What makes the perfect Christmas gift? For that matter, what makes the perfect end-of-year professional gift? Personally, I want to give gifts that are useful (um, is it really obvious that I’m a practical type of gal?), won’t have to be moved to dust (because I really, really don’t like cleaning), and won’t just end up at Goodwill or in a landfill in a few months. And for gifts we give to business contacts? Well, I’ve received quite a few gift baskets and towers in my life, and most of them are more cardboard and ribbon than anything useful or tasty!
Read on for some creative and downright thoughtful gift ideas! But remember, some of them (ahem, the last one in particular) require advance planning, so get started now!
Homemade anything. Well, maybe not anything. But you can use the fat from the last locker beef or lamb you purchased to make soap or candles. Or, make some pretty cookie or tea/chocolate mixes in a jar. Or, use some of your locker meat to make freezer meals for that busy person that sometimes struggles to find time to cook (probably everyone on your list!)
A gift that says “I believe in your dreams.” We generally can’t give someone their dream. But we can tell them that we believe in them, even if they are years away from realizing that hope. Conversely, it might be a gift that says “I remember.” On our wedding day, I gave the mother of one of my childhood friends an embroidered handkerchief with a copy of a card her daughter had written as a child. Her daughter (my friend) had passed away several years before. It was a simple gesture to tell her I remembered her daughter and knew she was missing her.
A gift card or certificate. No, really! I know that sometimes this seems like the gift you give when you ran out of time or don’t know someone, but one of our most memorable wedding presents was a gorgeous wooden bowl for Kreg and a Lowe’s gift card for me! The givers knew us both well and we had a good laugh when we opened them! Another great idea for parents is a handmade gift certificate for childcare so Mom and Dad can have a date night.
An experience. Make memories! Here in Southern Oregon, we have GOBS of wonderful things to do within short drives. Consider tickets to the Britt or Shakespeare Festival, a night or two at a great Jacksonville Bed & Breakfast, take them on a jet boat excursion, reserve a cabin at Diamond Lake, or maybe sigh up for a ballroom dance class together (or line dancing, if that’s more your style!). They’ll remember that you put the effort in and you get to spend time together too.
And for a totally practical gift that will have them thinking of you all year…drumroll please! Fill their freezer with healthy and delicious meat! While not traditional, it is so appreciated. If they don’t have a freezer, see if a friend or family member wants to go in with you on the gift. They can buy the freezer and you can buy the meat. Get really creative and deliver the freezer when they aren’t home, plug it in, fill it with meat, wrap it in butcher paper with a ribbon and tell them they can’t open it until Christmas morning. They’ll think of you every time they take a package of meat out to make a healthy and delicious home cooked meal! Call your favorite farmer to get started!