How To Give A Better Gift

The act of giving gifts is an art that, for some, comes naturally, while for others, it is something they learn to do. Still, others never quite crack the code when it comes to presents. Gifts symbolise gratitude, celebrating a milestone, relationship, or recognising effort. A gift doesn’t necessarily have to be material or monetary, but it can be a kind or loving word to someone, an act of kindness, or a shoulder to lean on in difficult times.

gift box

Everyone is different, so there is no one size fits all solution when it comes to getting gifts, but here are things to consider when you are looking:

Be Unique

A gift should be something that the recipient looks at and thinks, “wow, this person thought of me!” On some occasions, it is okay to buy the trendiest watch or the hottest concert tickets, but those gifts are more or less universal. They could be given by anyone to anyone. Think about what the recipient needs or wants and try to meet those expectations in a way specific to your relationship.

If they like to cook, buy a cooking tool or cookbook themed on something you both enjoy like Merry Berry mixing bowls or a Gordon Ramsey cookbook. Let them always remember you whenever they see or use the product you got them. Additionally, a physical object may not be the route you want to go. Consider getting them an experience as a gift; a concert, trip, event, outing, or any number of adventures that you can go on together will create lasting memories.

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Be Unpredictable

While inside jokes and references are important to your relationship, do not fall back on the same ones for every gift. Even a joke gift can get old if you get it five years in a row. If you have a creative mind, a gift can say a lot with only a little spent on them. Homemade gifts are special because they are truly unique and you gave it to them.

If making the gift is too technical, at least get creative in how you package the gift besides using the usual wrapping paper. There are many crafty ways to wrap gifts: if you give them a book, you can try writing a funny description of the plot or attempting to draw the cover art yourself on the wrapping. You may even want to include something else on the wrapping like a photo of you and the recipient pinned to the bow, or decorate it with freeze-dried candy, which will stay preserved until the gift is open (imagine an edible wrapping paper!)

Get Personal

Giving a good gift to someone is highly personal, and the best gifts come from a shared history. Start by asking yourself who the recipient is to you, then from there, think about their past or see what you can get them that will reflect the time you have shared.

For example, you can think of a moment special to them or a desire they have always had and get them something that reflects that. It could be from a milestone they have achieved in their lives or a photograph from a special event. Family members are a great resource when it comes to thinking about gifts. They may give you an idea about what memories or occasions to focus on. 

Pay Attention

Nowadays, many people may express hints of what they want on social media for a gift. So, this would be the perfect opportunity to pay attention to the not-so-obvious things, to get that gift that they’ll forever remember.

Listen to them closely throughout the year, and take note of specific things that they mention. If they express interest in a musician or a play, try to get tickets. Book a reservation at that new restaurant they liked on Facebook. Plan a trip to the amusement park they said they loved as a kid. Pay for a trip to a destination they’ve always desired but couldn’t afford it if this is for someone you love very much and you can afford it. Paying attention is all about looking at the simple things that other people wouldn’t consider.

Consider Their Personality

You must know your audience. People are different; some may love surprise parties while others may not. Similarly, some people may love opulent gifts, while others WILL NOT. While you may think someone should be grateful for any present they get, an expensive or showy gift may make some people uncomfortable. In contrast, others may not appreciate a thoughtful homemade gift. Giving a gift is very much about the person receiving it and should reflect their personality in that way.

And How To Receive Gifts Graciously

Even if you do not like receiving gifts, getting a gift from someone in itself already shows effort. So, it’s good etiquette if you accept the gift graciously, even if you don’t like it. The choice of a gift may not be what you expected even from your friend, but how you receive and react to it matters. Therefore, here’s what you should keep in mind.

  • Be appreciative - always say thank you. Your friend did not have to get you a gift and certainly put in some effort to get you something.
  • Don’t dismiss the gift as it could help you in the future. You might not think much of the present now, but it could be helpful in the future, especially if it is an appliance or tool that you might not have.
  • Be clear with your expectations. People may know you well, but that does not mean they can read your mind. If you do not want a big flashy gift, let people know so that neither of you is put in an uncomfortable position.

Accepting a gift is a sign of respect and gratitude to the giver. Even though you don’t like the gift you get, at least acknowledge the effort made by the individual to get you the gift.

Gift-giving and receiving can be an incredibly intimate experience. With the holidays coming up, it is important to think about what to get for the different people in your life. Everyone deserves to get a gift from your best friends to your coworkers that shows that you were thinking about them. After all, it is the thought that counts.

About the Author

Jenn Walker is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast, and avid beachgoer operating out of Southern New Jersey.

*Collaborative post

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