Gift shopping can be difficult, especially if you’re looking for something out of the ordinary. Everyone wants to give more meaningful gifts. Some people have the skills to give wonderful gifts, while others often fail to meet the mark, ending up settling for gift cards.
Ways to Give More Meaningful Gifts
Do you have endless birthday’s, graduations and other events where you want to find a loving gift but just can’t figure out what to give? If you fall into this category (like so many of us), here are some tips to help you give more personal and thoughtful gifts.
Choosing Gifts for Young People
Sometimes it’s nice to give an infant or child a gift that is personalized with their name or initials. It’s a great way to make them feel extra special. Think about a colorful quilted backpack with the child’s name embroidered on the pocket, a monogrammed birthday sweater, or a belt, blanket or bath towel with their name on it. If you’re looking for more ideas for a unique, personalized gift for a child, check out Makaboo.com for really adorable items.
Choosing Gifts for Adults
According to a recent study published in the journal Current Directions in Psychological Science, present givers tend to over-focus on the moment the present is unwrapped, while gift receivers think more about how the present will be used in the long-term. So if you start by considering how beneficial or useful the gift will be after the initial reveal, you stand a better chance of giving a gift that will be well-received.
If you have several people on your gift list, don’t feel that you have to find a unique present for each one. There’s absolutely nothing wrong in giving the same gift to several people. Perhaps you could give cheese and wine baskets, or gourmet chocolate and coffee, both of these ideas make great gifts for all your friends.
Another way you can come up with useful gift ideas is to try to think what you friends would buy for themselves. If you still can’t come up with any ideas, perhaps your friends have wish lists that you could take a peek at. Failing that, perhaps they would prefer you gift them money.
Keeping it Simple
Another study published in The Journal of Consumer Research showed that people prefer gifts that are practical and convenient rather than extravagant presents. For example, if you are buying a gift card for a nice restaurant, pick one that’s local rather than an hour’s drive away. Remember, you don’t want to give gifts that turn out to be a chore.
Give a Gift That Means Something to You
The earlier mentioned studies also reveal that when you give something that is meaningful to you, you are sharing a part of yourself with the recipient, and this means a lot. Consider buying your favorite novel, movie or CD for a gift, or tickets to a performance of your favorite play. This way you’re showing the recipient that he or she is important to you and you want to share your favorite things.
Make your Own Gifts
When it comes to giving presents, perhaps nothing shows you care more than making gifts for your friends. Whether it’s knitting scarves, baking cookies, homemade soap or pinecone fire starters, these personal gifts are sure to delight. If you plan ahead you can make the presents earlier in the year so you have enough time.
Don’t Overdo the Gift Wrap
Many people really go to town on wrapping their gifts, matching paper and bows and gift cards. But experts claim that not only is it unnecessary, it can take the edge off your gift. This is because a package that is glistening and beribboned raises the expectation of the recipient, and if the gift doesn’t live up to its wrappings, your friend will be disappointed.
Buy An Experience
This is a great idea for a close friend or partner, particularly if it’s something you can do together. It doesn’t have to be something major like a vacation but think about time shared participating in a pleasant activity, like horseback riding, a cooking class, wine tasting or a theatre outing.
If you have a lot of friends, but not enough cash to go around, why not set up a Secret Santa exchange. Everyone can pick two names and get gifts for those people. Your identity is kept secret until the gifts are exchanged.
If you find you’re really stuck for gift ideas, why not just ask the person what they would like? Though it may not seem like the most inspired form of gift giving, at least you can guarantee your gift will be welcome. Remember, gift giving is about the receiver, so always keep that in mind when you go shopping for presents.
Are you trying to find the perfect present? Wanting to give more meaningful gifts to those you love? What ways do you find to give the best gifts to those you love?