As the holidays draw near, you may be wondering what to get certain people on your gift list. Some people seem to have everything, or are just plain difficult to shop for. Here are three approaches to giving unique, thoughtful gifts.
Restore Something They Love
Most people have a few precious items lying around that are loved but neglected. Sneak that antique library chair out of the house and get it restored. A good leather cleaning and repair can make it the star of the room again.
Or take broken necklaces and unmated earrings to a jeweler. Getting pearls restrung or clasps replaced can give new life to forgotten treasures. Solo earrings can have a mate custom made. Alternatively, have the jeweler transform the earring into a bracelet or brooch.
Take Them On a Sentimental Journey
Gifts that evoke memories of times shared make recipients feel special. If you have vacationed together, gather some pictures you snapped on the trip and compile them in a photo book. Or create a slideshow and add music; email the video or post to social media.
If you have not shared a great deal of time together yet, you can still give a gift that feels personal and conveys a sense of connection. Frame a map that shows where you first met, or create an artistic print of the lyrics to a song you both love. Order a personalized comic book that tells your story, casting you and the recipient as superheroes.
Use technology to your advantage. Some photo editing tools can transform a photo into a sketch or watercolor. In a few clicks, you can change a snapshot of a pet, garden or sunset into a truly personal work of art.
Take Them On a Real Journey
Studies show that experiences tend to bring more happiness than possessions. This is especially true when people help plan the event, share it with someone else, and tell stories about the experience after it is over.
You do not need to spring for a luxurious beach vacation on an exotic island, though if you can afford it, that would be great. For a getaway, a simple long weekend to a nearby national park will do. Short day trips are wonderful, too. Attend a sporting event or go on an outing to a museum.
As gift-giving occasions approach, remember that you do not need to spend a lot of money to give a great gift. What makes a present memorable is the thought that went into it. In the end, your connection to each other is the real treasure.