2018-12-06 / Around Town

The Six Layers of Holiday Gifting

By Amy Martin

‘Tis the season to be merry… and as creative as humanly possible providing gifts to the copious amounts of people in our lives.

The brain power required for original gift ideas becomes comically stupefying when a membership to the Jelly of the Month Club, à la “Christmas Vacation,” seems quite practical. Give your brain a break. As long as you have strong decent credit rating and/or access to an ATM consider the list below for possibilities that best suit you and the enigma you’re purchasing for.

Edible gifts are a solid choice. Whose mouth doesn’t water when presented with a Santa tin filled with homemade delectables? Yet, those with dietary restrictions are left looking like a thirsty Saint Bernard with nothing to satisfy their sensory stimulation except an anomalous protracted sniff to retrieve the embedded memory of flavors that were once tangible. Due diligence is now necessary prior to food-gifting to determine the ingredient violators (gluten, dairy, eggs, lectins, soy, etc.) that could cause Aunt Mable or cousin Timmy to jingle all the way to the emergency room. So, default to food gifts for those you are confident are effortless digesters. Sadly, I am a card-carrying member of the Grinch Who Stole My Ability to Digest Association.

The gift card is an ideal option for several recipient groups, most notably, teachers. Directing your money toward one impactful collective class gift card is far more useful to teachers than 25 ornaments emblazoned with “Best Teacher Ever.” These are also perfect for teens!

Donation gifts embody the old saying, “Tis better to give than to receive.” (You know it’s an old saying when the word ‘Tis makes an appearance.) Making a donation in someone’s honor is a noble choice for a hostess gift or for the person who already has everything. Really, how many candles or ties can one person have anyway? The gift of perspective ‘tis invaluable, and both the giver and receiver are reminded of the true meaning of the holiday.

Amy Martin is an opinion columnist with a background in family chaos, laughter and a lot of laundry. She writes from a perspective of passion, reality and humor. Amy Martin is an opinion columnist with a background in family chaos, laughter and a lot of laundry. She writes from a perspective of passion, reality and humor. A cash gift is the appropriate choice for service providers like babysitters, garbage collectors, doormen, cleaners, hair stylists, dog walkers, etc. This isn’t the group to sacrifice during this season of financial bleeding. Think about it this way: Are these the people you really want to overlook, knowing the power they have in making your life functional and possible? Me thinks not.

Funny gifts require cleverness and a slightly mischievous spirit, but they are the fist-pump of the holiday season when perfection is found for a Secret Santa, Yankee Swap, family member or friend. The cocktail napkin that reads, “Alcohol and In-laws and Politics, Oh My!” is applicable and appreciated in most situations.

Re-gifting is the black sheep of the gift family. Engagement in the practice is punishable by social banishment or a heartbroken expression on my mother’s face if caught. Perhaps jealousy is at the root of this negative sentiment, as those who partake escape the agony of gift idea deliberation and the financial burden that accompanies it. I say re-gifting is fully acceptable as long as the gift is in mint condition and you don’t return the item to the original giver or anyone that could be connected to the knowledge of its origin. It’s best to conduct a gifting timeline for the item. Think of it as gift genealogy so as not to mistakenly marry a distant cousin.

Take these gift ideas and run with them, or give the gift and then run. Either way, you’re covered.

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