Finding Truly Meaningful Gifts
by Ken Honda

 ‘Tis the season for buying holiday gifts for our loved ones! But instead of trying to find the perfect gift, how can we make this year’s gifts truly meaningful?

Here are three tips for finding truly meaningful holiday gifts:

1) Choose Innate Value Over Perceived Value: Name brand bags, shoes, cars, and toys are all attractive because their perceived value makes us feel special! But perceived value is fleeting, as the next “hottest” thing will soon be out. The deeper truth is that the person you are giving the gift to is already naturally valuable. The more you connect with the qualities that make them unique and share those as gifts, the more people will remember their own specialness! These gifts become an added joy in their lives instead of a source of joy, and this practice helps teach young ones that value is innate instead of something to be found outside themselves.

2) Intention Is Felt More Than Price Tag: If you can’t afford a Mercedes for your loved one this year, fear not! Big expensive gifts are exciting, but people are truly moved by the intention behind them, not the price tag. The amount of love given is not equal to the size or expense of a gift. No matter what you can afford, the amount of love you give to thinking about, acquiring, wrapping, and giving a gift will trump the amount of money you spend on it, whether it be purchased from Dior or the Dollar Store.

3) Get Creative and Share Your Own Gifts: When money is tight, sometimes sharing your own gifts is a very special way to give something meaningful to someone you love without breaking your budget. I’m not talking about a gift you buy at the store, but specifically the innate gifts and talents you were born with, such as musical gifts, artistic sensibilities, and that something special that only you can do. If you love singing, a special performance would be a one-of-a-kind gift that means a lot. What act of service could you do in a special or unique way?


Money and happiness expert Ken Honda is a bestselling self-development author in Japan, with book sales surpassing eight million copies since 2001. His latest book is called Happy Money: The Japanese Art of Making Peace With Your Money. Learn more at




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