The title of this post is a little misleading. I do give Birthday gifts. I also buy some of the component parts to make up the gift. Rather, what I do not buy is the added value that retailers and manufacturers build in to charge us a higher price for the gift.
In fact I love giving gifts. I truly believe the cliché that ‘it’s the thought that counts’. This does not mean to say that just by giving a gift the job is done. It is the effort that goes into it that makes the gift special, regardless of cost. I’ve already posted about how Christmas gifts are exchanged.
Here’s a little storyboard of how such a gift comes to fruition.
Step 1 – Buy the component parts
The above components make up what I call a ‘Me-Time’ box. A chance to escape from the real world for an hour or so…
All of the items are consumable. I even class the book as such. Once a story has been consumed, it can be passed on. The receipt is included inside the book should it already have been read.
Step 2 – Find a suitably sized box
Not everyone is a decoupage addict, so any general gift box will do. However I really enjoying making these boxes and tailoring them to the gift. This box was covered in pieces of a gossip magazine (not mine!) to give it a feel of ‘taking time-out’. It also is a great way to recycle boxes and old magazines. The cost is purely time and glue.
There are some reasonably priced boxes about should you not wish to make your own. Rather than a gift box, many bargain retailers sell fabulous storage boxes of various designs. These can be used time after time!
Step 3 – Put the 2 together
It goes without saying that the items need to fit in the box!
As it is, this gift costs under £10. Had that been my budget, I’d be done. But I planned on spending more.
There’s a little something peeking out the top of the box. It’s a home-made gift voucher. It’s for a lunch-date – my treat. This voucher could have been many things. A babysitting voucher, a monthly home-baked loaf or cake voucher, even a romantic meal for 2 delivered to the door. This voucher is a bit of a treat for me also. I haven’t spent as much time with my dear friend as I would have liked of late, so this will give us an opportunity to catch up.
Step 4 – The home-made card to go with the gift
However you make the card, it doesn’t matter. The one I made has a clay name tag attached that can be removed and kept. Usually making the cards is an activity assigned to the Kids.
Step 5 – The cake – of course!
After all I do love a home-made birthday cake!
So very simple. This cake cost well under £2 to make and easily serves 10-12.
The whole of this gift is far greater than the sum of its parts.
Home-made added value.
(The Kids added in their school photos’ with their own design frames)
Step 6 – Taking pride in the presentation
This gift was hand-delivered. Confession time, I have a thing for baskets. To me there’s nothing like getting something delivered….in a basket. I totally appreciate it won’t be everyone’s preference, but it’s mine.
Brace yourselves it’s about to get high brow… 😉
I mentioned at the start that this is about adding your own unique value. The value in this gift isn’t what was handed over to the cashier. It’s the time, effort and creative energy exerted into making the whole far greater than the sum of the parts. That’s something money can’t buy.
As Stephen Covey describes it “One plus one equals three or more”. Told you I was getting high brow! It’s an ongoing joke that each Summer holiday I invest in some or other ‘self-help’ book. Last year it was The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Oh dear, I’ve only just reached ‘Habit 6 – Synergize’. Perhaps the next book ought to be on efficiency, then maybe I’d get through the books a little faster?
Or maybe I should just drink less wine?
I’d love to hear your ideas on home-made and added value gifts or generally how you do gift exchanges (if at all!) – Please share!
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