Since the Christmas holidays are coming up and I’ve been super creative these past few months, I thought I would share two projects that I worked on and indeed, gifted. This isn’t an ideas post per se although I do hope you get somewhat inspired by it. It’s more about how original you can be with present-giving although yes – you will need a lot of time and effort and some creative skills which might sound really daunting to some but I hope to prove otherwise!
This Christmas will inevitably be very different. There is already a lot of talk about how Christmas will be skimmed back whether it’s buying less from commercial giants and supporting more local businesses; or skimming back on the Christmas food basket overall. Or perhaps not doing Christmas gifting at all except for the children. (I know a friend or two doing this).
If you want to be even more original, the present can be entirely digital (see below) or completely handmade so that the person you’re gifting it to, is the only person in the world to have it (also see below). That’s a really cool thought, isn’t it?
I cannot tell you enough of how much I love gifting and writing cards. I can be quite a detailed person so I like the gift to be almost completely customised for the person involved. How? Read on!
I learned some BSL, filmed it and shared it on Instagram to surprise my best friend
Context: My best friend had just successfully secured a new job where she would be using BSL (British Sign Language). I had asked her how to say a few things in sign such as Congratulations. Prior to that, she had taught me how to say My name is… and Good morning. I spent one week learning some sign before releasing a video to surprise her. It took a lot of takes (see bloopers) but I had so much fun learning! I also developed a huge amount of appreciation for sign language so it was a win-win situation.
This might be my most innovative gift…because really, who makes a video (as a present)? Presents definitely don’t have to be flashy, splashy or tangible for that matter. Sometimes my favourite part of a present can be a heartfelt card so what better way than to combine your message and present into one? (FYI – I didn’t purchase a Congratulations card, this was that).
Side note: Does anyone remember when e-cards were a thing??
I painted and framed a 6-piece art collection for my brother’s birthday
Context: My brother’s 40th birthday was coming up. Having started my art journey around the initial lockdown period (March/April), he had seen some of my work in the summer and subtly hinted at painting something for his upcoming birthday which was in October. I therefore challenged myself to paint a range of artworks that would eventually be framed. This was a huge challenge that I set myself in order to push my art making skills.
Stroll further to see the details of my art challenge/project. In total, this took just under a week to complete. You will need to consider how much time you will have to dedicate a gift to someone. I went completely ham because I had the time – however if one evening is all you have, that’s already good enough!
The larger paintings above are about 8×6″ sizes whereas the smaller paintings are 6×4″. This was a challenge in itself as it was my first time painting that small – at least in oil pastels. I think the results were successful though – what do you think?
Personally for me, giving a present to someone is really about effort and meaning behind the gift rather than the money you spend. I think there comes a point in life where everyone has a lot of material goods which is why gift ideas like the above examples come in handy. If you’re not particularly artsy, you can edit some photos and put them into a scrapbook or photo frame – they can be just as effective! These are the type of gifts you simply cannot buy.
Is there a silly memory or inside joke that you and someone else always laugh at that no one else would understand? Do they have a particular taste that’s hard to actually come by? Do you have a creative talent that you can use and customise for that person? Only you will know these answers but when you do, chances are, you know the person rather well. Have a little think, don’t force it and make sure to have fun!
I don’t think I have ever written a gifting post but that was fun to write! Hopefully it gives you some ideas for how you can make gifting this year special for someone. Of course, you won’t have the time to do this for everyone (I definitely don’t) however the feeling you get once you gift something customised for someone is second to none. So please, try it sometime!
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