The Focus Course

Gifts for a Focused Life

I do not possess the gift of thoughtful gift giving. My wife, however, more than makes up for my gift-giving deficiency.

It can be hard picking out the right thing for those on your list. Especially the socially-obligated gift exchanges in which you must not come up short.

As I’ve thought about the types of gifts I enjoy receiving, it’s helped me think more about the type of gifts I would like to give this year. Ultimately, I like receiving gifts that encourages thinking, creating, joy, usefulness, or learning. While the latest tech trends are cool, I found myself avoiding gifts that involve screens.

Don’t we spend enough time staring at screens as it is?

Anyway, here are some gift ideas I came up with.

For the Readers

There is something about reading physical books that is grounding — the smell of an old book, or the crisp pages of a new one. No apps to get in the way, no notifications screaming for your attention.

I’m just going to throw out a bunch of books and let you decide which ones look interesting. These are all books that I’ve read or have come highly recommended to me. ?

Give a book or two this year. I dare ya.


True Stories

Biographies and Memoirs

Personal Development


Everyday Use

Another big category for me is everyday use items. This could be things I use around the house or carry in my work bag. Once again, these are items that are intentionally non-tech related — tools that take me away from my smartphone. Whether outdoors, or around the house, these little things bring joy and delight to my day. They’re nothing fancy in themselves, but I find these are the things I have a hard time spending money on for myself.

I have a few of those I’ve received from a friend, and it often causes me to think of them every time I use it, which is an added bonus.


Work / Out and About

Something Different

There are some people that are hard to shop for no matter what. Joy can be hard to come by in our daily experience. Whether that’s joy through a shared experience or a good old fashion game of Uno, we need to laugh and smile.

A few more gift ideas a little outside the norm.

  • Uno Card Game
  • Karuba Board Game
  • Puzzle
  • Treat a friend to Dinner Out at a Fancy Restaurant
  • Live Event (Concert / Show etc.)
  • Local Museum Pass
  • Local Zoo Pass
  • 24 hr Mini Retreat (A night away at a hotel or Vrbo for the introvert in your life)

Replace Tech

The last category that I’ve started thinking about is gifts that revert back to items that have been replaced by tech.

We stream music, we have a camera built in to our smartphone, and we have a digital calendar and task list all in our pocket. I don’t like having an all-in-one device. Instead of reaching for our phone to look up recipes, check the time, or take a picture, why not just use the thing that was made to do this in the first place?

* * *

I hope you’ve found an idea or two from this list. Enjoy people this holiday season.

Hero image by Nynne Schrøder via Unsplash.

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