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Revive Thoughtful Gift Giving

Revive Thoughtful Gift Giving

Author Shifa Khan by

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For a lot of us, gift giving on Eid has become a quick dash through Target looking for something remotely nice, putting it into a gift bag and passing it on. And that’s perfectly okay. Everyone loves receiving presents- it reminds us that the other person was thinking about us and really did try.

But what we've lost is thoughtful gift giving. That mad dash through Target is great, but it doesn't really say that I thought about the other person and what they might really like. When I put it into a gift bag, I'm streamlining the process of wrapping the gift first- because who has time for that?

But gifts are so much more than that. They aren't supposed to be a burden on you. They definitely don't have to drain your pockets and they don't have to be something that we leave until the last minute because they totally slipped our mind.

Here's how to get away from that:

1) Give a gift to someone you haven't before. This can be anyone- your neighbors, a person you'd like to be friends with but aren't, someone you don't really talk to, but know they're a nice person. The more you think about it, the more you'll realize that there people out there who deserve gifts. Alternatively, give a gift to someone you haven't even met through joining gift swaps like this one. is the first U.S.-wide Eid gift exchange. Everyone who joins is matched with a swap-mate- from there, gifters are encouraged to shop and create a thoughtful gift. The goal is to connect Muslims across the U.S. in the spirit of Eid. And who doesn't love getting gifts?

2) Think about the giftee. Take a simple five minutes- or two if you think fast- and try to remember any small detail about them- something they like or a favorite food. The great thing about gifts is that they don't have to be EXACTLY what the person might like- it could just be a nice notebook you think they might like, or a cute and funny mug with some hot chocolate and marshmallows on the side.

3) Remember: it doesn't have to be expensive. The best of gifts are not the most expensive of gifts. We'd all love an all-expenses paid trip to Paris, but its not going to happen. Give the gift of your time- maybe go out for coffee or make specific time to meet up and hang out with that person. Giving the gift of an experience leaves you with good memories too.

Gifts don't have to be expensive- a gift to the neighbor can be a hand made card with a couple of homemade cookies (or cookie mix!). It can be giving a jar with handwritten, uplifting notes and a candy bar. They can be anything- they just take a little bit of thought.

In the end, remember that the best gifts are the ones that you've thought about, will make memories for the receiver, or the ones that will be something useful for their everyday life. They are not expensive, a burden on you, or something you grudgingly give.

After all, they are just gifts. It's the people that matter.

To learn more about and join in on the gift swap, click here.

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