Saturday, November 7, 2009

Clutter-free gifts: Meaningful memories

Today in the clutter-free gifts series: meaningful memories. Not every gift needs to be 100% functional, and not every gift needs to cost the giver more than a bit of time and energy. I like to use the holidays as a way to share with my family members how much they mean to me by recalling times gone by and underlining how much I appreciate their support and love in the present. That way we celebrate the past and make new memories. Here are some ideas for tangible things that can help communicate that to the people in your life: 

This personalized photo gift was much appreciated by the receiver.
  • Framed photo of you and the receiver of the gift. This means a lot especially in today's digital age where photos often never make it off a computer screen. (Think ahead and try to create some photo ops during the year so you'll have some good shots to choose from.)
  • Poem, either written by you or selected by you special for the occasion. Hand write it on pretty paper or frame a copy. (Don't forget to give attribution if you use someone else's.)
  • Use your creative talents to write a story, draw or paint a picture or write a song that says something about your relationship with the person you're giving the gift to.
  • Take a weekend day and actually edit the footage of the last birthday party or Christmas that you took video at. Make it a record of the memory you can all share again when viewing.
  • Go with the times and create a digital photo album  or slideshow that can be given on a CD or flashdrive. Track down and scan photos from a specific annual event (Christmas Eve, the trip to Great Aunt Nancy's) you spend with your loved ones and make it a themed album.
  • Simply find or make a card that tells the person things you love and appreciate about them. Simple statements often mean the most.
Creative Commons photo posted to Flickr by Randy Son Of Robert
Lelah Baker-Rabe is a Los Angeles-based professional organizer. To discuss your organizing needs, call her at 818.269.6671 or email

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