It never fails that during Christmas season I freak out about who to put on my gift list and what I’m going to buy them. Some people just naturally know what to buy for their friends and family, but I’m not one of those people. I procrastinate. I think about what they’d like entirely too much. And then we get to Christmas week and I just buy a bunch of gift cards that say, “I don’t really know who you are as a person but felt like we’re close enough that I should give you some gift on Jesus birthday.”
And I do the same thing on birthdays. I do the same thing on my anniversary. I’m really terrible at gifts but I want to be really great at it. I want to give the people I know and love the perfect gift that causes tears and hugs and a flood of emotions. And I bet you do too.
So I’ve come up with a 3 step plan for to take my generosity to a new level in 2016. You should try this too and we can check in with each other on December 26.
Create a digital file system using your phone or some cloud notepad. I’m using the “Notes” app on my iPhone that syncs to my laptop in iCloud. I created a folder that is called “Gift Ideas.”
Start a list. I know right now who I’m going to buy at least one present for this year. I’ve got the usuals like my wife, my parents, my mother-in-law, my sister, my brother-in-law, and my kids. So inside of my “Gift Ideas” folder I’ve created a new Note for each person I intend on buying a gift in 2016. This list will grow throughout the year as I come across different friends and clients that I’d like to add into the giving mix.
Pay attention. Throughout the year your friends and family will drop hints about things that they like. They won’t even realize they gave a hint, but when they do you need to store that gem of information in your digital gift locker. A good example is a friend of mine commented last week about a certain type of potato chip that is their favorite. Guess what is on their gift list?
Pick a present. If you pay attention all year to the people you care about you’ll likely have 2 or 3 or 8 different items on their list. Pick the right gift for the season, give it to them and be prepared for the hug and tears to come because you just nailed it!
One thing I want the Lewis Family to be known for is how generous we are. I don’t want that to be limited to just our finances or our time, but I really want those gifts to communicate to the people that we love that we actually love them.
What do you think? Are you going to try something like this in 2016?