Thursday, December 19, 2013

For The Person Who Has Everything Pt. 1

We’ve all got one or two people on our Christmas lists who are impossible to buy for. Either their material needs are fully met and you can’t afford what they might appreciate – or – you just have no clue what they consider worthwhile.

So for the next couple of days, as the pressure builds to find them something, I’m going to suggest some different approaches to gift giving you might find useful.

First: It’s the thought that counts.

I get a lot of cards this time of year from business associates letting me know that in lieu of the traditional bottle of wine or embossed letter opener, their company has opted to make a charitable donation to some worthy cause. And who can argue with that?

But it sometimes comes off as self-serving (to make the giver look good) and doesn’t really involve or maybe even relate to the person on whose behalf they’re gifting.

A few years ago, a guy I worked with put his own spin on this. He announced he was giving out care packages to the homeless and invited his clients over for a drink. What we didn’t know is that we were doing the distribution and hit the streets with him in search of those in need.

It was a night before Christmas I’ll never forget.

Gifting the person who has everything in this way. Making them a partner in a cause for which you volunteer not only provides an experience they otherwise might never have had. And it tends to recruit them for the cause.

Since that year, I’ve set aside one night prior to Christmas (usually a cold one) to head out with some bundles to warm somebody’s predicament at least a little.

This years package contained a toque, waterproof mitts, thick sox wrapped up in a cheap but cozy thermal blanket with a Tim’s card credited with enough for a hot soup and sandwich combo or enough coffee refills to buy the user a few hours of uninterrupted shelter from the cold.

And the packages handed out this year were multiplied by one of my “giftees” doing the same thing with his kids a few days later.

The Spirit of Giving is what makes Christmas special for most of us. And you might introduce your hard to buy for person to those using foodbanks, trapped in hospitals or otherwise struggling to get by.

And most people, once face to face with a those in need and feeling the personal satisfaction that comes from helping out, tend to find their own way of replicating the experience.

You’ll give someone hard to buy for a gift that keeps on giving for all concerned as well as one the one on your list will never forget.

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