For someone who has everything, receiving more stuff can seem like a burden rather than a gift. And even if you don’t have everything, we can all identify with what it feels like to receive a gift that we have absolutely no use for, but that we feel obligated to keep because it came from someone we love. But pay attention to that last part of the sentence “it came from someone we love.” That’s the most important part of gift-giving, and it’s something we often overlook in our frantic search for the perfect stuff during the holiday season.
With that in mind, we’ve curated a few ideas that help cultivate stronger, deeper relationships that get to the heart of what giving is all about. They not only represent the care we have for our friends and family, but the gifts themselves are designed to deepen our relationships with each other.
52 Reasons I Care About You
Cut 52 strips of paper, or order some some blank cards like these, and write 52 reasons you care about the person you’re giving the gift to. Yes, this is a big time investment, but putting the thought behind it is a million times more valuable than anything you could buy for the person who has everything.
You make me laugh
You bake amazing cookies
You’re incredible with kids
You’re a loyal friend
You tell great stories
Your enthusiasm for football is contagious
Then, put the cards into a box–you could use a shoebox, order a simple box, or buy something more ornate if that’s your style–and tell the recipient to draw one card every Monday for the next year. Mondays are tough days for most of us, and starting out their week by hearing why they’re valued is an incredibly meaningful gift that lasts for an entire year. Even if someone else gifts them something similar, hearing from you why you in particular value them and your relationship with them is not something that can be replicated by anyone else.
A few weeks ago we posted about why self-care is so important. Self-care isn’t selfishness; instead, it’s a way to keep ourselves strong, healthy, and available to be present in our relationships. As the concept of self-care has become more mainstream, women have worked to embrace it. Men, however, still struggle with making time for self-care, but that doesn’t mean they need it any less than women do.
Creating a self-care package for either a man who has everything or a woman who has everything should take into account the receiver’s personality. We don’t recommend buying a one-size-fits-all spa package and expecting all of your friends and family members to embrace it. Besides, what spa package would fit all?
Instead, imagine yourself in their shoes and create a day or series of events that would help them relax. One person might genuinely appreciate a spa day, involving a massage, a glass of champagne, and just some time to themselves to recharge. Another person’s ideal self-care package could include a book on meditation, a National Parks Pass to encourage and empower them to get into nature to hike, and a gift card to their favorite restaurant.
If you’re stumped on what kind of self-care package a man in your life would appreciate, there are some solid ideas here. Give him a coupon that will allow him to sleep in late, buy him a novel by his favorite author, or encourage him to take a vacation by offering to help keep things in order while he’s gone.
Once you’ve decided on a few ideas, assemble them together in a self-care package. This could be in a box, a gift basket, or an envelope, depending on what you’re giving.
A Distraction-Free Day with You
This is a precious gift that we too rarely give each other, one that we should be giving to our friends and family much more often than we do. Giving the person who has everything a coupon to spend a distraction-free day with you does require both of you to make a commitment. We recommend having some solid dates in mind when giving this coupon to someone, otherwise it becomes a nice idea that never gets executed. Look at your calendar and offer up anywhere from six to ten dates that work for you, and when you give this gift ask the recipient to look at his or her calendar in order to get it scheduled right away.
Then, when the distraction-free day comes (it could be a whole day or just a few hours), commit to keeping your phone off. Lock it in your glove box, or better yet, leave it at home. Make a plan to go somewhere that doesn’t have television screens; research shows that we are hard-wired to stare at light and movement, based on biological impulses. Your best friend isn’t watching soccer at the bar because you’re boring, he’s staring at the screen because it’s nearly impossible not to. This may require you to call ahead of time to find a restaurant or bar that is screen-free, if that’s what you choose, or you could make a plan to go somewhere like a park or the beach.
Set an intention of getting to know this person better. You could bring along How Do You See the World? to ask each other important questions that run deeper than what we normally talk about. Or, before your date, think about what you’d like to learn about them or what you’d like to share with them. There is always more we can learn and share no matter how long we’ve known someone. Fight the urge to take selfies to document your distraction-free day together. Let this be a memory that only the two of you share.
A Shared Journal
Before the days of social media and texting, most of us actually wrote more. We wrote letters, we wrote in journals. We spent time with our thoughts and ideas and processed our emotions on paper. While social media has enabled us to connect with people in some truly incredibly and valuable ways, there is still something to be said for the intimacy of hand-written letters.
Giving your parent, sibling, child, or friend who has everything a shared journal, and committing to writing in it with them, has the potential to transform your relationship in ways you can’t even imagine yet. This is an especially powerful gift for introverts, or for people who like to take their time before they speak.
The benefits of starting a friendship journal are especially strong for long-distance friendships. While social media allows us to post our thoughts, feelings, and activities, a friendship journal is a focused way to share with just one person rather than all your followers. We shape how we communicate our thoughts depending on the specific audience in mind, and with an audience of one we’ll open up in a very different way than we do with an audience of everyone.
You can choose a guided journal, like this one for mothers and daughters, or this one for boys and their parents. You can also make your own friend journal like this, or buy your own blank notebook and use questions from How Do You See the World? to create guidelines for the journal. For example, you could choose a handful of questions, and each one would be a “chapter” in your journal. You and your friend or family member each take a page or two to respond to the question. Be sure to leave some blank pages for you to communicate your other thoughts and feelings as they come.
If the recipient lives far away, then make sure to buy them postage to send the journal back and forth. If they’re close, then you can make time to exchange it, or simply drop it off at their door once a month.
A Get To Know You Game: How Do You See the World?
Authentic Agility’s raison d’être is to facilitate important conversations in order to deepen relationships and help us see the world from new perspectives. It’s surprising how our game impacts everyone who encounters it: we’ve watched a diversity of people play it, including strangers who have never met each other, and parents with their grown children, who have known each other for thirty years or more. No matter who is playing the game, discoveries are made and new perspectives are revealed.
Of course we’re biased, but we truly believe that How Do You See the World? is the perfect gift for someone who has everything. They can play the game with old friends and family, and with new people who come into their lives. Each individual relationship we have in the world is a unique gift. This game allows everyone who plays it to tap into the potential our relationships have to make us more authentic, more agile, and more capable of compassion and transformation.
We’re available on Amazon, and we’re offering 20% off of purchases made between Black Friday and Giving Tuesday 2018 at this link. To read more about why Giving Tuesday is important to us, check out this page about why we care. And as always, we’d love to hear your thoughts. If you decide to give any of these gifts that we’ve discussed in this post, please share your creations with us on Facebook or tag us in your Instagram photos. #howdoyouseetheworld