Every year after Christmas, I tell myself I’ll start shopping earlier next time. In my perfect world, I shop throughout the year, finding just-the-thing for my special someone in a tiny unique gift shop in a new part of town. Or I find something great on a trip or at the antiques shop near the cabin. And instead of stressing in December, I breathe easy.
One area I’ve been more successful is card collecting. I borrowed this idea from my mother-in-law, Cindy, after spending 40 minutes in the card section trying to find the perfect card for Kyle. When she has some extra time, she’ll peruse the cards and gifts area of a store and purchase her favorites. Then she files it in a box, divided by birthdays, anniversaries, sympathy, and other categories.
I loved this life-hacker-style idea, so I started one of my own. When I travel or find myself in a new gift shop, I look for interesting cards. My collection is not as organized (which feels wrong to a Virgo), but I did flag a few with Post-its and names — maybe when I add the recipe-card dividers, I’ll even create subdivisions for friends, family, coworkers.
Tonight I went looking for a birthday card, and came across this custom letterpress-printed card from Lunalux that I’ve been holding onto. Since I wasn’t feeling so hot today and took a rest day to heal, it was just the right card to keep me inspired in my healthy pursuits. The quote reads:
“Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
To keep our faces toward change
and behave like free spirits
in the presence of fate
is strength undefeatable.” —Helen Keller
It lifted my spirits, and imagining the recipient made me smile. I won’t send it yet, but I’ll know when it’s time, and who will need it most.
If you’ve discovered a way to make gift giving feel extra special, I’d love to hear it.