It’s the most wonderful time of the year — or so they sing — with ornate trees lit with twinkling lights and halls decked in shaggy evergreen. It’s also one of the most hectic seasons with holiday parties and shopping for presents in full swing.
With less sunlight filling our days and seasonal depression at the doorstep, energy levels can feel sapped, making it difficult to sustain a month of holiday cheer. Consider an alternative to the traditional spirit of gift giving that’s designed to be as kind to yourself as it is to others. Let’s rethink gift giving with a little more tenderness.
Anatomy of a Gift
We love surprise presents under the tree, but sometimes the best gifts cannot be wrapped. What makes a thoughtful gesture isn’t the amount of money you spend or the grandeur of the gift, but the love that went into it.
Gift giving is about consideration of your loved one’s desires and needs. It’s about paying attention to the details, when they mention a new hobby or interest, or gifting them something that they need but have been putting off getting for themselves. Nothing says you care like an item, an expression or an experience that is tailor made for the person you’re giving it to.
If you have a long list of people to shop for, or if you just have a faulty memory, you can jot down gift ideas when they arise or when your loved one drops hints. We suggest using the notes section of their contact card in your phone to stay organized and keep the information where it’s easy to access no matter where you are.
Thoughtful Gifting, Not Mind Reading
Presents don’t have to be surprises. It’s okay to ask someone what’s on their wishlist to ensure you center them and not your own desires. It’s better to get clues and consent on what to give someone rather than risk your present becoming an obligatory burden if it’s not quite right.
Too often, people give to others what they like, which can lead to a conflict of taste or a miscalculation of size and fit. Even if you keep the receipt, an erroneous gift choice can lead to returned items, which contribute to a growing environmental burden of waste due to hasty online purchases.
Our approach to shopping this holiday season is to spread joy and simultaneously reduce waste, with recommendations that will ensure your loved ones feel that your gift was designed just for them.
It might sound simple, but the gift of your presence is underestimated. You can make a gift certificate that details a special date without devices, ice skating, movie night, craft time, or your help with a task they have been procrastinating on. Again, this is an opportunity to think about what matters most to your loved one and create space for you to share in that together, whether it’s going to a yoga class together, booking a trip to the climbing gym, or scheduling a candlelit bubble bath with a glass of bubble. Let your imagination run wild!
Homemade objects are prized gifts that convey not only your affection for someone but also your time invested into crafting something just for them. Baked goods, homemade jams, pickled veggies, artwork, or hand-knitted scarves are just a few ways you can give a memorable gift to a bestie, coworker or family member. The bonus of consumable gifts is that they don’t run the risk of collecting dust or the dreaded regift, but can be savored to the last bite.
Plant New Life
Houseplants make charming presents that bring living joy to the act of gift giving. If your loved one has been talking about brightening up their home or needing a fresh change, the gift of plant care can be as therapeutic as it is aesthetically pleasing. When plant shopping for others, be sure to consider their indoor environment to ensure you choose a plant that will be an ideal fit in their life. You can opt for a plant gift subscription to help them gradually build their houseplant collection, or take them out for a day of green shopping at Horti PLAY. Turn plantcare into an experience by getting your hands dirty and potting their new plants together with fresh soil and roomy pots for their new plants to stretch out.
Gift An Experience
There’s a world of gifts beyond tangible objects. For folks near and dear in your life, you can plan an outdoor excursion, weekend getaway to a location they’ve been dreaming of, a day at the museum or spa, a pottery class or tickets to see their favorite musician. Similarly to the gift of showing up, giving an experience is a way to center the comfort of your loved one, and if you’re sharing the experience together, it can become a memory you make that lasts a lifetime.
At the end of the day, one of the most endearing ways to show you care is to express your feelings. Write a poem, make a heartfelt card, recount a cherished memory, compose a song, or craft a comedic monologue for someone in your life. Trust us, it will go above and beyond anything they could anticipate. Too often, we hold back from baring our souls for fear of seeming silly, being overly sentimental, or risking vulnerability. But put yourself in their shoes and imagine how tremendous it would feel to receive an expression of love like that from them to you. Probably great, right?
Expressing care for others is what this season is all about. It’s easy to get caught up in the shopping flurry of the holidays, but the merriest gift you can give to another person are moments together, filled with tender nurturing care that helps them grow.
Horti's Gift Shop is Now Live, and Holiday Orders cut-off is Dec 17th, after which your orders will ship in the first week of January.