Updated: Nov 18, 2020
What if I told you that there was a single type of gift that would make the perfect, most thoughtful, most creative gift ever for every single person on your list?
Let me start by saying that I have a problem. I hate shopping. Like - HATE it.
I love holidays and celebrations. I love that we spend time with our friends and family, give, and give thanks. I even love giving gifts and have been complemented on my gift giving skills. But the actual act of shopping. Uugghhh!
This applies to all kinds of shopping, every situation, and has always been true. When I was little I used to take books with me and sit on the floor in department stores. My Mom and sister would use some type of bargain hunting super power to weed through hundreds of items. They would hunt until they found the unicorn.
That name-brand product in pristine condition, magically discounted to 80% off. I remember thinking even back then, if I give you all the money I have can we please pay full price, get what we need, and leave?
This attitude remains to this day. In fact, one of the hardest parts about building this business is the stress of shopping for supplies. I have the ideas. I know in my mind exactly what I want the product to look like. But to actually get there, I have to buy stuff. I have to shop. And, since I am pouring my life force into this business, a whole other level of intensity is added. Because, it has to be right. It has to be eco-friendly. I need to know where it was produced and how. (In case you ask me one day). And, I'm building this business on a shoestring budget. I need to get it for the best price, and I can't afford to make mistakes. (You would not want to spend an hour inside my head!).
I share all this to say that, as you might imagine, holiday gift shopping is not my idea of a good time.
Hopefully you don't have the level of shopping angst I do. Still, most of us feel some level of stress over what damage our purchase is doing to the environment or to society. Is this sustainable? Where was it made? Was it made in a factory with child labor? Unsafe conditions? Unfair wages? Stress- stress- stress!
Do you ever feel that way? Now, if you don't hate shopping, you can mitigate a lot of this by shopping at local small businesses. I can vouch for the fact that small business owners care. They can answer a lot of your questions which can save tons of time on research.
However, in my case, since I hate shopping, I need a game plan to even get out of the house to my local business owner.
Enter my revelation - the ultimate gift combination.
I admit to bias - but I think I have a winner with this idea - the ultimate gift combination: plants and books.
Shouldn't there be fireworks going off behind me as I type this?
Even though I hate shopping, I am big on giving people gifts they will love. So I don't make this claim lightly.
Read on for six reasons plants and books make the perfect, no, the ultimate, gift combination. Then go make holiday magic with this free Ultimate Gift Brainstorming Worksheet.
1. Unique. Many people will give books; a few people might give plants; but no one ever gives both at once. Do you doubt me? Take a moment to reflect, how many times in your life have you gotten a plant/book gift combo? (Probably never, but if so, please reach out to them and tell them about Hortiki. They are clearly my kinda people).
2. Unlimited Options. You can give this combination each year without ever giving the same exact gift. Think about that. There are thousands upon thousands of both books and plants to choose from - you never need repeat a combination.
3. Customizable. There are unlimited opportunities for you to customize this gift combination. Have an uncle that’s into making crafts? Pair a crafting book with a palm that will help clear the air in his workspace. Have a sister who loves baking? Try a new cookbook plus herbs or edible flowers. (See The Chocolate Lover's Garden in the Hortiki Plant's Shop). Need gifts for employees or co-workers? It's proven that plants can help reduce work stress. Pair a plant with a book on motivation or a funny book of office satire. The options are limitless!
4. Easy to Find. Shop local. Shop small. Even shop online.
Local nurseries are great contributors to local economic development. Plants are often grown in-house or bought from local greenhouses. These local greenhouses are often major employers in rural areas. And, in-spite of Amazon's world takeover, there are still local booksellers.
Having said all that though, you can order both plants and books online at your retailer of choice. Remember - I hate shopping - so I am the last person to throw shopping shame on anyone! Get it done, when, where, and how you can.
5. Applicable for every budget. Less than $10 - look for discount books and give seeds; Up to $25 - look for bulbs or 3” starter plants; In the $35-50 range? Give full size plants and add a container. $50+ Try a complete growing kit. $100+? Go majestic or ultra unique. Or how about a monthly plant delivery? Whatever your budget there is an option that will work for you!
6. The Wow Factor. It is super simple to turn this fun pairing into a 'wow' gift with 'the third item'. The third item is that little something extra that takes your gift from good to memorable.
For example, for your music lover, start with a biography on their favorite artist. Add a sensory plant known for it's unique sound when touched. Top off with a ticket to a concert, music lessons, or an accessory to clean their instrument. Need a gift for a travel lover? Start with a book on a place they've never been and a plant that is native to that land. Add some travel goodies like a neck pillow, a travel journal, or even an excursion to take during their next trip.
Add one extra item or three. You can be as creative or extravagant as you want!
What do you think? Have I convinced you to come over to the green-side? Do you see the endless potential of this ultimate gift combination?
I've created a worksheet to help you develop your own ultimate gift combinations. Download it here: Hortiki Plants Ultimate Gift Brainstorming Worksheet
Share your creations on Instagram by tagging @hortikiplants. I'd love to see where your creativity leads you!
Plant Love for Life,
Victoria LeBeaux, PhD
Founder, Hortki Plants
P.S. Check back next week for pro-tips on how to gift live plants.