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Method For: Pro Gifting

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Gifting can be so stressful. It is typically the largest item on everyone’s holiday to-do list. There is usually one person in the family who takes on most of the gift procurement and if you are reading this blog that lucky person is likely you! Decades ago Oprah began her famous ‘Favorite Things’ list, and I still think giving your favorite things (or hers!) is a fun way to approach the job of gifting. The only issue with it is that your favorite things might not apply across genders, age groups or interests so there is some risk that your favorite things might not be quite right for everyone. These days the thought of giving something that likely won’t be consumed, used or appreciated is such a bummer, not just because the recipient didn’t like it but because it’s likely (horror) ending up as clutter in the homes of our loved ones and eventually contributing to our landfills (boo!)

So even if you are taking a Favorite Things approach to your gift list this year I have a few filters to help you really nail it with your people. There are 5 filters that I use when considering gifts for the people on my list. If I can’t answer yes to any of the questions below I ditch the idea; if it passes through more than one filter I know it’s a winner.

Is the gift:

  • Beautiful?

  • Useful?

  • Sustainable?

  • Meaningful?

  • Versatile?

Below are some suggestions for winner gifts. Some are old favorites, some are new discoveries, all check more than one of the 5 filters that make the best gifts!

beautiful: glassybaby

I’ve written before about my favorite gift to give, Glassybaby votives. Glassybabies are beautiful to look at whether illuminated by candlight, filled with flowers, or just hanging out in a sunny windowsill. They are handcrafted by glass artists, local to Seattle and giving is the cornerstone of the company’s business plan. To date Glassybaby has donated over $13 million to causes ranging from people to animals to our planet, which puts them through the ‘sustainable’ filter as well. I love to give them , receive them and use them to create beautiful tablescapes at holiday time! Prices range from $60 to $90 and each Glassybaby is unique.

useful: digital photo organizing

Slightly shameless plug for my Digital Organizing Packages but this is a useful gift that keeps on giving. Most people I know are completely overwhelmed by the wealth of digital photos that live on their phones, computers and numerous other places in the digital stratosphere. My packages include gathering all of those photo sources, removing duplicates and creating a Master Library that is backed up to the cloud. Once complete all of your photos will not only be safe from harm but also easy to access on any device and ready for you to use and enjoy any time you please. All of this can be executed virtually so it doesn’t matter where you live, I’ve got you! In addition to being extremely useful a Digital Organizing Package is also meaningful, preserving the stories and moments that make up a life. The happiness and relief I am met with at the end of each of these projects is palpable, it really does make a wonderful gift for someone you love. Packages begin at $1000.

sustainable: ridwell

Okay not the sexiest gift but if you need an idea for somebody who has a lot of stuff and emits a fair amount of waste Ridwell is a fantastic, sustainable and affordable solution to the problem of things that are hard to dispose of. Ridwell picks up items like batteries, clothing and old technology at your home and partners with companies who reuse or recycle those products. Ridwell makes it easy to keep stuff out of landfills (sustainable) while also keeping your home free of clutter (useful!) A winner any way you slice it! Ridwell currently services Seattle, Portland, Denver, Minneapolis, Austin and the Bay Area. Prices vary locally but begin around $54 for a 3 Month Subscription.

meaningful: The Class Keeper App

What is more meaningful than a place that safely keeps everything you want to remember about your kids’ childhood? The First Day of School pics, copious artwork, cute things they said, participation trophies, it can all be archived in this neat little app that has solved one of parenthood’s great mysteries: how the heck to keep track of all of the kid c*%p! This app will help rid your basement, attic and closets of space-hogging bins full of kid stuff. And you can visit the memories any time you like! The app is easy to use and a great deal (currently $29.99 for an annual subscription.) Got a bestie, sister or SIL who is struggling with this problem? Be their hero and gift them a year of The Class Keeper App. And if they are already well into their kid crazy years you could layer on my Children’s Archiving package and I’ll take care of their backlog! The Class Keeper App is $29.99 for a year’s subscription and Children’s Archiving packages begin at $200 per year/per child. Meaningful and Useful – another winning gift idea.

versatile: cadence capsules

Cadence Capsules are a recent discovery and I am in love. I found them initially while on a hunt for a pill box that looked nice enough to display on a countertop and at the same time allowing for tracking of various medications & supplements. Not only did I find that with this product but I also fell in love with the versatility. The capsules are magnetic and come in a rainbow of colors. They can contain medications and supplements but also creams and lotions. They are magnetic and made from plastics collected from beaches; the company is very young and has sustainability ingrained into every process. I love them for travel, for keeping track of complex regimens, and for being beautiful to look at. In fact, Cadence Capsules hit almost every filter of my five (Meaningful is maybe a stretch so not all of them!) Capsules start at $14 and you can build your system.

The gifts on this lift may seem a little out there compared to what we conventionally think of when shopping during the holidays. But I maintain that gifts like these will actually get used and be appreciated long after the buzz of the season has dulled. People love it when you solve a problem, and you can feel good about not adding to the clutter in someone’s life. Even if these gift ideas aren’t quite what you are looking for I encourage you to use the 5 filters in your shopping journey; the more you hit the better the gift!

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