A Goal Girl’s Guide to Gift Giving

My Post (1) copy 2The clock is winding down and if you’re like the majority of other Girl Bosses, you have not had time to pick out the perfect gifts for friends and family. First things first – don’t panic! Secondly, don’t queue up your amazon app and load your cart with the first few things you find when searching for “dad gifts”. While the item might get to you in time, we both know your dad really doesn’t want another black suitcase or a questionable looking, low quality tie. Most importantly, it’s unlikely the item is going to make the statement your bank account and heart really wants.

So what’s a busy girl to do? I’m so glad you asked. It will absolutely be worth the time to pull out a good ole’ fashioned pen and paper and note down who you actually want to buy for. Since overspending on Christmas 2019 will be the worst way to show up for 2020, we have compiled our favorite gifts with a financially focused viewpoint in mind.

Friends First                           

I’m starting with the most fun category because I can. Friends are absolutely the most fun to buy for because this will likely be the most mutually beneficial gift. My favorite ideas I’ve used include:

  1. Buying a friend a plane ticket to visit using miles. This is not only free, the fact that you and your bestie will be at your place will reduce costs of a much needed girl’s weekend. If you don’t have miles at your disposal, take the time to find the most inexpensive weekend to fly.
  2. If your bestie is local, pick a place you would never think to go and take each other out to dinner. Pick a random dive bar, or college hangout spot you would never think to try, and make the evening an experience as much as you can.
  3. Speaking of experiences, this year I offered to pay for a night at a super adorable hotel during a girl’s weekend as a Christmas gift. Of course the timing works out that the hotel price is as inexpensive as I’ve ever seen it, but it was still high enough that it wasn’t something we would normally do. The splurge will be a blast for both of us and we have months to look forward to the experience. So much better than a gift card.


This, of course, is tough. For one, you’ve already been buying or trying to buy gifts for these people your entire life and (your parents especially) already have what they could want or need. Since everyone is different, you’re going to need to dig deep and really think about this.

Women in the family – one word – pedicure. No, not a gift card for a pedicure, actually send a gmail invite or whatever method of booking you use and take your mom, grandma, etc out for a pedicure. The time spent with them means more than the pedicure. Trust me – both your mom and your toes will thank you.

Men in the family – two words – get creative. Giving something new will already be a win. They are expecting that Starbucks gift card – you can do better! If your brother loves Reese’s peanut butter cups, build him a small pyramid out of the treat. The most important thing is to not take yourself or the gifts too seriously. Have a little fun with it!

Everyone Else

Whether it’s casual acquaintances, coworkers, or direct reports, there may be people you have to give a gift to out of formality. In these cases, it’s absolutely best to keep it simple. No, don’t get that fancy can-opener. Instead, take a few minutes to write a very (very!) thoughtful card and insert the most universal gift card you can find. Starbucks, Amazon, CVS – whatever you find first. This will help you make time for writing that note that will matter most and clear up your to do list. 

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