People tend to equate cheap with thoughtless. When your inexpensive Christmas gifts looks like they could have used a few more bucks, you may send the message that you do not care to invest more in those you are buying for. However, expensive might not be an option. Maybe you have too many relatives and friends to think of. Maybe you just don’t have the resources. What can you do?
The answer is simple: Put a little thought into it. Of course, you always think about one’s likes and dislikes when you buy a gift; but when the money is tight, you have to take that a little bit farther. That means, look even more thoughtful than you would otherwise.
You can do this by writing a Christmas card to go with your gift, a little trick whose efficiency is often ignored. If you do it right, you will get a wonderful reaction and even have a shot to your relative or friend’s “Best Christmas Gift Ever Award.”
So how do you do it? Here are some tips.
Make them feel good about themselves.
Did you get a nice slow cooker from your mother-in-law last year? Take a funny picture of you using it, then frame it and add a card that says, “I wish your Christmas will be as yummy as you made mine!” That will definitely tickle her ego. The best part is that, since this may cost you only a little over $1 of your budget, you will be able to spend some more on an additional Christmas gift, and create a nice impression of gift abundance. If you pair this with a batch of homemade cookies, or the cookbook your mother-in-law is wishing for, you have a very thoughtful gift to offer.
Give them the gift of memories.
Take a picture of a place meaningful to the person you are thinking of, and use Photoshop to give it a classic painting look. Arrange it in a expensive looking wall frame (you can always find these on sale in a craft store), then write a card that says, “I know you miss and cherish this place, so I thought I would bring it to you for Christmas.” If you are the romantic kind, add, “It belongs to your house, as much as my heart belongs to you. Merry Christmas!” Then sit back and expect tears.
Remind them of things you have in common.
If you have just discussed a book or an author, buy another book by that author, and write a card that says, “I am looking forward to more great moments with you and our favorite writer!” Add a fancy book sign that you can always get for cheap at the bookstore, and, voila, your gift is more thoughtful than just passing along a book.
Show them you thought about their interests.
Let’s say your gift choice is a small, portable sound machine. If you fear your gift choice might seem cheap compared to the alternatives, subtly explain your choice in a card: “I know you love the sound of the sea. Now you can always take it with you. Merry Christmas!” When you a have a good reason behind a Christmas gift, the low price may slip unnoticed.
Tell a story.
Let’s assume that you found a great picture of a night city skyline or a nocturnal corner of nature. Use a Christmas card to write the story that the picture reminds you of: “When I was a child, I used to fall asleep wishing upon the stars. Because of you, many of my wishes became true. The stars have been good to me. I hope they will grant you all your wishes too.” Do not forget that showing sincere gratefulness is always a winner.
Good writing can open not only doors, but hearts. When it comes to Christmas gifts, avoid the mistake of failing to explain your choice. Writing a Christmas card can make the difference between an awkward moment and an emotional, unforgettable one. Be creative, and your gift will become the thoughtful one you always wanted to offer!