What to give your co-workers for Christmas when you have a limited budget? How to please an aunt that you see less than once a year? Or what to do if a present you have already bought leaves you unsatisfied? In such situations, you may attach a little creative something to your gift, which will serve as its added value.
Brooch’s added value
I have once spent Christmas with a large group of people. On the one hand, I was looking forward to a very merry celebration. On the other hand, it was a challenge in terms of gift giving. I remember I had particular problems with a present for one relative. I could probably omit her without anyone noticing (one of the pros of having big Christmas parties ;). Yet it so happened that I was strolling through a Christmas fair when a beautiful rose-shaped brooch caught my eye.
The relatively low price of the brooch was both to its advantage and disadvantage. It was a good thing because I didn’t hesitate much before buying it. But it was also a bad thing because I worried it might be not enough for a present. Especially that I didn’t know the taste of the recipient, and I didn’t know if she wore this type of jewellery at all. That is why I decided to add a little creative something to my gift, which was to be its added value.
That year I participated in a creative writing course. One of the tasks we were assigned during poetry classes was to write a triolet. I combined business with pleasure and wrote a poem about a rose. I printed my poem on the computer and pasted it on a slightly bigger cardboard, into which I pinned the brooch. This is more or less what it looked like:
When can we make use of a gift’s added value?
- When we spend Christmas with people we don’t know very well (the mother-in-law of our brother-in-law or our cousin’s cousin). We don’t know their taste, so one way to ‘save’ a possibly missed gift may be to add a little creative something.
- When we invite total strangers for Christmas. Some families share their Christmas feast with lonely or homeless people. Adding a little creative something may show them that we have prepared their gift from the heart.
- When we buy presents from a wish list, but they leave us unsatisfied. Don’t take me wrong. Several years ago I also started writing letters to Santa, which I hadn’t done since I was a kid. I personally think there is nothing wrong with helping others make the right choices. Nevertheless, if I buy something for others that wouldn’t make ME happy, I usually try to add a little creative something.
- When a gift exchange is organised in the office or at school. Usually, the budget for such gifts is so low that it is difficult to buy something of value. Especially if the draw takes place not before you buy presents but before you distribute them, so you have to think of something that will cater to all tastes. Also in such a case, it is worth adding a little creative something to a trinket that stays within the set price range.
What else can be used as added value?
Naturally, you don’t have to write a triolet. If poetry is not your cup of tea, do what you excel at and what gives you pleasure. Perhaps you’re good at drawing? A small portrait, a caricature or a several-frame-long comic strip will definitely be a nice creative attachment to a gift.
And what if your talent can’t be put into a creative gift? Think of a good idea, and borrow somebody else’s work! I’m sure no one will complain if instead of you own verses, you will attach a poem by Shakespeare or a miniature reproduction of a painting by Michelangelo (remember to mention its author, though!). Another interesting idea may be to provide a joke whose topic is related to your main gift.
If you have other ideas for a creative added value, let me know in the comments below!
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– A poem (as well as a joke or a drawing) may also serve as an additional, personalised ornament of your gift’s wrapping.
– If you want to use a work of a contemporary author, make sure you have their consent. Even if a poem, a photo or a drawing seems to be available on the Internet, it is still protected by copyright. In some countries (like Poland), copyright expires 70 years after the author’s death. These provisions may, however, differ from country to country, so make sure you abide by applicable ones!
– I have already written about creative added value when I presented my ideas to personalise a theatre ticket. Thus, it is also an idea for those who know that their gifts will please the recipients, but want to add a little creative something anyway.
– Next week, I am going to write more on whether it is better to give presents mostly from us (using our talents, knowledge, interests and tastes) or for others (disregarding the above). I can’t wait to read your opinions on the topic!