

@Julie- I agree- I love gift cards! But when they come from the same person all the time, it makes you start to wonder how much that person really cares. I think it's a good idea to switch it up!

@gardenia- a list is such a good thing to start. I wish I was that organized! Maybe someday I will make it past my mental list...

Michelle said...

Just reposting most of my comment from the other post (with some more):

As an artist I love giving gifts that have a personal touch. But I can't make a painting for every one every year. :) Sometimes I just write a poem and frame it. Or a picture of me and that person framed as a special memory. It's important to think of what touches the particular person. Do they like travel? Africa? Tea? Are they earthy? Are they lonely? My sisters and husband sometimes just buy me tea, cinnamon sticks and/or honey and I LOVE it. It tells me not ONLY that they thought of me, but that they KNOW me. Some people just like words. I remember one year my sister said, after reading the card I'd included with the gift (which was a Willow Tree figurine that I absolutely love) "You're cards are always the best part of the gift." The card is just as important as the gift, maybe more. Maybe the gift isn't something they'd have chosen for themselves, but the card explains why you thought of them. Words go a loooong way. I usually keep cards longer than gifts. :)

Willow Tree figurines are one of my favorite gifts. But by far my favorite is the surprise art work. I love when I get a thank you from a gift that made someone cry! :) It's the most affirmative feeling. (Can you tell I'm a "words" person?)

Gift cards have a place, and can mean more if a nice note is included with a specific idea - "To treat yourself to lunch or a pedi" or something they've been wanting. Recently for my bro's birthday my hubby and I got him a gift card that would pay for half a pair of running shoes he'd been wanting. So, gift cards can be done with class so it doesn't seem like a "Well, I didn't know what to get you...."

Sarah Harkins said...

Michelle, is there a place online to see your artwork? I like the idea of giving something I made, but most of the time I chicken out because I feel insecure about what I've made. Plus, I can't keep count of who has a rosary of mine and who doesn't!
You're right about the importance of words. It definitely takes some effort though- I think even more effort sometimes than the actual gift.

Michelle said...

I have most of my art in a facebook photo album. If you have an account there, you can befriend me if want! (Michelle Abernathy) other than that I only have two recent paintings posted on my blog, which should be linked to through my name on this comment. :)

Michelle said...

I jsut realized you wouldn't be able to find me on FB b/c I'm a nazi about privacy, haha! If you're on it I could find you :) Let me know.

Sarah Harkins said...

Michelle, I'm not on FB anymore. I saw the one picture you did on your blog about birth- that was cool. did you do the one with your profile pic?