December 18th, 2015

Top 12 Gift Tips

Christmas Gift

Christmas gifts are on people’s minds. It IS next week, after all.

Time to get cracking (I’m speaking to myself, of course) and finish up those last few items on your list.

Holiday gifting can be stressful. Take it from me. I know. But it absolutely doesn’t have to be.

Here are my Top 12 Gift Tips to help you (and me) make what could be a stressful time – joyful.

  1. Give Christmas steaks! It’s an easy gift that will impress your recipient and pretty much make you look like a hero. No one returns these babies.
  2. Don’t agonize so much over each selection. Choose something for each person and move on. The more you waffle, the more time you waste.
  3. In the same vein as #2, go with your gut. If you see something and it screams, “Uncle Joe!” – get it. Boom. Done.
  4. Wrapping matters. Sometimes a beautifully packaged gift supersedes even what’s inside. And for those gifts you’re unsure about it could be the saving grace. So do it up right.
  5. Purchase back ups/extras. There’s always someone we forgot.
  6. Consider giving consumables – gourmet food, wine, etc. Who says your gift has to be something they can put on a shelf? Consumables are experiences to me – and that’s all the rage now.
  7. Try to personalize your gifts a little. If Dorothy eats like a bird, don’t gift her a huge Porterhouse.
  8. Don’t expect anything in return. You may not get anything in return. And that will be okay.
  9. Remember why you’re getting together with these people to exchange gifts. It’s supposed to be peaceful and lovely. Not jerky, jealous and judgmental. (I’m not speaking from experience or anything.)
  10. Don’t try to outdo everyone else. Make a gift budget and stick to it.
  11. Be gracious when you receive a gift. Let the other person experience the joy of giving YOU something.
  12. Focus on others. Share their joy and spread your own. ‘Tis the season!

December 11th, 2015

Holiday Gift Etiquette

We’ve arrived here at holiday time and there seems to be some confusion about proper holiday gift etiquette.

So what are the DOs and DON’Ts of gift giving?

Holiday Gift Boxed Steak

Most of the time, common sense will prevail in these situations. But some forethought – however small – might just be your best friend at this time of year.

Trust me.

Number one:  You never want to leave anyone out. Going over to Cousin Verne’s house to exchange Christmas gifts? Make sure to ask exactly WHO will be in attendance.

You don’t want Uncle Larry to sneak up on you when you assumed he would be in Detroit this year. Ask. Then, ask again. Just to be sure.

But to be extra, EXTRA sure, bring along some additional Christmas steaks to give as host/hostess gifts and to those whose appearance is a mystery to you.

Oh, hey Larry. Didn’t see you over there. What a nice surprise! Enjoy these steaks…

Number two:  Is a knitted toilet paper holder really the best choice for holiday gifting?

Miss Manners would say not.

Again, the gift of gourmet edibles is always a smart choice. Everyone has to eat, so why not make it enjoyable? People really appreciate good food. It’s universal.

And it’s something everyone in the family can agree on. Those topics may be few and far between. So bask in them and keep directing the conversation back to neutral topics.

Number three:  When RECEIVING a gift, always be grateful. Even if you are wishing it was something delicious in return – and it’s not. At least they were thinking of you when picking out that potholder. Be gracious.

But I don’t have to tell you that, right?

Most of all, let’s just treat each other with kindness this holiday season. That’s the best etiquette tip of all.

Happy holidays, everybody!