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How an All-in-One Gift Kills Two Birds with One Stone

Thanks to HP for sponsoring this post. Click here to see more of the discussion.

I take pride in gift giving — always being careful to select a thoughtful gift  — but sometimes being thoughtful is hard unless you’re using an all-in-one gift. Between finding a card that suits the occasion and personality of the recipient, procuring the right gift, and ensuring that it’s delivered on time, getting it right can be a tricky trifecta where one little slip-up can be deflating. But before you think I’m “Stepford-perfect” and spend my days combing the mall turning over trinkets and stalking stores for new shipments, I’ll let you in on a little secret — I’m a big fan of the all-in-one gift that makes a big impact with little effort and kills two birds with one stone.

I’ve done the complicated themed-gifts as end-of-year teacher presents — they involve reconnaissance about summer plans while piecing together tidbits about the teacher’s favorite things throughout the year. While I still love to give over-the-top gifts that represent how much our family adore them for their effort, I personally prefer an easier route that’s just as spectacular.

While I love to give grand class gifts that represent how much their students' families adore them for their effort, I personally prefer the all-in-one gift that's just as spectacular.

While I love to give grand class gifts that represent how much their students’ families adore them for their effort, I personally prefer the all-in-one gift that’s just as spectacular.

One of my favorite all-in-one gifts was a high school graduation gift to our MIT-bound neighbor. We gave him a fun congratulatory card that we paired with a Southwest gift card since Boston was only a short flight from Washington, D.C. airports. With many Southwest flights to choose from, a gift card meant one less round trip he’d have to personally pay for as a broke college student. Plus his mom was thrilled with the idea of an extra trip home!

Since gift giving means being thoughtful, it also means knowing when to provide the recipient with a little extra pampering. Before the holidays I got a call from my brother. He and his wife were expecting their first child in mid-January so it was a little concerning that he was calling me from the hospital a month early.

“We had the baby,” he said in an excited-yet nervous voice.

I knew that my brother was due to take his first round of finals for his first semester of business school and would probably be skipping studying and wouldn’t be home for a couple days. The experienced mom side of me knew to skip the gift of clothes, rattles, and swaddling blankets shopping in favor of the gift of food. They had already gotten a bunch of baby stuff for their new little girl from the baby shower and as gifts. What they really needed was a fridge full of healthy and delicious food so they could be well fed in their sleep deprived overwhelmed state.

A a fridge full of healthy and delicious food is a great all-in-one gift for new parents.

A fridge full of healthy and delicious food is a great all-in-one gift for new parents.

All it took was a visit to the Whole Foods website and a few clicks of the mouse to order a full meal to serve 6, a bunch of sides, and dessert that they picked up on their way home from the hospital and noshed on for days. The “congratulations and bon appetite” message on the confirmation I emailed my brother served as the card for a very practical all-in-one gift.

The all-in-one gift kills two birds with one stone since it’s a card and a gift rolled into one. It’s more thoughtful than making a run to the nearest big box store, corner drugstore, or other retail outlet to choose among cards that may or may not be a good fit for the recipient and selecting a gift card that may just be ok. The beauty of the all-in-one gift is that it’s personal, perfect, and something that’s sure to delight the recipient.

While I’ve shared some of my best examples of gift giving, sometimes I feel less than creative or strapped for time and just need to maintain the appearance of being thoughtful and since being thoughtful doesn’t have to be complicated, I’ve been checking out TwoSmiles by HP. TwoSmiles is the newest way to save time and print personal, thoughtful cards with a gift card that the recipient is sure to love. I appreciate that I can select a card to personalize for any occasion, select a gift card from a vast array, and print it from my home printer for in-person gift giving or send it digitally directly to their inbox. I can even print a TwoSmiles gift directly from my mobile phone to my HP mobile printer even when I’m not home and it will be waiting for me when I walk in the door!

With so many retailers that are TwoSmiles partners, the options are endless for gift giving. For new young professionals, there are gift cards for clothing retailers to outfit them with pieces for a new work wardrobe or office supply store gift cards so they can customize their cube. A new homeowner could use a Lowe’s card to put towards projects in their new abode that you send with a congratulator card. Moms who have had their second child and don’t need as much baby stuff could sure use a thinking of you card with a SpaFinder card for a little pampering and rejuvenation.

How will you kill two birds with one stone thanks to all-in-one gift giving?

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