How to give the perfect, personal gift to the special people in your life – including yourself

At this point in my life, I’ve come to the conclusion that the most precious, valuable gift that you can give someone (including yourself) is your time, love, attention, and energy.

With this in mind, and with the Christmas holidays fast approaching (as well as other major holidays), here are some of my tips on how you can wow the special people in your life with truly meaningful and personalized gifts. (I think these tips work for most everyone. They are especially helpful when choosing a gift for the person who seems to have everything.)

First, I would recommend you ask yourself two important questions to kick off your brainstorming process:

  1. Quality time together: What is something fun/interesting/exciting that you could do together that you know they’d really enjoy? (Your goal: a gift of experience & quality time together – bonus points for a gift of adventure or awe.)
  2. Solve a major pain point/challenge: What is the biggest pain point/challenge they are currently facing in their life and/or work?

For question 2, let’s dive in a bit deeper:

  1. What would have the highest impact on solving their problem/improving their situation?
    1. How could you help them achieve this?

For example, consider these ideas:

  • You could actually buy them something that would help – e.g. a robot lawn mower or vacuum cleaner to save them time and energy on these routine tasks.
  • You could give them the gift of time/support – e.g. hire a professional to do it for them or to help them do it faster and more efficiently.
  • You could help them do it yourself.
  • You could free up some time for them so they could tackle it themselves – e.g. you could babysit their kids or do some chore for them such as laundry/cleaning/mowing/grocery shopping/etc. that you know they don’t enjoy and that consumes a lot of their time/energy.

Now ask yourself, is there some way that you could combine the two main approaches/ideas. For example, you could spend quality time together tackling one of their major nagging tasks/challenges that is draining their energy and causing them frustration. Perhaps you could help them clean out their garage/closet/attic/file cabinet/photos, etc.

If you’re really unsure of the best approach, you can always ask them.

(They don’t have to know that either of these questions have anything to do with a gift you’re planning. Be cool, people! Be slick!)


You can ask them either or both of these questions in advance:

  1. What are some activities you’d find really fun/interesting/exciting?
    1. What are some things you’d love to do, but you just never seem to have the time or energy?
    2. What is your major pain point or challenge that is holding you back/frustrating you at the moment?

Another approach is that you can set up the parameters of the gift and then invite them to customize it. For example, you could surprise your mom and tell her that you are giving her a Mom/Daughter Fun Day or a Mom/Son Fun Day. She can choose how she’d like to spend this day together and what activity or activities she would enjoy.

Or you can tell the person that you want to help them tackle a major challenge or nagging task. You can ask them to choose the challenge or task that they would like to focus on. Next, offer to brainstorm ideas together on how to best overcome their challenge. Then, together, take action, and solve that challenge- crossing it off their to-do list.

And after you have kindly given such personal and generous gifts to the special people in your life, I invite you to turn your attention to yourself.

Give yourself a nice gift as a reward for all your hard work this year.

Ask yourself:

  1. What’s something really fun/interesting/exciting that I’d like to do?
    1. Make a plan to do it, take action, & make it happen!
  2. What’s the #1 pain point/challenge that’s holding me back in my life/work?
    1. How can I most effectively solve/improve it?
      1. Make a plan to do it, take action, & make it happen!

Schedule a date in your calendar right now – even if it’s just to think about it or plan it.

Now, in terms of these personal, meaningful gift ideas, what’s the first small step you need to take to move forward and make this happen?

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