Beginning at the END
The tag is usually the very last thing you consider or touch when preparing your gift to give.
DID YOU KNOW:
Gift Giving can be so much easier if you consider what you might put ON the tag instead of IN the bag when shopping.
We designed the Xenia Box experience around the motto “They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”
This phrase, first spoken by Carl Buehner in 1971, could also be re-stated, “They may forget what you bought them or how much you spent, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”
When you put it that way, any gift can be the perfect gift.
This is because: It’s really not about the gift, it’s about the message.
GIFT MESSAGE PROMPTS
So, as you work through your Christmas gift list, here are some Message Prompts to keep in mind. They may help you look at the possibilities of an otherwise simple gift.
- That time we went to ___ was ____. I love that you’ve been part of the best memories of my life.
- When I saw this I thought of you and your ______ (describe a personality trait, their style, or a story they always share about an hilarious or embarrassing moment)
- Every time you use this, I hope you think of me and how grateful I am for you.
- This is as unique as you. Don’t ever stop being you!
- I hope this reminds you that life is ______, and my pride in you is endless.
I GAVE SOMEONE A SPOON
One year I gave a friend a spoon for her birthday.
Now, it was pretty – silver-plated, shiny, and large, like for serving. No, this was not a friend I don’t like. In fact, quite the opposite – she was (and still is!) one of my best friends.
I thought the spoon was lovely but struggled on how to make it an appropriate gift for any time other than to bestow on a bride (and even then….). But then I thought of how much I love her cooking (and how much I love eating it!); how welcoming she always is, quick to pull up an extra chair to her table; how warm and inviting her home and kitchen always are.
And so, with this shiny serving spoon I gave her, I wrote a simple poem or paragraph (I can’t recall which) that spoke to those things. The gift was a hit. How do I know? Not only did she cry, but our other friends had shiny eyes after reading the note as well.
WHEN THIS MAY NOT WORK
Honestly, this approach isn’t likely to work on “the littles” on your list, particularly if they are your own children who have great expectations of getting “all the big things” you told them to just put on their Christmas list. Up to age 16ish, this will get you an eye roll, for sure. However, at the mid-teens of your kids, you can begin to introduce them to this approach to gifting with family keepsakes or a gift that you attach a memory or story to – something you give them personally, quietly, or as a stocking stuffer.
If the younger recipients are not your children, but you have a connection with them as an aunt/uncle (however you’ve earned the title – through blood or because you won’t seem to go away), a godparent, or family friend, this approach can be a winning combination for you both. Be cheeky, be casual, or be sentimental (but in a cool way), and you just might become a gifting rock star even to a teen (though, they’ll never tell you!).
This approach to gift-giving makes your present so much “more.” Why? Because they make someone feel seen, heard, known, appreciated, loved or even just liked if they are a co-worker.
This “special sauce” to your sussy (small gift) can start to feel like a super power. The joy you create through this more personal approach will fill you with abundant pride and delight. Honestly, try it and see!
It also has the added benefit of potentially lowering how much you feel you need to spend on a gift for someone to adequately convey their meaning to you. You can begin to see the potential in all sorts of gifts, and how with the right story or message, anything really can become the perfect gift.
HOW TO START TO BEGIN AT THE END
Don’t force this approach for every gift. Just start with trying it out on a few presents: for people who you’ve run out of ideas for (usually someone really close to you like a sibling, parent, BFF or godparents of your kids); perhaps someone to whom you don’t feel particularly close like a co-worker (you can make them laugh with a great message!); or one of your young adult children.
Some seemingly generic gifts that can work well with this concept –
- A tea or kitchen towel,
- A keychain,
- Something warm or soft,
- An item that features a symbol you can “work with” in your message – anything from socks to jewelry.
Any of these can be funny or sweet. Think of something else! In this case, "be creative" doesn't need to be hard - just look at what's around you in your daily life and apply this concept.
You might make them laugh or cry. But I assure you, regardless, you will make them, and you, smile.
XeniaBox.com has lots of such items that fit this!