I'm the girl who prefers thoughtful gifts over expensive ones

I'll Always Be The Girl Who Prefers A Hand-Painted Mug Over A Marc Jacobs Bag

I'm a stronger believer in the saying that "the best things in life are free."

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Picture this: it's the week before Christmas and you're walking around the mall with a group of friends as cheerful Christmas music trickles in over the speakers as you navigate your way through the crowd of last-minute shoppers each looking for that perfect gift to give their loved ones. We've all been in this same boat a time or two: struggling to find that "perfect" gift to make someone's Christmas morning.

If I'm quite honest, my perfect gift will probably never be found hidden amongst the piles of disheveled sweaters thrown about at American Eagle or in the overpowering waves of perfume in Victoria's Secret. No, for me my perfect gift more times than not is something that can't be found in stores because it's homemade.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I'm not thankful for the gifts I get from family and friends that have a monetary value to it. I love each of those gifts just the same, but they will never be able to top a thoughtfully constructed gift. For instance, last Christmas one of my closet friends knew my affinity for tea so she found a box and made it into a tea box for me. It was simple, yet one of the most thoughtful gifts I'd ever received.

It's the gifts where I can tell that the person knows me and my interests or has listened to me when I've talked about things I love. It's the gifts that may not cost the most but require a little more effort and TLC. Those are the gifts that I look forward to receiving.

Practically speaking it's always going to be easier to go to the mall and purchase the latest Apple watch or Gucci purse. But there will always be something so special about sitting down and spending some time constructing a handwritten letter or painting for someone. For me it will never be about the price tag attached to the gift, it will always be about the heart and thought that goes into it.

For the record, it will never be about the size of the gift either. It could be as simple as a letter listing off reasons you appreciate someone or it could be an experience that you know that will bring a smile to that person's face. That being said I am fully aware that these gifts aren't always free, and while it may come across as me insinuating that thoughtful gifts are only gifts that ring up at under $10 that isn't necessarily true. Majority of the time gifts like these won't cost you an arm and a leg, but what they lack in monetary value is made up for in the amount of effort that's required.

So to all of my family and friends that are constantly asking me what I want for my birthday and Christmas know that all I really want is to be around the people I care about and whether that includes a gift or not I will be just as content. But if you absolutely must give me something then make it thoughtful or something that we can share and experience together.

Christmas is such a beautiful time of year for so many reasons, but all too often we lose the beauty of this time of year by getting bogged down on how much money we've spent on a gift for someone or how we are possibly going to find that one pair of shoes that your brother has been yammering about for months now. There's nothing wrong with giving gifts that people want that are on the pricier end, but I think we have all forgotten how to appreciate the seemingly more insignificant gifts. Words of affirmation are a love language for a reason! This year as you're checking through your lists of people to buy gifts for, consider giving them something that they may not necessarily need or want but that is something that embodies who they are and shows how deeply you care for them.

Maybe I'm naive and a terrible gift giver, but whenever I've given someone a gift that took me hours to mule over and piece together I've never had anyone turn it away. In all honesty, those gifts have always been the ones that people have seemed to be the most grateful for. So this Christmas let's embrace the simplicity of gift giving again and start giving more meaningful gifts that will last a lifetime as opposed to another pair of shoes that will be worn down in a few months time.

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