For her brother’s wedding, Lacey (Ian’s most magnificent girlfriend) gave her brother and his new bride 12 months of anniversary dates, complete with suggestions, coupons, tickets, and cash (where appropriate). These were as small as movie nights at home with a dvd she provided and some microwave popcorn, to extravagant, including restaurant gift certificates and admission to some of their local favorites. It took a lot of planning, love and creativity–and she has all three. I’m going to transfer some of that creativity into a basket or a box of 12 months of coupons for my Christmas plan.
As I was surveying my green, green grass and the brown spots bare of mulch, I was thinking that I really would have liked to receive a mulch labor gift certificate from a certain son. (I know. Dream on!) Here’s the point, though. I’m going to ask C.J. to help me with the mulch anyway, and he will probably help me–with a liberal sprinkling of grumbling. For no money and no grumbling, he could give me a gift certificate of his labors.
It would be cool to make a list now of once-a-month helpful gestures that I could do for someone that I could combine at the end of the year into something really nice. Jeremy wrote about this idea last year with his nieces and nephews in mind. I know that our Aunt Susan gave a play date certificate to C.J. one year for Christmas, and he treasured it and thought seriously about when and how to redeem it. They (Susan, C.J. and Ian) used to go back-to-school supply shopping together, which took a lot of pressure off of me. That’s a great coupon idea for August.
For example, I know how to do taxes (at least simple ones), and I could give that as my March or April gift. My elderly neighbor likes to go to Costco with me. I could make a coupon for that in February when the weather is unpredictable for driving. My friend Donna used to help me plant my flower pots for summer, and that could be a nice gift certificate for someone.
I’m really on a roll! I could offer to do something on the computer for my parents, whatever month.
This has my mother’s thoughtful stamp all over it. At Christmas, she gave Roger and me a box with, among other things, a gift certificate to do some sewing repairs for him–another coupon idea.
I’m including a link to The Dating Divas. They have a Christmas plan for a His/Hers year of gift giving. That might spark some ideas for you.
This final link comes from the Tip Junkie, with free printables. The labels are really cute (pictured above).