As we move into the holiday season and the shopping season that tends to come along with it, I wanted to share some general gifting tips that have been percolating in my mind these last few weeks and months. I’ve witnessed a shift in myself in every area of my personal life in 2020, and the way I’m approaching the gifting season is no different. The changes I’m making are connected to the deep gratitude I feel for my health and family, and the power each of us have to support the people and businesses that make up the fabric of our communities.
Here’s how we’ll be approaching our gifting content this year, with some words of encouragement as you decide how you’ll use your power, privilege, and time through your own shopping habits.
You may not be able to exert control over every area of your life but you can control where you spend your money and your time. There’s power in your purchase, and we can all be spending as thoughtfully as possible (this year and every year), in accordance with our individual values and budgets.
You don’t have to overextend yourself financially, either. The power to show up for others and express gratitude has an impact far beyond the financial one, and the ability to align your values and connect with your community is a gift you should never gloss over. We all have something to share, through our talents, our capacity to connect and show love for others, our ability to give, and our ability to show humanity and gratitude for those who have been there for us.
Make sure you take the capacity of small businesses into account as you do your shopping, and do your best to give them enough lead time for shipping. Expecting the same customer service from a small business as you do Target isn’t realistic.
If you’re shopping small, be flexible and understanding, and remember you can’t expect the same speed of shipping as you can from mass retailers like Amazon. This means it’s up to us to plan early and shop early, to be human and treat others like humans.
Additionally, keep in mind that if something arrives late, you can always give your giftee a handmade card that announces what will soon be coming in the mail. Receiving a gift post-holidays is kind of a fun way to extend the season anyway, yes?
On W&D, we’ll still be recommending products from larger retailers alongside those from small businesses. We’re encouraging you to be intentional about your purchasing habits rather than automatically ordering everything from a mass retailer, and to remember that where you put your money is an individual balance—one only you can decide for yourself.
We’re encouraging you to be intentional about your purchasing habits rather than automatically ordering everything from a mass retailer, and to remember that where you put your money is an individual balance—one only you can decide for yourself.
Also, as we begin to share our gift guides in the weeks ahead, please keep in mind that there’s no pressure to buy anything we may recommend. We, along with other blogs, will be sharing products with affiliate links that ultimately help support our business and pay our team. But just because we’re sharing these items doesn’t mean you need to buy one single thing. Homemade gifts are always an option too! And if you don’t have the money for something now but are interested in buying it for a friend or family member (or for yourself) in the future, go ahead and save the link for later. The gift will still be meaningful in a few weeks or a few months (or…whenever).
Keep an open mind to buying secondhand gifts for certain people, whether it’s from an antique store, thrift store, or online retailer like The RealReal or thredUP. Buying secondhand is a way to reduce waste and save money. And everywhere you look for secondhand pieces, there’s always the opportunity to buy like-new items that come with the tags still on them.
I know a handful of people in my life who would be thrilled to receive a thoughtful secondhand object, one that you spent time searching for and that spoke to you the moment you saw it. For example, my friend Meggie and I love to thrift together, so when it came time to buy her a present for her new baby, I knew finding something that was both extra special AND secondhand was the perfect combo. I ended up splurging on a gently used Boden top, something she would rarely treat herself to but that was in line with her values when it comes to avoiding fast fashion.
Sometimes we get so hung up on finding the PERFECT gift that we end up overcomplicating things. The key to giving a “good” gift (subjective though that term may be!) is to make sure you’re always considering who you’re gifting to rather than just giving them something you like.
If you’re trying to think of what to give someone, bring it back to the basics: think about a gift that will make everyday moments at home more special for that particular person. Consider these questions: What do they do in their free time? How do they unwind? What would make their life easier? Give a gift based on those personalized answers.
The key to giving a “good” gift (subjective though that term may be!) is to make sure you’re always considering who you’re gifting to rather than just giving them something you like. . . . What do they do in their free time? How do they unwind? What would make their life easier? Give a gift based on those personalized answers.
Remember, too, that gift-giving is not about the quantity or the expense; it’s about the intentionality and thought behind the gift, and getting someone something they actually like. Try not to get too caught up on getting something that’s a certain amount of money—just because something is $50 vs. $15 doesn’t mean it’s a “better” gift.
And if you’re feeling lost, remember that a “themed” gift centered around an activity you know the giftee enjoys will never lead you astray.
I hope the above reminders are helpful to you in the weeks to come (and whenever you find yourself shopping for a present). If you have your own tips to share, please let us know down below!
In closing, I want to encourage you to add to the comments how you’ve been supporting the businesses you want to see more of in the world. And if you have a small business of your own you’d like us to consider for inclusion in holiday gift guides or in future roundups, please send your info our way to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Happy gifting folks.
BY Kate Arends - November 9, 2020
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.