Looking for a quick gift that is totally personal? I did this for a few of the women in my neighborhood that I do some work with and the response was unanimously “Oooohhh!” That means “thumbs up” in case you weren’t sure.
Here’s what I did.
1. Create a playlist of your favorite songs – could be songs that remind you of the person or just songs that you love. I used songs that related to the strength of women in general. It’s a mix to empower and uplift my friends and tell them how great they are.
2. Burn a CD of your playlist.
3. Create a cover for your CD if you want. Even a simple piece of cardstock stamped or printed with the “title” of your CD works great.
4. Now comes the fun part – wrapping it so that your gift is elevated from a simple CD mix (which will be loved in itself) to a work of art.
5. For Christmas, I love to attach an ornament to my packages. I look for them at after-Christmas sales to use for the next year. Think FLAT – you’ll have better luck wrapping and stacking if the ornaments are more flat instead of round.
6. You can always make ornaments of your own but I like to have a stash on hand that I don’t have to make because the holiday season can be overwhelming as it is. These snowflake ornaments are exactly what I needed for each package but here’s how I added the personal touch.
Using a 7gypsies metal tag, I mounted each person’s initial to the tag (for the “Giving Well” alumni – you already know how I feel about using names an initials on things!). I then tied a ribbon through the tag, knotted it above the loop and tied it to the wire on my ornament. Voila! A totally personalized ornament that started as an ordinary store-bought one.
7. In “Giving Well” this year I talked about telling the recipient the story behind the gift as a way to connect with them and make giving more meaningful. To do this, I have created note cards to have on hand for all of my gifts.
Cut cardstock into 4″ x 6″ rectangles. Use small scallop scissors to trim one end of each card. Mount a 1″ strip of patterned cardstock across the top of each card. I used We R Memory Keepers flocked paper for some added texture. All I have to do is pull out a card and jot down a note for the perfect addition to my presents. (By the way, I also made a stash of these to use as recipe cards with a little kick – I write the recipe horizontally).
8. Tuck a card into each gift and tie a large ribbon around the CD – tying the ornament into the bow to secure it. I like to look for deals on wide ribbon throughout the year and at after-Christmas sales. You would be amazed at the impact that real ribbon (wired or not) can have when you are wrapping a gift. It just makes people feel special to get a package using real ribbon.
There you go!
So, whether you try it this year or start planning for next year, creating a sense of care for the recipient through the package itself is part of the art of giving well (including last minute gift cards!). These are the things of the heart – that personal touch that says, “You’re important enough to me that I am going to give you something beautiful!”
And if you’re anything like me – wrapping the gift will become as much a part of the creative process that we have inside of each of us as crafting a project might be. Enjoy!
Post Updated December 19:
Comment from Megan H. :
Kolette, Would you mind sharing the songs you included on your playlist? Thanks and Happy Holidays to you and Jason.
Thanks for your comment, Megan. I hadn’t shared the list on the post because since I am a Mormon, I used Christian music and I knew that it wouldn’t apply to everyone. I will share my list here – most of them are found on iTunes and if you are religious (or not, for that matter) you might still enjoy them.
1. One Good Woman – Cherie Call
2. I Will Not Be Still – Kenneth Cope
3. A Woman’s Heart – Jenny Jordan
4. Amazing Things – Julie de Azevedo
5. Because I Believe – Jenny Phillips
6. I Know That My Redeemer Lives – Linda Rowberry
7. Daughter of a King – Jenny Phillips
8. When All Is Said and Done – Katherine Nelson
9. Come Take Your Place – Hilary Weeks
10. No Ordinary Girl – Cherie Call
11. True to You – Jenny Phillips
12. The Things I Know – Doug Walker
13. The Maker’s Touch – Jenny Phillips
14. Come In – Hilary Weeks
15. Beautiful Heart – Brian Rhodes
16. I Stand All Amazed – Katherine Thompson
17. Stronger Than the Storm – Jenny Phillips
18. One By One – Hilary Weeks
Thanks and happy holidays!