Master the Art of Intentional Gifting

I know, I know, you can’t believe Christmas is right around the corner and you’re probably still feeling that turkey coma, so why are we talking shopping? Truth be told, I hear you, I used to be a last-minute shopper myself. Who needs more to worry about when we’re still cleaning out the fridge? I get it. But I’m here to help you learn how to master the art of intentional gifting and lock down holiday shopping in a day. 


Gift ideas for Christmas 2020

First, believe, there is an easier way to do Christmas. Imagine having all your shopping done in a day, and a stress-free holiday you can actually enjoy. Enter mastery in the art of intentional gift-giving. It’s a process I’ve developed over the years by watching my most organized friends, and literally stealing their secrets.


You know who I’m talking about right? That friend who always shows up with the perfect hostess gift while you’re coming up with an excuse about that great gift you “left at home.” That thoughtful friend who commemorates every occasion with an on-time card? Or that person who always has the perfectly wrapped gift that looks like a work of art, while yours is definitely recycled and possibly cobbled together with glue and a tinker toy? There’s a better way to do gifting. 


Here are my best tips for simplifying Christmas: 


Edit your list today


Here’s the real question: who matters to you? Before you start down the road of mindless shopping, stop and ask yourself, who are the people in my life I want to acknowledge? Write their names down in a list. If it’s helpful, write down a few words to describe them, what they love, and why you’d like to express gratitude for them in the form of a gift around the holidays. 


You may find that not everyone on your list is a candidate for that perfect gift or even a gift at all. Edit your list down to those who you’re truly grateful for and enter into the energy of gratitude. Keep your list short and sweet.


Simplify gifting


My friend John Ruhlin, author of Giftology, is a gift expert and he’s changed the way I give and think about gifting. 

“It’s not about how much we gift, but about how much love we put into gifting.”

– John Ruhlin

I love this quote because it reminds me that what’s remembered is the act, not just the thing. Stick to one quality, intentional gift for each person on your list. I know, it’s hard not to throw in the unicorn spatula because your bf loves to bake, but take it from the organizer, it will be the first thing in the 2021 donation bin.


Up the ante on thoughtfulness. 


A thoughtful, intentional gift makes the receiver feel special and thought of. It’s something we all need more than ever. Phoning it in doesn’t connect these days. We all want to be seen,  heard, and feel loved, especially now when so much uncertainty has disconnected us from that very thing.  Here are some of my best ideas for gifting with intention:

Personalize it.

You’ve heard that saying, everyone loves to hear their own name right? Well, what makes a person feel more special than a personalized gift. Reese Witherspoon says, “in the south, we monogram everything.” There’s an intention behind that southern charm and it’s all about making the recipient feel special. From a custom name necklace to a monogrammed keychain, it’s the personalization that makes it truly intentional.


Be a double duty do-gooder.


Did you know that there are many organizations that sell holiday gifts to raise money for important causes? One of my favorite ways to gift around the holidays is by supporting charities that align with my values.  An organization that I work with throughout the year, The Downtown Women’s Center, makes beautiful gift sets that combine form and function into a special gift that can even be purchased in bulk. I knocked out 12 gifts by supporting a cause I care about while gifting self-care home accessories anyone can use. 


Gift what you love.


Don’t overthink the process. Chances are, if you love it, your friends and family will love it too. Think about your favorite things and share that experience with a friend so they can experience it too. Try making a list of your favorite of the moment things and who might benefit from your tried and true research. This year I am gifting my niece all my favorite clean beauty items!


Gift what they love.


I know, it’s radical, but imagine how easy it is to just ask your family and friends what they want. Do it now so they’ll totally forget you aksed by Christmas. Trust me, as a person who generally hates surprises, this hack has saved Christmas for my husband for 15 years and counting. To master the art of intentional gifting means gifting someone something they will love, need, or use. 


Gift your time.


There’s nothing better than quality time with a loved one and if you’re lucky enough to see them safely this season, forgo the freneticism and be present as your present. If we’ve learned anything this year, the best gift is slowing down and be grateful for the time we have with loved ones. Carve out time now to spend that time with loved ones during the holidays. Quarantine for two weeks to make that special trip home or get that test and take the time. Your presence is what they’ll remember most. Create your holiday schedule today!


Looking for a few ideas for how to master the art of intentional gifting in 2020? Check out the Simply Spaced gift guide for tried and true favorites I’ll be sharing with my tribe. 




I help high-performers organize their lives. Follow for my 3-step method + the Simply Spaced life.

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