It’s a dreaded scenario for anyone, much less a busy mom: You show up for your annual Christmas get-together with the girls, and everyone starts passing out gifts. Unfortunately, you chose to follow the “no-gifts this year” rule, despite your gut feeling that nobody else would. Even if your friends don’t expect a gift, it is still a horrible feeling being the one getting, not giving. Part of the reason this scenario is so common is that we struggle with what to give to our friends. To solve that dilemma, take a look at our advice on gifting to friends as a busy mom.
You may really admire your friends and want your gift to stand out above the rest. But overthinking what to gift them is highly unnecessary. In fact, it is often better to stick with the first few things that come into mind when you think of your friend. Answer a few simple questions about her to narrow down your options. For example, “What does she do in her spare time?” “What are her hobbies?” “What does she splurge on when she wants to treat herself?” “What kind of wine or coffee does she drink?” You may find that what she really enjoys treating herself to is something as simple as a candle. In short, sometimes it is the most obvious, simple things that can really bring someone pleasure.
Boxing yourself into price constraints doesn’t help simplify the gift-giving process at all. After all, narrowing your gift down to “something that costs less than $25” could mean any of a variety of items. Wouldn’t it be more helpful to think of some ideal presents and then shop around for the best price? For example, a necklace can range from thousands of dollars to only $10. Narrowing your search down to “necklaces” is far more helpful than wandering around a store and looking for something that costs less than $25. It also comes across as more personal if you just sit down and devote a bit of your time to thinking about the ideal gift, then finding something that fits your budget.
If your friends are anything like you, stop and think about what you’d like to get as a gift. Chances are if you like getting it, you’ll like gifting it. If you need inspiration, you can’t go wrong with a comfy pair of women’s pajamas, considering it’s something women may not treat themselves to regularly.
Can you ever have too many throw blankets when the weather gets chilly or when you simply want to add a splash of color to your decor? Would you ever turn your nose up to a cute pair of comfy slippers? Chances are that if you gift something useful that your friend wouldn’t otherwise justify purchasing herself, you’ll hear, “I’ve been meaning to get one of these for myself! Thank you!”
You can’t go wrong with practical gifts, even if you may otherwise worry that they’re too “boring.” Things like wristlets and pouches are always fun to receive, especially when they’re in neutral colors that match any outfit. Cute lunch bags for the office are fun as well. Both are useful, and you can never have too many.
If you feel self-conscious about gifting something practical, go the extra mile and personalize it. Plenty of things can be monogrammed these days. And if you get the girls together every year for Christmas, you can always personalize a Christmas ornament. Then simply send them a group selfie from your night out so they can put it into the frame and then have something tangible to remember your special Christmas gathering.
If you have a group of friends who gets together every year, consider picking names so you only have one person to focus on instead of a whole group. Thanks to some popular gift-giving apps, you don’t even need to all be present in order to draw names, and they can even be chosen anonymously. This is a much more economical way to go about giving gifts as well, considering you’re more likely to gift something the recipient will actually use if you can focus on just one friend.
In short, don’t stress about it. Get a head start if you can as well, so you’re not left scrambling for something last-minute. You’re busy enough as a mom, and you owe it to yourself to have one less thing to stress about this year.