The Richmond Register

December 22, 2013

Thoughtful gifts: More love than money

By Gina Noe
Extension Agent

RICHMOND — There aren’t many days left for shopping, and there may not be much money remaining in your gifting budget.

If your shopping list is not complete, here are some gift ideas that might save both time and money and still be greatly appreciated by the recipients.

Consider volunteering for or donating to a charity on behalf of someone else. This is a particularly good idea for hard to buy for people. Many charities will send a card acknowledging the gift to the person in whose name the gift was made.

A magazine subscription related to a loved one’s hobby or special interest is a gift that continues to be appreciated throughout the year.

For a friend or family member on a fixed income or with limited transportation options, consider a shopping bag full of goodies such as stamps, batteries, non-perishable foods and toiletries. You will be helping to stretch their budget and save them the time and effort of shopping on their own.

One of my favorite ideas is to give gifts for my friend’s animals. I have made dog biscuits and scarves, as well as purchased special toys and treats for furry friends.

For the nature lovers on your list, a book on wildflower or bird identification, a bird feeder or bird feed are all great options.

The best gifts don’t always come with the biggest price tag. They are fun or useful, and chosen with the recipient in mind. Gifts from your kitchen, sewing room or garden blend caring and sharing. A meaningful gift may be something you make with special skills, or something store bought you choose to meet the needs or interest of the receiver.

If you would like some more ideas for inexpensive and handmade gifts call us at 623-4072 or stop by the extension office and ask for a copy of “Back to Basics Gifts.” This little booklet is packed with gift ideas from the kitchen such as soups in a jar, quick breads, friendship tea, spiced cider, herb infused oils and flavored vinegars.

Remember, the joy of giving comes when you see the delight in the receiver’s face as the gift is opened. It has nothing to do with the price of the gift. The gift that is carefully chosen is an expression of your thoughtfulness. The most important ingredient is the investment of yourself.

Educational programs of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability or national origin.