I recently faced
the daunting task of finding a gift to bestow on a dear family
friend who has had a profound impact on my daughterís life for
nearly a dozen years. Somehow, a gift certificate to Barnes &
Noble, a day spa, or a bouquet of flowers just wasnít going to
adequately reflect the deep sense of appreciation, gratitude, and
love I feel for this person. Whatís a harried gift giver to do
when nothing seems to express your feelings?
Give the gift of words.
Iím on the executive board and serve as the newsletter editor
for a womenís entrepreneurial organization, so I did what any
word lover would do. I wrote something for the newsletter. I wrote
an article dedicated to my friend, a local child care provider,
thanking her for incredible value, nurturing, and education she
has added to my childís life. (Read it here: WE
Two days after
the article was published, my friend left a teary voice mail
message of thanks on my answering machine. She said sheíd been
having a terrible day and was questioning the value of her work.
She said my tribute was the most thoughtful gift sheíd ever
received from a day care parent and the timing was perfect. Soon I
was crying, too. My gift had done its job well. I had given the
most meaningful gift I could give - my heartfelt words. And it
didnít cost me a penny.
You donít have to be a writer to give the gift of words. In
fact, all you have to be is you. Speak from the heart, be genuine,
creative, and kind, and your gift is bound to be the hit of its
Here are some ideas to get you started:
1. Write a poem. Who says poems have to rhyme? Perhaps
youíre a poet and you donít know it. Try your hand at a
limerick (a light humorous poem) or haiku (Japanese lyric poem
with 3 lines and 17 syllables) for starters. Search online for
poetry forms you like for more information. Or just write a free
form poem of your own, print it on pretty paper, put it in a
picture frame, and wrap it up.
2. Write a testimonial. Does your gift recipient provide a
business, service or product you adore? Write a heartfelt
testimonial explaining why that personís product or service is
the best. Any business owner will be thrilled to post your
testimonial on her web site or in her office.
3. Dedicate an entry in your blog to someone. People love
to be recognized publicly. What better way to show the world you
care than to post your thoughts in your blog? Donít have a blog
yet? No problem. There are plenty of blog services out there that
are free or inexpensive. Do a search for free blog services on
4. Make a card. This is one of my favorites. My parents
still have the homemade cards I created over thirty years ago.
People LOVE homemade cards. You donít have to be an artist. Use
scraps of fabric, glitter, old pieces of wrapping paper, photos,
finger paints, crayons...anything goes!
5. Write an article. Write an article for an online article
site such as EzineArticles.com or a local print publication.
Highlight an important issue or business need in the article and
support your statements with specific stories about the person to
whom you're dedicating the article.
6. Write a song or record your spoken feelings on tape or CD.
Not a musician? Thatís okay. Take a popular tune such as
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star and add your own words. Present it
by singing it to your lucky recipient. One of the sweetest gifts I
ever came when I first started dating my ex husband in the form of
a cassette tape (okay, I know I'm showing my age here) outlining
his life story and feelings for me.
7. Create a web site. You donít have to be a technogeek
or a millionaire to create a web site with the plethora of tools
out there. Add photos and your own words and voila, an instant
gift! Hereís a gift I gave one Christmas. I created an online
help system outlining the timeline of a romantic relationship. It
included an index, table of contents, and graphical timeline with
clickable sections that launched pop-ups containing photos of
special moments. (Iím sorry, I canít help it, I was a
technogeek in love.)
The list of word gift ideas is endless. Can you think of more? I'd
love to hear about them.
The best thing about the gift of words is that it operates on the
law of attraction. Simply stated, that means the thoughts and
words you put out into the world are what you will get back. Think
and write positive thoughts and actions and I guarantee they will
come back to you in ways you never imagined. When you express your
love and gratitude in written words, you immortalize your
feelings. Your recipient can read your words and experience your
love over and over again.
Give the gift of words.
Copyright 2005, Ann Zuccardy, All rights reserved.
by: Ann Zuccardy is a freelance writer and entrepreneur
with 17 years of industry experience in marketing and technical
communication. For engaging copy, blog consulting, or article
ghostwriting with heart, soul, passion, vision, and humor, Ann's
your gal. Visit Annís blog for more writing samples AND other
gift giving ideas at Vermont
Shortbread Company. This article is dedicated to my colleagues
on the Visionary Writers on Purpose team.