Monday, November 20, 2006

"Of The Month..."

Okay -- my heart skipped a few beats this morning ... I went looking for my Christmas list this morning, and couldn't find it in my purse... it is my lifeline during the holidays, and has everything I've made and purchased written down in it. Without it, I would be lost. Fortunately, I found it buried at the bottom of my purse, THANK GOODNESS! My heart can beat normally again.

Today, I'm going to share another homemade gift idea with you that can be used in so many ways. It's called, "Of The Month" gift... It's a great gift for a wife to give a husband, or to give to grandparents, college kids, etc. It spreads the cost of the gift out over a period of time, offering YOU some financial relief, and it will bring a smile on the receivers face each month when they receive something new!

The premis (we'll use Grandma and Grandpa as an example): You prepare a special card which says that Grandma and Grandpa have received a special Gift of the Month. On the card, specify how many months they will receive the gift, what day of the month they will receive it, and list what they will receive each month. Make and package one homemade gift (like a box of homemade sugar cookies decorated for Christmas), and wrap it beautifully, attaching the card to the top of the gift.

This is an especially fun gift for children to give to their grandparents, because they will have to come up with a creative list of gifts for each month, and then either make the gift, or coordinate purchasing the gift. Grandma and Grandpa will really enjoy getting a special package each month, too! It's also great for aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, the Pastor and his/her family, and family friends.

For spouses, this is an affordable way to give each other some special and unique gifts, like a hot candle-lit bubble bath with rose petals, or a special candle-lit meal for two (kids go to Grandma and Grandpa's for the night), or a shoulder / foot massage, or an evening at the movies, or an evening in front of the fire place with a gourmet dessert, quiet music, and no kids ... I'm sure you can use your imagination on special things your spouse will truly enjoy (and you, too)!

The following are some tips to help you plan for giving a Monthly Gift:

1) Shoot for giving the receiver of your gifts the item on the first weekend of the promised month.

2) Be clear when and where/how you will be delivering their gifts.

3) Make as many items from scratch/homemade as possible, as this will add a special touch and meaning to the gifts, as well as make it affordable.

4) Get to know the receiver's favorites, and include them on their list (foods, candies, wines, beers, books, movies, etc.)

5) Follow through with your promise. Post yourself a note on your fridge or calendar so you do not forget. There's nothing worse than being promised something, and the promise falls through.

6) Involve your kids in making the homemade items ... they will have a blast decorating cookies, cakes, planting herbs, or kneading bread! This will make the gift a special one from your entire family!

7) If you can, include with the gift delivery a picture of the kids planting the herb garden, decorating cookies, making bread, cooking a meal, stirring the soup pot, etc. so that the receiver can enjoy the effort that was put into the gift (grandparents love that sort of thing).

To help you kick-start your brain, here is a list of some monthly gifts you can do:

Italian Dinner for Two (or however many you wish)
Mexican Fiesta Night for Two
Pot of Homemade Soup (Potato, Chicken & Rice, Vegetable, etc.)
Homemade Bread
One Gallon of homemade/specialty/gourmet Ice Cream
Special Dessert
Large variety of homemade cookies
Specialty Brownies
Drawn, candle-lit bubble bath (spouse gift)
Candle-lit dinner (spouse gift)
Romantic evening in front of the fire (spouse gift)
Special massage (spouse gift)
Framed picture of the grandchildren
Fresh Cut Flowers (Costco has GREAT prices on awesome flowers)
Plant of the season
Herb Garden
Gourmet Coffee
Basket of Seasonal Fruit
Basket of Homemade Jams or Butters (apple butter)
Basket of Garden Fresh Vegetables
Basket of Fresh Gourmet Muffins
Bottle of Wine
Imported Beer
A Music CD
A Move on DVD
Variety of Gourmet Nuts
Gourmet BBQ Basket
Gift Bag full of Bulbs
Fall Pumpkins and gourds

Examples Packages:

... Four-Month-Gift:

... Six-Month-Gift:

... Twelve-Month-Gift (the MOTHERLOAD):

... Twelve-Month-Gift-to-your-Spouse:

Feel free to add your own ideas in the comments section (please keep it family friendly). And ... let me know if you need help making the cards, or if you need ideas for graphics!


Susanne said...

What a lovely idea! The gift that keeps on giving!

sarah said...

This is an amazing idea!! I will be finding a way to use it this year.
I have always liked giving "coupon book"-type gifts (giving coupons for certain services/treats/favors, to be redeemed at the recipient's leisure) but usually the person I give the coupons to doesn't ever redeem them. Maybe they forget, or maybe it just feels to akward to say..."So, about that free day of babysitting you offered - can I take you up on that now?"
Anyway, I think this is a much better way to spread the love. Thanks for sharing it!

shannon @ rocks in my dryer said...

GiBee, this is wonderful!

Overwhelmed! said...

Oh, I really like this idea! I'm saving the link to this post so that I can work on creating something for Oronzo. :)

Thanks for sharing!

Kelli in the Mirror said...

Very cool idea!! It also helps keep the December spending down and lets you pay for stuff throughout the year.

Anonymous said...

What wonderful ideas!! Thank you so much for posting!

org junkie said...

Fantastic...I sure wouldn't mind getting a gift like this that is for sure!

Anonymous said...

Fantastic Idea!! You are so creative. I love stealing all of the ideas you post. Thanks for taking the time to share all of these!

Lorna said...

what a generous heart you have!

Anonymous said...

I loved these....what great ideas