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How to Give Meaningful Gifts This Festive Season

Posted On: Friday, December 1, 2023

How to Give Meaningful Gifts This Festive Season

“We are living in a material world, and I am a material girl.” (Madonna)

Why not take this festive season as an opportunity to begin a tradition of truly meaningful gifting in your family? In today’s world, more and more people are realising that things bring only fleeting joy – it’s experiences that really matter. And the evidence isn’t merely anecdotal: research shows that experiences result in longer-lasting happiness than material possessions. Read on for some practical tips on how to get gifting right in 2023…

For young kids

While there’s no getting around the fact that little ones probably do need something to unwrap at this time of year, you also don’t want to be giving young minds the impression that Barbies and Paw Patrol figurines grow on trees. It’s never too early to start a culture of experiential gifting, whether it’s a trip to the aquarium, a family camping weekend or a “voucher” for a fishing trip with mom or dad, you’ll be amazed at how simple (and affordable) it can be to spark joy in your children or grandchildren.

For older children

Tweens and teens are notoriously hard to please – but what they really crave, even more than the latest video game or gadget, is attention and experiences. Depending on their preferences, tickets to a concert or a sports game (with friends or with you) are sure to go down well. Other options include a gym membership, a weekend away, or some sort of art/crafting course.

For your spouse or partner

Buying gifts for your significant other can be really tricky – not least because they’ve probably already bought everything on their wish list for themselves. Of course, hubby won’t say no to a mixed case of craft beers – but can this even compare to a beermaking experience with his mates? It works the other way too: handmade soaps are lovely, but learning how to make soap with your besties is way lovelier.

Another great option is to gift each other a joint experience: a couples’ massage; a date night at that new Thai place down the road; or a weekend away in Clarens…

For your parents

The last thing your folks want is more stuff – in fact, they seem to spend 90% of their lives downscaling and decluttering! But this doesn’t mean they don’t crave your presents (and presence). Depending on what they’re into, tickets to the ballet, a round of golf at a new course, or a spa voucher could go down a treat. Or you could keep it really simple by taking them out for lunch: just you and them.

An even bolder idea: Financial gifting

This might be a harder sell than experiential gifting, but hear us out. A gift of unit trusts or a monthly debit order into a TFSA may not sound sexy – but that’s only because you’re not selling it right. The first essential step to successful financial gifting is to get buy-in (especially when dealing with youngsters) before the big day arrives. Christmas morning could be awkward if your kids are handed sheaths of documents they don’t understand while their cousins get to unwrap expensive drones and GHDs.

Naming the gift is an important step in the process as it fosters gratitude and sells the gift outcome – thus introducing the recipient to goal and time-based investing. You might want to call the gift something like “Your iPhone fund” or “Your Mauritius holiday fund.” It’s also important that you take all the hassle out of the process by filling in the paperwork.

Done correctly, financial gifts can be far more rewarding than other gifts. And that’s before we go into the hidden (but obvious) benefits of developing healthy financial habits and teaching the value of time-based investing.

If you want any assistance with giving financial gifts this festive season, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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