Gift giving is a confusing ritual that can cause untold stress and costs you a fortune. Avoid adding an extra item onto the already huge list of holiday responsibilities you’re tackling. It can be very easy to ignore all the gift giving niceties for those people in your life who you don’t give a hoot about.
Don’t do that.
They might bring you a present, and there are certain people who deserve presents every year. Like your mailman. You don’t know his name, and you may have never seen him, but he deserves a present (or just cash if you’re fly like that). But if you’re cheap, or just don’t want to spend money on people you do not care about, take these fly tips and do your holiday acquaintance gift-giving on a budget.
DIY that bitch
DIY everything. Small DIY presents are great because they do not represent a cash value, can be quite cheap to make, and pass along all the warm fuzzies of “I totally care and wanted to give you this super helpful present”.
Because even if it’s that lady at work who always makes cupcakes on holidays, you care about what she does for you, so get her something. But as a human being, you have formed no real connection, so DIY is a great way to say “I care, but not enough to spend money on you.”
There are a million and one ideas (seriously, get on that Pinterest noise) but, even better, take this list you could do in less than 60 minutes.
If They Don’t Love Food, They Aren’t Human
Everybody loves food. The best part is that if you make too much of this present, you can eat it, or if you make too little, just use more packaging to make each piece look more special. Food is also great because it can be made en-mass for the 20 casual acquaintances in your life. And that takes a huge amount of hassle out of tackling the rest of your holiday responsibilities.
There are so many things you could make. If you’re at home in the kitchen, make your speciality and watch their jaws drop. But if you’re a mess in the kitchen like me, go simple, put it in a mason jar with a cute label, and make the packaging be the show. Because, omg, that package tho….
You could go full creative and give adorable cookie snowglobes that get most of their fire in the presentation points. If you don’t want to make cookies for your snowglobes puppy chow or just meringues are a great alternative. Or very classily, last minute, put some homemade caramels in a jar with an adorable label (you can even make them in the microwave, like a pro). The real goal of this holiday hack is to put food in a jar and attach ribbons or an adorable label, there’s no limit to the amount of stuff you can shove in a jar. Pre-mixed mug cakes, hot cocoa spoons, jams, or booze pre-mixes are all excellent options. It’s about shoving food in a jar in an adorable way, plus with this present you tell people that you want them to be alive, so here’s food to help continue that endeavor. It’s something that every human needs. So unless you’re gifting the office printer or some sort of cyborg, they will enjoy and use this gift.
Sell Yourself (professionally and sentimentally)
Perhaps you want to give your colleagues a gift, or your business acquaintances. Food might not travel well, and a DIY project could look too kitschy for the environment. Plus, you don’t want to give them your heart. You want them to appreciate your skills in a professional capacity and for them to know that you recognize them as a part of your professional sphere as well.
Get them branded merchandise. It’s a great way to say, “I do good work, and you should represent that, also I thought you could use this item.”. Even freelancers can pick up on this by creating a logo, and branding themselves with their clients. Try to make your branded merchandise as useful and representative of yourself as possible, because with larger orders you may have to deal with some overflow. Blankets are great, but so are USB sticks (and can be cheap or expensive, depending on how much you like the people you give them to), pens, coffee mugs, and candy. Even a bag of M&M’s with your face, logo, and title printed on them would be hugely appreciated, and not that expensive. Branded merchandise is perfect for professional acquaintances that you couldn’t give two darns about if they lived or died, but whose work you appreciate. Show them that you like what they do for you, and remind them of yourself.
Get Them The Most Obvious Thing
It has to be said. If someone loves something, like it’s really their thing, get something in that area. If someone loves golf, get them something golfy. It’ll really crush it and let them know that you know that one thing that defines them.
Another good gift idea are things people use, like food. If they are human they will also need warm socks during cold winters, humor in their life (joke cards), alcohol, entertainment (movie tickets), if they need to be stylish a cool cane, or if they are a regular person and not a cyborg that can charge from themselves, a portable phone charger (life saver!).
If all else fails get nothing or get everyone onesies with your face on them.