Gift-Giving Ideas for Hard-to-Buy-For and Far Flung Friends and Family
by Ann Kelley
If you're far from family and friends, but plan to send them Christmas gifts, how do you do it in a way that doesn't require collecting boxes from the produce department of the grocery store, searching for the bag of packaging peanuts that you're sure you saved last summer, and standing in line at the post office? Here are a few ideas to simplify long-distance gift giving.
More than half of all gift-buying is done online. Order gifts online and have them mailed directly to the recipients. If your family members are Amazon shoppers, talk to them about creating an Amazon wish list and sharing it with the rest of the family. (The Amazon default wish list setting is public. If you'd like your wish list to be private, click "create a list" to start a new wish list that you can make private.) Click "send list to others" to invite specific people to view your list.
Give to a favorite charity
Does Mom volunteer at the Humane Society? Your brother, Bill, sings in a community choir? Let them know that you will be giving a donation to their organizations to show support for what is important to them.
Pay for a helpful service
Is your closest friend hosting the family or the company party for Christmas? Arrange to pay for a cleaning service to spruce up her house and give her one less responsibility.
Purchase and send gift cards for restaurants or stores that you know are in the area. National chains like Starbucks and Home Depot are everywhere!
Go online to learn about upcoming concerts and events in any city in the world. Do a little research in the area where your loved ones live and purchase tickets for them to an event you know they'll love.
Buy a gift subscription for a magazine that pertains to the interests of a long-distance loved one. There are magazines to suit everyone's interests: from outdoor living to needlepoint, from history to video games.
Search online for adventure opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast on your list. With just the click of a mouse you can find hot-air balloon rides or river kayaking lessons that are offered around the country.
Invest in an Interest
Does your brother-in-law enjoy playing golf, but wishes he was better? Arrange for a lesson with a golf pro in his area. Does your sister enjoy cooking? Purchase a gift certificate for her to take a cooking class at a local kitchen store. Do they wish that they had more time together? Pay for some ballroom dancing lessons!
No matter what you choose to send your loved ones this Christmas, be sure to express your love and appreciation for each person. Be specific! Tell each person at least one quality that you love about him or her.
Send me your tips! Email Ann Kelley at akelley@JustMoved.org
[ If this information has been helpful, please prayerfully consider a donation to help pay the expenses for making this faith-building ministry available to you and your family! Donations are tax-deductible. ]