With the holiday season right around the corner, the temptation to overspend exists. For some reason we feel a responsibility to extend ourselves financially to accommodate the holiday gift lists we receive from friends and family. At a time when many of us have personally felt the pressures of these tough economic times, it strikes me as the right time to revisit the gift wish list model and rethink the process.
Perhaps because I grew up in an immigrant household where holiday gifts and wish lists were considered undermining the fundamental purpose of the holidays, I never understood the idea of asking for and receiving specific gifts. To me, the gift list resembles a grocery store list and doesn’t include any of the surprise, spiritual uplift, or thoughtfulness I associate with a gift. It’s time to change the gift giving wish list model by focusing on the emotion and feeling associated with a gift, rather than the “perfect present.”
Step 1: Throw away the gift wish list.
Step 2: Replace the gift list with an emotion/feeling list. In other words, the giftor receives from the giftee a list of emotions/feelings they associate with the holidays and/or which are important to them, for example: Love, care, attention, passion, respect, tradition, etc.
Step 3: The gifter can either make or find or purchase a gift which is germane to the emotions highlighted in the list. For example, Jade gives Judah her emotions list which includes “surprised, peaceful, and raw.” Judah finds Jade a weekend getaway in Upstate New York where she can pick apples (which she loves to do because she is a pastry chef) in the beautiful apple orchards and spend time with her mom.
Step 4: The gifter hand writes a card with a minimum of 50 words. The card must explain the gift and its association to the feelings listed:
I thought you would enjoy the Upstate New York Apple Orchard Getaway so you can spend time with your mom. Escape the city for a few days to recharge your battery and bring back delicious apples for the amazing apple pie you love to bake. You know how much we all love the pies.
Step 5: Whenever possible, hand deliver the gift along with a hug.
Step 6: Within a couple days of receipt of the gift, the giftee must write a thank you note which summarizes how the gifter has touched the giftee’s life and appreciation for the gift received.
Thank you so very much for the weekend getaway. My mom and I had a great time together. Rest assured I will stop by your office with a fresh baked apple pie for you to share with your co-workers. The amazing weekend brought back fun memories we shared this year.
Thank you again,
Step 7: Repeat
I imagine there could be some resistance to the notion gift giving isn’t as much about finding the perfect gift but rather about finding a gift that shares an emotional connection between people. It will take some practice, but, trust me, selecting a gift with emotional parameters will certainly show your appreciation and understanding of the person you are giving it to.
In recent articles this year, The Wall Street Journal and Sports Illustrated referred to Idan Ravin as the “Hoops Whisperer” because of his unique ability to engage, inspire and challenge the many NBA players he trains. Idan has worked with many of the NBA’s elite, including Chris Paul (New Orleans Hornets), Carmelo Anthony (Denver Nuggets), Gilbert Arenas (Washington Wizards), Lebron James (Cleveland Cavaliers), Elton Brand (Philadelphia 76ers), Jason Richardson (Phoenix Suns) and Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies).