Space is sacred, and the idea of absorbing another wave of well meaning but utterly ugly clutter is not something you would wish on anyone. This probably means that you’re holiday list is shorter than most, and when you do give it’s because you are certain it will be loved. Unfortunately this can translate into spending hours and hours looking through stores, researching projects, and scanning “the best gift’s for…” lists. The best gifts don’t come off the rack, they come from a desire to communicate to someone that they are seen, loved, and understood.
When I write a commissioned song, I have a skype call and ask you to answer as series of questions about the person I’m writing the song for. I want to know things like “What memories do you share together? What does it feel like to be around them? Are they bubbly or calm, focused or with the flow? What do they do in their free time? What motivates them? What’s their style? I use all of that information to write something that not only reflects what you want to communicate, but does it in a way that celebrates who they are. That same process can be incredibly helpful in crafting creative non-crappy gifts.
Start by picturing the person you’re giving to in your mind. What’s going on in their life? For example, I just moved into a tiny new apartment, so stuff of any kind just sounds terrible, but helping me organize would be a fantastic and very appreciated gift.
How does it feel to be with them? Is your friend or family member calm, or are they high energy? Are they a person you can just sit with in silence, or are they go go go? A calm person may appreciate something that reflects that, like a desktop terrarium, where a go-go-go person may prefer a travel mug.
If you’re still stumped, Check out their instagram and pinterest pages if they have them. What colors do they like? What inspires them? Do they like to decorate their space or are they a minimalist? Even the coolest crafty frame is a terrible gift for someone who likes keeping all their surfaces clean. Pinterest is great, because you can get a sense of someone’s taste as well as a sense of their goals and dreams. If someone is posting a lot of easy to pack lunch recipes a super cute grown up lunch box might be perfect.
A thoughtless gift can feel like a crap attack, but with a little bit of focused effort you can be a gift giving rock star without having to enter a single store.