“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” —Kahlil Gibran
“What’s the best gift you’ve ever received, and why?” This is a question I often ask in our Legacy Film interviews. The answer to “why?” is almost always linked to a relationship (a spouse, a child, a parent, a relative, a dear friend, etc.), and most often the gifts themselves weren’t costly.
I invite you to take a moment today to think about favorite gifts you’ve received in your lifetime and why they were special to you. If you have friends, family, or colleagues nearby today, share your answers to these questions.
Whether it costs a little or a lot, let the next gift you give be someone else’s favorite gift. Let the reason you give and the relationship behind it be their “why”.
Story, connection, relationship — these are the gifts of a lifetime.
To help get you thinking, I’m passing along some good ideas and suggestions that can add an extra touch of thoughtfulness & meaning to your gift-giving. All of these gifts connect to conversation, memory-keeping, and story-sharing in some way, and I hope that you enjoy them.
For Little Ones
- Beloved children’s author Brad Metzer writes about the life stories of ordinary people who made a big impact on the world. You can buy 1 or 2 or get a subscription to his “Ordinary People Change the World” books! The subscription includes two books that will get delivered to your recipient every month for a year.
- Create a board book for an infant filled with all the important people in their life.
- If you enjoyed our November series about food & stories, you will love “Our Table” for K-3rd grade kids by bestselling author Peter H. Reynolds. It’s a story for our times about what really matters.
- These Conversation Balls make great gifts for kids or people who work with kids. The adults will enjoy them too.
- This deck of cards by Big Life Journal offers 52 interesting questions to help kids (and grown-ups!) share thoughtful discussions about growth mindset, kindness, resilience, gratitude, and more. The back of each card features colorful artwork with fascinating sea life. Put the cards together to reveal a complete underwater scene!
- Build a relationship with a “Grandparent Pen Pal” using this unique set. Kids get to practice writing… and older adults love the fun they receive in the mail just as much as the kids.
- A college friend of mine released these cards late in 2020. They are fun! He told us that he spent several years cultivating the questions & trying them out on friends & family. Hoo Nu?
- Chat Pack also has some great cards for different groups & occasions. If you live in California, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, South Dakota or Wisconsin, there are even packs just for your state.
- We love this recipe card set from friend and Personal Historian Dawn M. Roode (Modern Heirloom Books). Dawn understands the power of food & life stories & created this beautiful set of cards to help preserve recipes and memories.
- From Oprah’s Favorite List: a letter-writing kit by you for a special child in your life. There’s one spefically for grandaprents too.
- Lives Well Lived is a favorite documentary of ours. Give the DVD to a family member or school or business leader. It’s guaranteed to inspire all who watch. You can also stream or download the film.
Unique Gift Ideas
- Hire a professional genealogist or personal historian to help tell your story. A Sacred Stories Legacy Film makes a great gift. We have gift certificates!
- TilePix makes it super easy to display your favorite Instagram pictures on the wall.
- Organize your family photos. Two services we love are Legacy Box and Reminis. If you are DIY kind of person, check out Photo Managers for resources, news & tips.
- Commemorate a special building or home with a custom line drawing.
- Kitchen Wall Art from The Storied Recipe podcaster. On The Storied Recipe, Becky Hadeed invites guests to share a recipe cherished for its significance to their memories, culture, or heritage. After speaking with the guest about their life experiences and work, she makes, photographs, and shares their recipe. The food prints in The Storied Recipe Print Shop tell the stories of Hadeed’s podcast guests.
- Modern Family Tree Wood Slice Art is a personalized piece of art that will become a family heirloom and a conversation starter for any home. And, here’s another fun custom family tree from Etsy!
- Create a reel viewer and give your loved one a double dose of nostalgia. You provide the photos for this one-of-a-kind gift!
And if you’re crafty with some extra time on your hands, here’s a fun DIY project that takes a favorite recipe and turns it into a tea towel: blog.spoonflower.com/2012/07/turn-recipes-into-tea-towels/
Simple (& Inexpensive!) Gifts
For more good gift ideas that come with a little extra love and thoughtfulness, check out our Holiday Gift Ideas “First Edition”, Becoming Minimalist’s Clutter-Free Gift List, and Real Simple Magazine’s list of gifts that don’t cost anything.