Gifting with a Difference
Here are some easy hacks to personalize your gifts this holiday season…
The holidays are almost upon us and gifting is on the agenda! It may be Christmas gifting or taking a little something for your host. We start with the best of intentions and end up feeling drained, worrying that the gift we spent time and money over may not be liked.
A recent trip made me realize that sometimes the least expensive gifts can bring the most joy. After hours of planning and shopping, the items I threw in at the last minute were what were most appreciated. By everyone! A simple assortment of idly podis and rice powders from a local sweet shop. The more expensive brass idols, costume jewelry, perfume sachets and clothes were cursorily glanced at. The podis, however, were displayed to every visitor, and inspected and marveled at. This from a household that makes the best podis themselves!
This year plan your gift list keeping this in mind.
Old wine in a new bottle: What made the podi package fascinating was that it came in small cute packages. The same old spicy powder, with a variation in flavors. A variation that one may normally find from one household to the next. However, it was placed in small jars and labeled. The time spent studying each one and discussing it, added to the novelty of the otherwise boring podi. Look at gifts that may be common, but come in interesting packages. Plants in fancy plant holders, desserts in traditional tea glasses, a wine bottle in a painted cloth wine bag, a packet of tea in a ceramic tea pot.
Multiples that create a collection: Some people prefer short stories to one large novel. In cases where you may not know the recipient’s tastes well, multiples make sense. Four small bottles of perfume are better that one large expensive bottle that may not be appreciated. Three books are better than one. Three red candles make a collection with greater impact when placed, instead of one candle that might get lost on the table. A friend who loves Chinese food could be gifted a basket of Chinese sauces, oils, and soups.
Old is gold: What used to be common but is now rare. Net or lace doilies with beads that were used to cover a glass of water, an old photograph reframed, a collection of old classics on a pen drive… It could be favorites that bring back memories. Someone recently gifted me jujips. It wasn’t an expensive gift, but it brought back childhood memories. It made me feel touched that someone remembered how fond I was of that innocuous sweet.
What’s trending: Today it’s virgin coconut oil. Last year it was apple cider vinegar. Look around. It could be ‘Happiness Is’ linen from Portico or third eye bracelets or Methiyadi rubber slippers!
Homemade: Nothing beats this. It doesn’t have to be made in your home. Source it from a friend, a neighbor, a farm in your town. From peanut candy to cheeses, jams and pickles to bread or sweets, homemade is always appreciated.