Give the Gift of Good Advice

by Kim Randall

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As the holidays approach, our thoughts naturally turn toward purchasing gifts for all of the special people in our lives. This can be a particularly stressful time because we often strive to find that "perfect" gift for each individual. Sometimes, we are tempted to overspend in an effort to give a gift that will be especially meaningful to a loved one or co-worker.

However, we often overlook the most useful and personal gift we can give, which is the gift of good advice. Each of us has unique experiences and talents that we can share. In particular, it is our younger family members and acquaintances that can benefit from the insights we have to offer.

Consider the young married couple moving into their first home. It is likely that they don't have extensive knowledge in things like gardening, cooking, and home repairs. With the benefit of your sound advice, they could potentially avoid many of the pitfalls they will likely encounter in their first years of homeownership.

So, how do you package all this great information as a gift? Simply write it down. The first step is to purchase a journal. In this journal, you will write notes and tips on your special area of expertise.

Perhaps, you're a budding gardener like I am and you are chronicling the experience of tending to your first gardens. Your journal would end up filled with lots of great information such as what your best performing plants were, what the essential tools are, and probably a whole slew of tips on how to keep critters from eating your prized crops!

Of course, presentation is key. Here are a few examples of inexpensive items you can add in the gift box with your journal in order to create a truly meaningful gift.

If you have a green thumb, include…

  • Seeds from your favorite flowers
  • Photos of your gardens as they mature
  • A few inexpensive gardening tools

If you are a talented cook, include…

  • Your most prized recipes
  • A tape of your favorite cooking show
  • Homemade cookies or jams
  • Special blends of seasonings

If you are a master woodcrafter, include…

  • Your own hand-sketched designs
  • Photos of your best work
  • A small handcrafted item like a 3" x 5" frame

These are just a few suggestions. Regardless of your particular talent or experience, you will be able to find a couple of small items to accompany your journal for a well-rounded gift.

Remember, the longer you keep writing in the journal, the better gift it will be. Maybe you have a special child in mind. By the time the child is an adult, you may have several year's worth of your life's experiences recorded. Not only will you be passing on great advice, you'll be giving a keepsake for future generations to treasure without having to spend a fortune in the process!

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