The student newspaper of Vernon Hills High School

The Scratching Post

The student newspaper of Vernon Hills High School

The Scratching Post

The student newspaper of Vernon Hills High School

The Scratching Post

Community members reveal tips to thoughtfully give gifts

Community members reveal tips to thoughtfully give gifts

It may seem like it was quick, but we are almost done with 2023. As we enter the holiday season, the stressful task of gifting is rampant in our minds. 

Jill Schwartz, the academic resource center aide, is very busy during the holidays, which pushes her to prepare early for the holidays 

“I usually start in the fall, noting down something I like. I keep a list so I can work off of that,” Schwartz said. “I love gifts. It is almost too much. I buy for like 70 people, so it is very over the top.”

Schwartz explained that she has a timeline she tries to follow during this season to make sure that she has time to give

“The week after Black Friday is a big week for me…I am in high gear wrapping. I love to wrap, getting big rolls that match so that I can coordinate,” Schwartz said, “Lately, I love to buy the tie ons to attach the bows.” 

With the large amount of gifts Schwartz has to buy, she looks to organizations with Google Sheets to help her keep track. Tara Young, an English teacher, also talked about staying organized online for gift shopping. 

“I have spreadsheets with links and budgets just to keep me organized,”  Young said. With the amount of money spent during the holidays, Young also advises, “Shop for the deals, and be conscious of how much you want to spend for others.”

Additionally, for many VHHS students, getting parents a gift on a tight budget can be difficult. Schwartz and Young both believed that handmade gifts can still be thoughtful. 

“I still love gift certificates from my kids like if they offer to do certain chores in the house,” Schwartz said, “One of my kids gave me a coupon for ‘I’ll take you to a movie when I have money’ and I love that.”

Young explained that her children don’t buy gifts, but make them.

“They make a lot of gifts. My daughter just started weaving looms,” Young said, “I always try to get her to think about the talents she has and how she can use them to give something to others.”

To them, handmade gifts aren’t less thoughtful than anything you buy.

Schwartz said, “Most people don’t care about how much you spend. It is the fact you thought about them.” 

In the season of giving, there are also other ways you can spend your time to give back to the community, according to Young.

“There is something you can always give back, whether it’s just doing things for our neighbors like baking cookies, or singing carols at nursing homes. There are many ways we can give in this season,” Young said.  

Additionally, buying from small businesses is another way to give back during this season. Young likes to buy from the local toy store Snickelfritz Toys, stating, “It is more expensive, but I try to buy from them when I can so that I can support their business.”

No matter what you give, both Schwartz and Young value thought over everything. Young believes that someone just telling you what they want doesn’t allow the full gift giving experience. 

“To me, it takes some of the fun out of gift giving. It’s not always about what you get but the thought that goes into it,” Young said. 

As you shop, remember who you are gifting to, according to Young. 

“We don’t want to give gifts just for the sake of giving, we want to make sure it means something and be thoughtful,” Young said.