The greatest gifts you can give

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends and are in a total food coma today! The struggle was real for me at first to roll out of bed after that feast but I’m super pumped to be working on a bedroom project this Black Friday. On a day when people spend an exorbitant amount on shopping, it got me thinking about the best kind of gifts you can give your loved ones this holiday season. Ones that don’t necessarily take up a whole lot - or any - space.

For anyone who knows me, I’m HUGE on non material presents. I’d much rather give or receive an experience over a physical item. Maybe that’s not the most popular opinion or what society wants you to think is best, but hear me out and maybe you’ll be inspired to gift differently this year!

Be a ticket master

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Some of my absolute favorite memories are attending concerts (well, at least from what I can remember of them tbh). One year, I surprised my mom with tickets to see Garth Brooks at Yankee Stadium and due to a rain delay, Garth didn’t hit the stage until midnight. Pretty sure the sun was coming up just as we were going down but she still talks about what a blast she had to this day. If you have similar taste in music as someone you usually exchange with, how great would it be to share a night out like that together? If you don’t agree on bands, think about their favorite sports teams, comedians, or actors if they’re currently being featured in a play. And if you’re concerned about showing up empty handed (especially if you buy etickets), consider finding something small that can be connected to the event and writing a note. Case in point: my mom also loves DWTS so last year I got her tickets to see Derek Hough at Radio City and broke the news in a copy of his book that just came out. This way I had something to hand her on Christmas and it was so worth seeing her face light up as she read the note.

Get yer beer here!

Ok, so while my mama apparently likes to watch men sing and dance, beer drinking is more up my dad’s alley. The guy loves to taste test and collect growler’s from local breweries (which, as an anti hoarder, can drive me a little bananas but I digress). Groupon often runs deals and you can have it sent right to their email so, bonus, no paper clutter! Another option is to Google upcoming expos such as what my SIL just did for my brother as an anniversary gift. They had an afternoon of beers and bonding. I mean, c’mon, what could be better? Maybe wine, wine tasting is pretty awesome too.

It’s all in the cards

There are some people who are adamantly against giving gift cards but personally, I think they can be super thoughtful AND useful. Every year, my parents give me one to Trader Joe’s and I use it to stock up on vitamins, getting my new year off to a healthy start. Spa or restaurant gift cards are great ideas for new moms or married couples in need of a date night. Then, of course, there’s Amazon for anyone who could ever want anything - you just know that gift card won’t go to waste. Another brilliant idea? For frequent flyers, how about an airline gift card? Domestic flights can be pricey, especially around the holidays, so this would greatly offset a trip they want to take - maybe even to come see you!

No train, no gain

People are more and more interested in getting fit (which is freakin amazing) so why not give them a helping hand? Gym memberships can be a little tricky as you obviously don’t want to insult someone because that could make the holidays a bit awk. But if you know they want it or are already attending expensive workouts like Pure Barre or Orangetheory, you can pay for a few sessions and I guarantee they will be grateful. An aunt of mine is a SoulCycle fanatic so on Christmas, her family gifted her with classes and her own set of spin shoes so she didn’t have to rent them every time. There’s also supplements which, yes, are material items but you know will get used up if given to the designated fit fam member. This year, I’m gifting myself with a CBD oil membership as I suffer from chronic pain (will most definitely give my testimonial on this so stay tuned!)

Time out

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What do people wish they had more of? Money is a good guess but the more accurate answer is TIME. I can’t think of anything more generous than giving your time to someone you love. Offer to babysit or cook for them, run errands or perform a service especially if you have a skill. Little known fact : I’m a ballroom dancer/instructor on the side so when my brother got engaged, I offered to give them dance lessons for the wedding (and subsequently found out after 30 years that my brother is actually a good dancer!). The gift of your time is probably, hands down, the most meaningful one you can give.

I sincerely hope I’ve given you (ha, get it?) some inspiration for unique ideas to close out 2017 as the most popular holiday guest! Sure, socks or iPads are fun but by giving something non material, you are thinking outside the box and will most certainly stand apart from everyone else. If it helps, make a list of who you are you buying for and next to it, what it is you think they need but wouldn’t necessarily purchase for themselves. And if organization happens to be one of those needs, you know who to call ;)

Stay safe out there today my friends and happy shopping! AKA let's not have any of this nonsense going down...