Scary story time: You give somebody a considerate present certificates, perhaps for a therapeutic massage on the spa they’ve been eyeing, or for the drawing class they’ve been speaking about eager to take. You lay out the money, give them the cardboard. They’re thrilled! They thanks. After which, they don’t use it.

I’ve been on either side of this horrorshow, and on either side it feels unhealthy. The giver feels annoyed that they spent cash that’s not getting used; the recipient feels responsible for not being enthusiastic sufficient, organized sufficient, courageous sufficient, or no matter to go use the present. Positive, the purpose of giving presents is the giving, however might it simply be rather less wasteful?

Sure! Take inspiration from the time-honored custom of hand-drawn coupons, however as an alternative of “one free hug,” write out a coupon for the factor you’d have purchased the present certificates for. “Good for one drawing class” or “good for one therapeutic massage (by knowledgeable, which I’ll pay for).”

This works greatest with shut buddies and family members—your husband is extra more likely to say “Hey, I discovered a cooking class I need to guide” than is your coworker—however these are the folks with whom you’ll often be hyperaware of not having used your considerate, beneficiant present, anyway. This fashion, the present remains to be considerate, however nothing goes to waste.

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