The Stuff of Gift Giving

By Bernice SimpsonGift giving

“I have too much stuff already.” It’s surprising how even empty-nest homes are overstuffed. But, “No Christmas presents, please,” does not mean “don’t exhibit love for me with anything more than an e-card.”

To honor loved ones on gift-giving occasions takes creative thinking. Are there better places to get creative than at small businesses?

The best place to start? For writers, books often top the list. Buy them directly from regional authors. Check Twitter or Facebook for your area’s writers. That’s where Lubbock’s Joe Trent and Mary Andrews trumpeted their books on small Business Saturday.

Donate your purchases to the public library in the name of the one whose shelves are already bowing. If that ungifted, but honored person wants to read the books, they’re available, right?

The Buffalo Bookstore in Canyon, TX supports PPW’s authors. It’s exciting to see works in print by friends fairly new to the writing scene, like Craig Keel and Natalie Bright. You’ll find your favorite romance writers there as well. If you want a custom message above an autograph, they, typical of small businesses, will try to accommodate you.

Brighten a church library with glossy, artful covers. Dianne Sagan’s series, “Women of the Bible,” under $12.00 per title, makes the entire set affordable. What a thoughtful way to express your love for the honoree named on the book-plate.

The folks you care about need to eat. Give consumables. Custom orders at a Mom and Pop barbecue restaurant are important to tiny enterprises. Have them smoke a brisket or other meat to perfect tenderness for you. Similarly, do your locally owned bakeries turn out home-made tasting baked goods? If not, ask your friends if they know anyone who creates delicious and decorative cookies or cakes for special occasions in their own kitchens. Help that stay-at-home mom put food on her table.Christmas Food gift

Small businesses, most without storefronts abound. PPW member, Mike Akins, teaches karate. A gift certificate for basic lessons in self-defense could save your loved one’s life. Do you know someone who is struggling to pay their office rent? What would that person charge to organize and scan a family’s photographs?

If you can write a check for a heftier sum, hire a writer to save a senior’s life in print and produce a family’s future heirloom. But will its value ever compare to that of the here and now? Think of the senior’s pleasure in relating a lifetime of vignettes to a sincere listener.

People with too much stuff can represent the stuff of dreams for writers, artists, and others with services to offer. As a writer (therefore a creative person) what can you do to help gift buyers and small businesses think outside the box for the benefit of both?


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