Christmas proves to be challenging for me most years. I don’t enjoy shopping, but I want to give personal and meaningful gifts, especially to my family. I’m a firm believer in organized living, with a little crazy chaos, so planners with my own personal added twists allow me to share myself with my family and give gifts that last all year long.
- Pre-date a planner. My elderly father struggles to remember dates so a pre-dated planner that he can keep open on his kitchen counter reminds him of important family days. Since most of my family doesn’t live near my father, he likes to mail cards. A strategically placed note the week before someone’s birthday allows him time to purchase and mail a card, using the addresses I’ve included in the planner. Then a notation on the special day serves to remind him to make a call, if he’d like. My sisters also appreciate the time I spend filling in important dates in their organizers which saves them significant time and energy.
- Something to look forward to. Like so many other people, my husband enjoys concerts, plays and other special events. As well as pre-dating his planner, I note the details for date nights that I have planned throughout the year. Many tickets may be purchased in advanced, often online, so it’s not difficult to paperclip tickets in the day planner on the appropriate day. You could do this with sporting events, airline tickets, hotel reservations or any other diversions for the coming year. If you can’t afford to purchase tickets ahead of time, you can note the event and purchase the tickets later. You can even surprise the one you love by adding to the day planner as the year progresses.
- Sentiments mean so much. My daughter thrives on positive messages. She likes to know that she is loved and thought of regularly. Giving her a planner with sweet notes written on different dates throughout means the world to her and provides thoughtful reminders of her specialness. I also include favorite sayings, quotes or verses to encourage her. Using a variety of notes from family and friends turns the planner into a touchstone as she is away from home at college. A gift card to the bookstore or ice cream shop never hurts either!
- Other unique touches. An ordinary planner can become an amazing gift with a few little additions. A treasured photo secured to the front inside cover and random photos throughout the planner brings smiles 365 days a year. If your recipient enjoys humor, consider adding jokes or comics at different places during the year. An orange and red leaf tucked into the first day of autumn or a child’s school valentine slipped into February can offer sweet surprises to a practical gift.
As with any present, the personal touches added to a day planner can take it beyond conventional and straight to irreplaceable. Imagine one gift that can be adapted to many people in your life and continues giving throughout the year! It’s a perfect gift.
Meet the Writer: Beth Hempton is a freelance writer and educator residing on Johns Island in South Carolina. She writes about education, health, food and lifestyle topics for websites, blogs, e-zines and print magazines. Having worn many writing hats from authoring curriculum to newspaper journalism, she views writing as a life skill and as an art form.