Monday, 21 December 2015

Brown Paper Packages Tied up with String: a Philosophy of Gifting {and Free Gift Tags!}

Gift-giving is definitely one of my love languages.  I like to get and give, but not recklessly.  Aside from children, I won't usually ask people what they want.  That's because buying things people told me to get when they are able and willing to get it for themselves misses the point of gifting.  Argue with me if I'm wrong, but I want a gift to mean something a little more profound.

Here are my reasons for gift-giving on the holidays.  If I give you something, it is because:

1 // The gift is something I want you to have.   I saw it and thought of you with it/using it/wearing it and knew it had to be yours.   I thought it would make your life better or help you in some way.

2 // It's something you wouldn't have gotten for yourself.   You don't usually splurge on yourself.   Or, it's not the sort of thing you would notice in the store or catalogue, but I know you will get some use out of it and enjoy it or learn to love it.

3 // It is something I made for you myself.

// It is something you are not able to get yourself, for whatever reason.

// It's a (true) surprise.  In other words, you didn't know that such a thing existed and so happy to find it beneath all that wrapping paper!

I don't run myself ragged trying to get someone the perfect gift.  I've done that, and it caused me a lot of unnecessary grief--the people on my list are decent human beings, the ability to orchestrate the perfect gift-exchange isn't a touchstone of our relationships!  It sounds like common sense, but in high school I really did stress about what to give en masse to my "clique."  One girl made fantastic homemade fudge every year.  I accepted that gift with relish and was very grateful.  But I just didn't have the time or the talent to do the same in kind, and that is okay.  I wish I'd known that then.  Feeling bad about my lack of reciprocation didn't make me or my would be gift-recipients any happier.

This is not to say monetary gifts in time of need are shallow and unappreciated!  Not at all.  Sometimes, a little something with a note to say, "spend how you wish," is a Godsend, and I've been on the receiving and giving end of that, at various points in my life.  It is good to give money to someone in need, it is almsgiving, and it is what Jesus tells us we must do.

One last word: I appreciate all gifts given to me.  It means someone thought about me and felt I was worth speeding a little time and money on.  I'm never ungrateful for a gift, and a lot of times some of my most well-loved possessions and experiences were things that I scratched my head at when I first received them.  That's one of the best things about gifts!

What's your philosophy of gifting?


Speaking of gifts!  I made these gift tags to go with the plain, brown postage paper I've used to wrap the presents since using up my one roll of fancy stuff.  With a little twine or string (see pics above), they make a simple holiday solution so pretty and sophisticated!

You can use them if you want to, too!  Just download and print, or paste and resize in a Word document to make them smaller (mine are pretty big if you print them as is).

Happy gifting!

Free wreath clipart from We Lived Happily Ever After.


  1. Lovely gift tags! Since I have yet to wrap my gifts, I might just use them!

    1. Awesome! Let me know if you have any trouble with them. I'm not sure if anyone besides me has ever used my "downloads" before!

  2. I love this, it's very much my personal feeling on giving and receiving gifts - and sometimes the monetary gifts fall in that category (we love receiving gift cards that add up to extra date nights we would normally afford, etc.).

    It's really how I love to give gifts to - it needs to be personal or else I just feel like I'm plying someone with junk.

    1. Yes! The junk thing! I hate the idea of spending money on something that a person will go, "Oh, you shouldn't have. . ." ;) I'm the kind of person that I LOVE any gift, but not everyone is like me!

  3. The gift tags are ADORABLE.

    Gift giving is not one of my love languages at all, but it's important to people who are important to me. :) I like to give people what they like, which means different things to different people in my life: some want surprise, some want very specific things, some want what they need, some want what they want and won't buy for themselves, some want what they want badly enough that they might well buy it for themselves if you don't, and some just want to know that you really thought of them ... Obviously that's a lot to keep track of, so I do my best for the people closest to me, and for everyone else I just ask, because I am not prone to having good ideas for people I don't know really intimately--and even then only if they're easy to shop for. Which my husband, for instance, is super not. ;)

    It's also true that the adults in family mostly exchange consumables and group gifts at Christmas, so I don't actually have that many people I shop for regularly.

    1. You make a good point! For some people, the asking-them-what-they-want and then getting it for them is how they feel loved. In that case, it can be a precious gift! <3


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