Pollyanna Gifts And Ideas
Many gift exchanges lend themselves to a variety of themes, to give guests a framework within which to purchase their gifts. This can range from entertainment to at-home comfort, from News of the Year to environmentally-friendly gifts, from food to books to do-it-yourself crafts and playlists. Theme ideas are endless and we give examples of many of these themes in our other Gift Exchange pages.
With the Pollyanna Gift Exchange, the central idea of who Pollyanna was is the theme. She was a young girl in a fiction novel who always tried to see the bright side of life, who invented the Glad Game, after her father had taught her to find a silver lining in any terrible situation, to always look for the good in people, to be thankful for what she had. In one instance of the first novel, her missionary father, received a barrel full of donated gifts for his family. Pollyanna had dreamed of a doll that Christmas, and received crutches instead. Her father taught her to be glad that she didn't need the crutches, to be thankful that she was healthy, able to run, play and walk. This is the theme of The Pollyanna Gift Exchange - to celebrate all that is good in life, and in this particular instance, all that is good in the life of whoever's name you've been given to buy a gift for or to purchase a gift that will be given anonymously, but represents something meaningful and positive to your group.
Here are some gift ideas you can give your guests. Don't forget to also give them a price range of what to buy, it really helps! As the host or hostess, you can also decide whether re-gifting is allowed, or purchasing something from a thrift shop. This can really help when you know your group may be on a very tight budget.
Inspiration: Many of your guests will be involved with volunteering. Inspirational gifts that recognize the giving of their time can range from books of quotes, to posters and prints of the same kind of quotes or posters and prints related to the subject of the organization that they volunteer with. Books that give leadership ideas to any of the initiatives they may be involved with can also be a good idea. A basket with a variety of magazines and small books that address whatever your gift-receiver might be interested in has often been met with joy by the gift-opener. Journals, moleskins or next-year planners can also be considered in this category, especially if you know someone loves to write or loves to be organized.
Donations: Most organizations accept financial donations on the behalf of someone else. These same organizations are also often looking for donated goods - food for an animal shelter, blankets for a pediatric charity, food for a food bank, toiletries for shelters, thrift items for a thrift shop. You can choose a charity or volunteer organization that this person gives their time to, and include a little trinket in the gift that commemorates this donation. This gift idea works really well for people who seem to have everything they need.
Time Together: Often, people's lives are so busy, that you don't get to spend as much time with a person as you'd like. This can also be true of people who you may spend time with through clubs, community and neighbourhood groups, and places where you volunteer your time. Frequently, there is someone in this circle that we'd like to get to know better, but don't have the time or the courage to pursue a closer friendship. The gift of time together can bridge this gap. Guests can create vouchers or coupons, a framed statement, of what they can offer. These offers can range from spending a day together hiking, walking or biking, going out for lunch together (your treat), having a picnic together on a beautiful outdoor day (you provide the picnic), running errands together (what the gift receiver might need done and you providing the transportation or accompaniment), or coming over to your own house for tea or drinks. Time together really is a gift that is very much appreciated, no matter the age.
Experiences: Your town or city may also offer inexpensive workshops, learning events, concerts, literary readings or classes that your gift-receiver would be interested in attending. You can purchase their admission on their behalf and wrap it up as a voucher with a small, related gift included. Purchase a second admission so you can go along too! This type of gift often generates a lot of excitement by not only the receiver, but those who are also participating in the gift exchange. Sometimes guests get together and do bulk purchases so that many people can attend.
Vouchers and Gift Cards: Every store or organization has these vouchers and gift cards for purchase where a guest can go and choose their own gift. Whether it's for DVDs, books, movies, attending a theatre event, shopping in a store they might never go in, being able to choose something for yourself without having to spend your own money is often a thrill in and of itself. This can include comfort stores like bath and specialty food stores as well as nature stores for birdseed, plant seeds, seedlings or garden decor, clothing stores that may carry t-shirts for causes your gift-receiver supports.
Variety Baskets: Who doesn't love a wrapped wicker basket full of a variety of goodies? From jams to chocolate, cozy socks to bath items, small books to fridge magnets, it really is quite fun for a gift-giver to put together a customized basket for another person in the group, especially if you've circulated and collected questionnaires about each of your guests. Again, a spending limit should be adhered to, because once inspired, it is quite easy to go over the price range determined by the host or hostess.
The Pollyanna Gift Exchange is all about the good things in life, about acknowledging the efforts of each guest, about celebrating wonderful character traits found in everyone. We hope the outline, rules and ideas page has given you the inspiration to host a Pollyanna Gift Exchange, either at Christmas or any time of year where you're getting together with friends and family.