Be The Best Gift Giver Around

December 11, 2014Allison Murray


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One Autumn season I started totally wigging out. I had been laid off the last winter and had decided to “go it alone” and be 100% self employed. That being said I never realized how difficult it would be to get people to pay their bills. It. Was. Awful. And it ultimately led me to move onto other pursuits (ahem, this blog for example) that I could get a “steady” paycheck out of.

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But that fall I was still pulling teeth trying to get paid the money owed to me, and was unhappy because I was broke. Have you ever noticed how well those two things go together? Empty bank account meet my friend down in the dumps. Hearing about the Black Friday shopping plans of others, I realized that buying gifts was going to be really, really difficult for me unless some miracle occurred and all of my business’s arrears suddenly became current.

So I got in touch with the family one by one and posed the question “Would it be cool to try a homemade Christmas this year?” I had no idea how much everybody would get into it and I know they only agreed because it was something I needed to do. Because getting gifts is great, but giving them is so, so much better. The best gift for me is knowing that someone I love is enjoying something I did for them and my budget wouldn’t afford anybody anything much.

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See that? That up there is a pillow I made and hand embroidered with the artwork from the album cover for Funeral by Arcade Fire. I loved that pillow. I worked hard on that pillow. Though it was not perfect, it was a gift I could be proud to give and I think was well received. And just in case you’re wondering, the cover looks like this:

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Three years in and the whole homemade Christmas was losing its appeal for all of us. Having to one up year after year, made homemade Christmas a nightmare. Starting in the middle of the summer to get everybody taken care of I was pretty well over it. And since we were all able to purchase gifts at this point, the premise was abandoned. That’s not to say that a whole bunch of really cool stuff wasn’t given and received because it was. But these days we’re all about the swipe of a card come holiday season!

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But sometimes you really don’t know what to get the ones you love. And it’s not like that is a terrible thing. I know I used to feel so guilty about it but there’s really no need. With a little bit of thought and research you can figure out a fab gift for the most difficult person to shop for.

And since I like to take the opinions of others who have similar interests, I will search online for awesome holiday shopping guides to help, well, guide me along to some amazing presents. For example… do I like music? Heck yeah! But I don’t know enough about it to buy a great gift for a hardcore audiophile. So instead of stressing and freaking out, I checked out the Yahoo Style Gift Guide for Music Buffs.  And there are a lot of cool things in there that I never would have thought of, but luckily other music people did and then wrote a guide about it!

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There are a whole mess of guides to help you find the fit you want for everyone. Talkin’ a guide for those with a sweet tooth and even a guide for gifts for co-workers.

So if you’re still looking for the next best thing the ones you’re Christmas shopping for will be super excited to unwrap, head on over to Yahoo Style to get some killer ideas!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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