Giving Better Gifts: Tips & Tricks

Giving Better Gifts: Tips & Tricks

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With Black Friday and the subsequent holiday shopping season just around the corner, the time for generating holiday gift ideas is already upon us. Though some people are easy to shop for, most of us find it difficult to track down the “perfect present” for everyone on our list.


Does your gift-giving mind go blank when you think of your sister, neighbor, boss, or son? If so, these simple tips just might spark some new ideas!



Do Your Research


In the past, many of us purchased gifts based on the off-hand remarks we remembered others making. Today, due in large part to social media, discovering what our friends and family members want is easier than ever before. Scroll through the Twitter feed of your boss or look at the photos your niece has been liking on Instagram. Peruse the Amazon wishlist your neighbor posted on his birthday or take a look at your sister’s Pinterest boards. If your gift recipient isn’t especially active online, consider asking someone who is particularly close to him or her for gift ideas. By being inquisitive and poking around online, you can discover inspiration for many holiday gifts.



Make a Blitz List


Are you looking for a quick solution to your gift-giving dilemma? Sit down for three minutes with a timer, a pen, and a notepad. Write down all of the ideas that come into your head when you think about your gift recipient. Jot down the personality traits, quirks, and habits of your recipient as well as their hobbies, preferences, and life experiences. When you’re done, see if you can draw inspiration from these ideas. Even if you’re writing about a new work colleague or a rarely-seen relative, this rapid brainstorming session is sure to get you moving in the right direction.



Opt for Events and Experiences


If we’re honest with ourselves, most of us will admit that the majority of the holiday presents we receive end up at the bottoms of our drawers and closets. Instead of giving your family members more socks, lotions, and DVDs, choose to give the gift of an experience instead. Has your recipient always dreamed of going skydiving or seeing a live Italian opera performance? If you can afford it, purchase tickets for one of these amazing experiences and make a day out of it! Those who are tight on cash may prefer purchasing tickets or booking restaurant deals through discount websites like Groupon. Consider booking an experience that you can enjoy together with your recipient. A memorable day filled with fun and food will be remembered long after most other gifts are forgotten. 


Look to the Past and the Present


When thinking about your recipient, take a moment to consider where they’ve come from and where they’re headed. If you’ve known the recipient since they were young, consider who they were as a child. Which boy band was your daughter’s favorite? What was your best friend’s favorite childhood candy bar? Consider pulling multiple ideas together to create a memorably nostalgic gift. Take your gift recipient to a memorable location from their past or create a customized present that pays tribute to something or someone that is near and dear to them.


For those you have known for shorter periods of time, think about present needs. Is your daughter-in-law too busy taking care of her toddler to tend to her own well-being? Consider making her a care package filled with personal care products, a voucher for a massage, and personalized coupons offering to babysit for her on busy weeknights. Your recipient is sure to appreciate a gift that addresses her most pressing personal needs.


By mindfully considering the past joys and present needs of potential gift recipients, you can create gifts that are both meaningful and touching.



Consider The Package-Opening Process


No matter what you get someone, you can enhance the gift-giving process. Choose a variety of interesting wrapping papers with themes that your recipient will love. Wrap up many small gifts and send your recipient on a holiday scavenger hunt, or get funny with how you package your gifts, such as hiding a big check inside of a questionable-looking used book. Be funny and buy a huge quantity of a silly yet desirable gift, like a favorite snack food, and present it in a peculiar way. By turning ordinary gifts into the extraordinary, you can enhance the fun of the holiday season.



In Conclusion:


Despite your best efforts, there may still be someone on your list for whom you haven’t found the right gift. If you’re struggling, consider asking them exactly what they want. In many cases, recipients will tell you precisely what they’d like. Though others may claim that they don’t need anything, studies have shown that most recipients are more than happy with a cash gift. For the person who already has it all, consider making a donation to a charity that is near and dear to your recipient’s heart.


Instead of dreading the holiday shopping season, try to reflect on the spirit that lies behind the gift-giving process. Bringing joy to those we care about is what the holidays are all about.



Fotos: © Alexander Raths /

Editor, 11/16/2017