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WHAT'S IN A GIFT?

It’s easy to think of holiday shopping as a chore. This year, don’t be a Grinch about giving. Instead, decide to gift with intention. In doing so, you’ll likely save time, money and frustration by being more calculated from the onset and more introspective as you tick off names on your shopping list.

The history of giving during the holidays — inspired by Saint Nicolas — is one that dates back to 280 A.D. and the legend of a man who gave all he had for the betterment of others.

While that tale has taken on many twists, has been put to music and adapted by cultural influence and creative licence, the notion of giving to improve the day or life of another, remains.

Whether you are an amateur or avid shopper, a few mental shifts can eliminate the guessing and enhance the giving. One such example is to give the gift of an experience. Why not curate a menu, print it off and give as a token of your time, hospitality and culinary skills?

Or purchase something customized, such as labels for the winemaker on your list, or an artisanal charcuterie board wood-burned with a name and date.

Give something that’s comes with a side of joy – like a bottle filled with tiny bubbles set to pop in your mouth or a framed map of your summer road trip. Or, how about language lessons in preparation for your upcoming trip to France?

Handmade and local gifts add a whole new element to gift giving. Seek out shops that target tourists as they often house wares from Manitoba artists, sculptures, designers and entrepreneur – and they support our economy.

Indulge the indulgent. People who have everything they need might appreciate a particular vintage that pairs well with their year of birth, or truffles made by a local chocolatier. Or even a basket of your favourite items from one of our specialty foods stores to sample. Yum!

Gifts of help can also be incredibly joyful to present. For some that might be a coupon redeemable for your childminding services; or the gift of your labour to help someone move, plant a garden, or provide moral support for someone who resolves to return to the gym. Give a subscription, or how about lessons on how to meditate, ballroom dance or macramé?

Consider giving the gift of a donation to a charity that has affected the recipient personally. Perhaps give a care package complete with warm socks and razor blades to a local mission to support someone getting off the streets and back in the game, in honour of someone on your list.

Giving doesn’t have to be an added stress if planned or done in advance. This season, start by pouring yourself a glass of nog and navigating your way through your shopping list before you’ve even left the house. Trust me, you’ll thank me for it.

SEASONAL SPARKLE

This season why not celebrate more with Ruffino Prosecco? Produced from grapes grown in highly sought-after vineyards located in the northeastern regions of Italy, it is a bright straw yellow in colour and infused with fine bubbles. It’s fragrant and bursting with fruit notes. It shows clean aromas of apples, pears, and citrus, accompanied by hints of wisteria. Best of all? It’s incredibly festive, pairs well with pizza, seafood and makes for the perfect hostess gift! Cheers.

If shopping isn’t your super power, don’t panic. Meaningful gifts that people actually want, like chocolates or bubbly is just as easy a gift certificate. Heck, buy both.

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