How to Give Meaningful Gifts: Switching the Focus from Dollar Amount

by Annabelle Yorke Published: November 06, 2023 · Last Updated: November 06, 2023

How to Give Meaningful Gifts: Switching the Focus from Dollar Amount

Gift giving season is upon us, and if you're proactive you might already be eyeing some Christmas gifts...

It's a struggle every year - between buying a gift you know a person wants vs. a gift you thought of, that's personal and special. The first option feels thoughtless, like an exchange of money. But the latter is hard to nail - what if they don't like what you picked?

Here are - tips to find a gift that truly means something - and shift your focus from the dollar amount this Christmas:

1. Remember The Purpose of Gift Giving

At the core of the struggle is the reason we do any of this gift-giving stuff anyway.

If buying each other Christmas gifts looks more like clicking a button on an Amazon list, the thoughtful gesture has practically been reduced to an exchange of money - akin to slapping a $20 bill in your nephew's birthday card.

And if your goal each Christmas is to fund your loved one's wants, then by all means - take the Amazon list route. But isn't gift giving more than that?

Tall Guy Wearing Tall Shirt

At the heart of Christmas is a deeper purpose. Our goal each Christmas shouldn't be to find the gift someone will use most often (although that's an added perk). Our goal should instead be thinking of the person you love, paying attention to their needs and wants, knowing them deep enough to gauge what they like, and picking something as appreciation for who they are.

Once you understand the heart of gift giving, the pressure to find the "perfect" gift fades, because it's more about the thought and gesture than the object - and the more your focus shifts from the dollar amount.

2. Don't Forget the 4 Other Love Languages...

Christmas is centered around gift giving, but there are 4 other love languages. When you focus on the person you're shopping for, you begin to realize - maybe receiving gifts isn't the way they feel most loved.

Here are each of the love languages, Christmas gift style:

Words of Affirmation: a love letter to your wife, "open when" letters to your loved ones, even encouraging cards with personalized notes to coworkers.

Quality Time: Concert tickets, vacation funds, gift cards to their favorite restaurant with a promise to take them, movie or play tickets.

Physical Touch: a back massage, spa day, or foot massage for your wife.

Acts of Service: Getting a loved one's car detailed, cleaning the house, making dinner, watching the kids so your wife gets some down time, organizing the pantry.

Gifts: All the other typical Christmas gifts - new clothes, jewelry, toys, kitchen appliances, and more.

Gifts are only 20% of the equation - and most people feel more loved through words of affirmation or quality time. Ask yourself: how can I fit this person's love language into my gift to them?

3. Expensive ≠ More Thoughtful

At our age, most people will simply buy something when they need it - they won't wait around for Christmas.

Therefore the things they do need around Christmas are usually expensive - stuff to save up for. And while there's nothing wrong with giving an expensive gift, check your heart behind the gesture. Are you buying favor, or are you really putting heart into this gift?

Some of the best gifts cost $0 - and if money is tight this Christmas, it doesn't mean your gifts are going to be subpar.

Tall Guy Playing Pool Wearing Tall T-Shirt

4. Get On the Same Page

Every person is different, and expectations will range. For instance, my in-laws are much more on the "Amazon list clicking" end of the spectrum. Of course I'll browse their Amazon lists and pick what I can, but I also try to set the expectation up front: I'll be mixing in gifts I choose for them because I want each of my gifts to be thoughtful and personal.

Talk with your immediate family about expectations too. Maybe one year you and your spouse decide you'll only exchange love letters this year, or stick to a strict budget. Each year will be different, and it's the thought that counts!

Perhaps you'll agree as a family that instead of giving gifts this year, you'll all contribute to a vacation fund - so you can make memories together on an epic trip.

Christmas doesn't have to stay in the box corporate American put it in. Tailor the holiday to fit your family best.

5. Start Taking Notes Now

As you pay closer attention to your loved ones, you'll develop an ear for noticing their needs.

"This dang peeler never works" leads to I could get her a new peeler for Christmas.

When you hear your son casually mention how they'd love to give baseball a shot, file it away as a gift idea for later.

And when you hear the tall guys in your life say "I can never find shirts that fit," you already know where to go;)

In all seriousness, when you pay attention to the little things, you'll gain a 6th sense - and you'll finally be able to pick gifts they will actually love and use. They might not even have something they'd really appreciate on their list this year - and it's the most fulfilling feeling to figure that gift out without them ever mentioning it.

6. Have Fun!

Buying gifts is a chore when all it includes is adding things to your Amazon cart and watching the money trickle out of your bank account.

But when it's your goal to hunt for a meaningful gift for each person, gift giving is actually fun. It's exciting to pick something for someone and they have no idea what it is yet. It's even more exciting to watch them open it!

Putting more intention and effort into the gift giving game brings that spark back to Christmas - and it's totally worth the mindset shift.

Tall Guys Wearing Tall Clothing

7. Think Outside the Box

Don't confine yourself to physical gifts - go back to the love languages and get creative. Consider love notes and thoughtful letters, giving your time instead of your money, or gifting your wife a relaxing night to herself. Heck, you can even make something and gift it!

Here are a few creative Christmas gift ideas that think outside the box:

  1. Family photos or a couples photoshoot (the wife will love this one)
  2. "Open when" letters for a loved one to open on specific dates or times.
  3. Buy them dinner at their favorite restaurant
  4. Take a pottery class & give them what you make
  5. Don't be afraid of clothes - use size guides to find the perfect size
  6. Upgrades in their favorite video game
  7. Airbnb gift card & an itinerary for the ultimate adventure
  8. An art piece you created (for the crafty guys out there)
  9. Their favorite home cooked meal
  10. For spouses: your vows printed and framed
  11. Pay for a house cleaner for one day
  12. Affirmation cards they can pin up in their bathroom or room for healthy, confidence boosting reminders
  13. A personalized gift: get their name/initial written on something already on their list (like a wallet, sweatshirt, mug, etc.)
  14. Family photo album
  15. Tickets to their favorite artist's concert
  16. Movie tickets + snacks for a fun night out
  17. Their favorite unhealthy snack they avoid the rest of the year because they know it's unhealthy;)
  18. Flowers
  19. "Tickets" for a 30-minute back massage
  20. "Reasons I love you" letter

...To name a few;)

Gift giving doesn't have to be stressful and expensive. We hope this helped you crack the code - and we're wishing you the euphoric feeling of giving the most awesome, meaningful gifts this year! Good luck tall guys :)

Before you go, make sure to check out our bestsellers here at Redwood - perfect for the tall guys in your life!

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^^ If you missed the news, we added new a new Black option to all your favorite Redwood styles, and they are perfect for winter! Our t-shirts now come in black - check them out here.

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^^ Designed to fit and flatter you, our Tall Hoodies are soft to the touch and perfect for winter weather. Plus, we have a new black option you don't want to miss. Order here!

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^^ You need a jacket you can trust this winter. Our Full Zip Jackets are perfectly insulating and feature a smooth zipper, durable drawstrings, and sleeves that fit your arms. Grab one here!

Annabelle Yorke
Annabelle Yorke


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