Coming up with gifts for family and friends has never been an easy task for me… be it a holiday, special occasion, or ‘just because.” Yes, I have had a few brief moments of “gift clarity”… but most often I just mutter to myself “I have no idea what I’m doing…”
However, once upon a time, I did stumble upon what could be said to be the “perfect gift.”
(OK, this whole thing could end up sounding pretty corny, but I’m going for it. Hang on.)
A gift that was identical to everyone I gave it to, yet unique to each whom received it. And I realized that anyone… young or old, rich or poor… could give the same gift, because it wasn’t a matter of skills, strength, or money. But it is something valuable.
It was the not often thought gift of a favor.
Using my rudimentary graphic arts skills I created a little certificate that entitled the named recipient to “One Big Favor” from me. And that person got to decide what that favor would be. Does that sound crazy?
Desiring to be generous, but not too foolish, there was somewhat clever “fine print” that detailed some boundaries of my offer. As I recall I was offering “100 full minutes of my time & attention” and listed a few ideas of things I knew I could do without messing up too badly. I was mentally prepared for whatever request might come my way by watching reruns of Mike Rowe’s ‘Dirty Jobs.’
Hey, it turned out to be pretty cool!
So, if you give this favor thing a try, may I suggest you provide some choices to offer and a time frame that you are confident you can do. Make your own handmade certificate and slip it in a card.
A warning: The real important part is to cheerfully follow thorough when your recipients are ready to cash in their favor certificate with you. Be a man or woman or teen or child of your word. That is a gift that will be appreciated far beyond words.
I’m really not sure how this “favor” idea came to me. Still trying to figure out if I’m being cheap or generous in this practice, but I do know the real joy comes in the giving.