Feel-Good Holiday Gift Giving (Hint: It’s Not About the Stuff)

Mindful Gifts for the holidays
SAGE Advisory Group: Mindful Gifts for the holidays.
What are your Thanksgiving Day plans? Do they include herding up outside of the nearest Kmart at 6 a.m. to shop ’til you drop? Good golly, we hope not! If so, please call us promptly, so we can talk you down off the ledge. That said, heartfelt giving has countless benefits for “angel” and recipient alike. Here are some refreshing ideas to make your holiday gift-giving bright.

Favorite Reading
Whether stashed in your favorite mobile device or resting comfortably on your nightstand, there’s nothing like the right book to transport, enlighten, educate and entertain. For books to share, you can revisit some of our SAGE team favorite reads in this post, “What SAGE Reads.” (And here’s our ode to the benefits of reading, in “An Admirable Addiction.”)

If you have friends or family who might benefit from a fresh point of view on their financial life plans, here are some of our favorite reads for that. We promise, these will offer nourishing food for thought without leaving the reader feeling bloated:

For the business owners, college kids, volunteers, homemakers or all-around worker-bees in your life, here are reads from my 9 Notes series to energize and inspire:

Shopping Close to Home
Besides the “what” of giving, there’s also the “how” you go about doing it. RiverRun is one of my favorite local bookstores, in Portsmouth, NH. And one of my favorite gift-giving opportunities is their “Paperback to the Future” subscription program. The smart and friendly staff at RiverRun will get to know you and then send out a hand-selected book each month during your subscription period. It’s like a wine-of-the-month club without the hangover … although it could induce daytime sleepiness if they send you something you really love.

The point is, you can give loved ones a subscription of their own. I did this for my sister Lynn and sister-in-law Sandy and they loved it.

Or, if a subscription seems like overkill, you can go online and still support a local bookstore.

A World Without Books
My fingers quake in fear at even typing that subhead. But, okay, maybe not everybody is a book nut. Or, if your recipient is like me, with books already piled from ceiling to floor, perhaps they’ll appreciate something other than another book. Here are a couple of thoughts:

Start a Roth IRA for your kids. It sure worked for our own Chris Annello, as he described in his “Time Is Money” post.

To your health! How about a fitbit, or pedometer, one month’s membership to a health club or a massage certificate? There’s a reason that health and wealth rhyme, as described in our post on the same.

Gifts of Giving
Last but not least, for loved ones whose cup may runneth over with happy abundance, a donation to a charity that you know they hold near and dear can be a perennial favorite. Whether you’re planning to give in your own name or on behalf of others, we’ll offer some advice in upcoming posts on how to make the most of your annual giving.


SAGE Serendipity: Of course another amazing place to find good reading material is your local library … wherever you may roam. Check out some of the most unusual library locales. Have you ever seen a “biblio-burro”?


Sheri Iannetta Cupo, CFP®, is Founding Principal of SAGE Advisory Group, based in Morristown, NJ, an independent, Fee-Only Registered Investment Advisory firm, specializing in providing busy professionals and their families with holistic financial life planning and investment management services. You can find more here: www.sageadvisorygroup.com where this post originally appeared. You can also connect with Sheri on Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.