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Do you struggle to give meaningful, thoughtful gifts?

Updated: Apr 27, 2021

It can be a stress-inducing challenge to give a meaningful gift. If you struggle to come up with fun, thoughtful gifts for those in your inner circle, rest assured, there are easy ways to spice up seemingly generic gifts.

Notebooks are among the top contenders for generic gifts—the type of gift kids get for the birthday boy or girl they don’t know very well, but whose party they’ve been invited to. You may be under the impression that you need to get your friends and family something special, and as a result, spend hours searching for the perfect gift. If you’re the type of person who enjoys that process, excellent! If not, notebooks hold more potential as personal gifts than you may at first believe.

Here’s an example of just one way to embellish a notebook and transform it from a gift from an acquaintance to a gift that touches the receiver. A couple years ago, I listened to an audio book in which the author mentioned how he had taken a year to write down one thing he loved or appreciated about his wife each day. At the end of the year, he presented it to his wife, who of course loved it.

I am not one of those people who enjoys searching for gifts. I rarely buy anything for myself, and only bought presents when I thought it was socially necessary. However, I was inspired by this idea. It seemed easy enough, even for me. I purchased several small notebooks, and for the next several months wrote something I appreciated about each member of my household each day. Instead of feeling the quiet shame and embarrassment of being the only person who didn’t buy Christmas gifts for everyone else, that year, I presented each member of my family with their own book filled with things I appreciated about them. I was proud of these gifts, and it felt great to present them. If you want to feel that, too, but you don’t have the time or energy, don’t worry. It doesn’t have to take a year, or even months. It can be much easier and faster.

How can you make it easier? For starters, you don’t have to fill the entire notebook. You also don’t have to be restricted to things you appreciate. Here are 7 ideas for simple ways to boost the value and meaning of a simple notebook.

1- Fill the notebook with writing of your choosing.

2- Don’t fill the entire notebook; just write a page or two.

3- Write on just the top or the bottom of each page, or on random pages.

4- Write things you appreciate. For example, “I appreciate that you come home on time,” or “I appreciate that you try to make me laugh when I’m in a bad mood.”

5- Write inside jokes. For example, “You’re still ‘it’,” or “The way you make roast beef sandwiches.”

6- Write a personal note. For example, “You’re always so on top of things. I got you this as a reminder to take a little time to yourself. Fill it with fun things you do. Best, Xxxxx.”

7- Write favorite memories. For example, “Watching TV together while you knit me a blanket when I was little,” or “Watching you come down the huge water slide at the amusement park.”

Don’t feel restricted to these suggestions. Use them as inspiration—a jumping off point from which you can adapt to fit your specific situation.

Notebooks may seem like some of the least personal options for gifts, but with just a little effort and thought, they can become some of the most meaningful. Try some of these ideas, or use your own, so you can experience the pleasure of presenting a thoughtful gift and see the impact it makes on the person receiving it.

To make things even easier for you, you can shop Elegant Contrast notebooks here.

Share your ideas to inspire others, and enjoy the gift-giving process!

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