In our second installment of Unclutterer’s 2009 Holiday Gift Giving Guide we’re discussing gifts that reflect your personal priorities and desires. Initially, this may appear to be a little self-serving (and, well, it is a little bit), but keep reading before you dismiss the idea entirely.
This year, we’re getting my brother a Netbook for Christmas. We found a Compaq Netbook with Windows XP for $179.00 through BestBuy’s Black Friday Deals, and decided it was the right gift for the right price.
How does a gift like this reflect what matters most to me? My family is my largest priority and being in solid communication with them comes ahead of most everything in my life. Part of this includes my son growing up talking at least once a week with his uncle, and this Netbook will make that possible across the miles (my brother lives more than 1,000 miles away). The Netbook has a webcam built into the monitor and works wonderfully with Skype, and also accesses the internet so that he can see family pictures and videos we upload to Flickr. My brother doesn’t currently have a home computer or a webcam, and so this little Netbook will make it possible for my son and brother to develop a more meaningful relationship.
(As a quick note, we considered getting him a Skype Video Phone, but the price was so similar to the Netbook that we decided to go with the device that has multiple functions. For someone like my 100-year-old grandmother, though, a single-use device may have made more sense.)
If spending time with your family is also a priority, gifts like airline tickets are nice so that the recipient can come to visit you. Create a “redeemable for one free trip to see me” coupon and then buy the ticket in the person’s name when you and the recipient figure out the best travel date. If the family member lives within driving distance, give a gasoline gift card in an amount to cover the expense of fuel for the trip. The recipient gets a vacation and you both get to spend time with someone you love.
What is on your list of what matters most? Can you find gifts for other people this season that reflect these priorities? The reasons that you use for living a clutter-free life can also help you find inspired, caring, uncluttered gifts for the people you love. Here are a couple more ideas that may work for you:
- Monthly reservations. Do you have a friend you would like to see more often? Choose 12 restaurants you’ve been wanting to try and make reservations for once-a-month dining in advance. Give your friend a calendar with the plans already marked on the dates. Offer to pay for one or more of the dinners (Your birthday month is on me!). You can always reschedule the reservations if something pops up or you decide you want to try a different place, but if there isn’t a conflict you’re set for the entire year.
- New adventures. For my sister-in-law’s birthday last year, we bought her a robot kit and a bottle of wine. We also bought two robot kits for ourselves. We then set a date for when we could all get together and spend the afternoon building our little creatures. A few weeks later we pretended to be engineers (sober engineers, I might add — we discovered wine did not go well with hundreds of itty bitty pieces in our kits). She had never built a robot and loved the idea of building one, and we hadn’t ever built them and loved the idea, too. Plus, we laughed our way through the entire adventure. We got to spend the day with someone we love doing something we’ve always wanted to try, and the same was true for my sister-in-law. Are there new adventures you could share with someone you love?
As we continue to post more ideas for the Guide, check out the Unclutterer’s 2009 Holiday Gift Giving Guide Index Page for a listing of all the posts.