What do I give this year?

Now that Christmas is just days ahead, last-minute gift ideas are becoming a matter of priority.

The out-of-province deliveries were mailed early, prompted by the then-looming postal strike, but now I’m wrestling with these last few but important decisions.

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By mutual agreement, spending limits are already set so that’s not the issue; rather, it’s significance to the recipient that matters.

Choosing gifts for family and friends challenges me so much that I decided to do some research. From reading and chatting with others I gleaned these excellent tips and I share them with you, just in case I'm not alone in this dilemma.

First thing on the list: be well acquainted with the person’s interests and, I would add, their needs. Another comment regarding this: surprising someone with something they wouldn’t justify buying for themselves can be a wonderful treat. Just keep that pre-set budget in mind. (It helps ensure that you don’t dread January.)

Next: don’t be afraid to ask for advice; or, why not take someone with you when you shop? Be it choosing a gift or sticking to a budget, the task’s even more enjoyable when you’re with a friend.

Third, be creative when wrapping those gifts. While retrieving newspaper from the recycle bin is really cheap, try looking for some more creative options.

Finally, after you've written a note or card, if it's at all possible, present the gift in person. While the virtual world trumps postage and transportation costs, at this special time of the year nothing beats receiving a gift accompanied by a hug.

Above all, regardless of how simple or elaborate our Christmas festivities, let’s never forget the gift of all gifts, Jesus.

"For by grace are ye saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God." Ephesians 2:8 King James Version



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