One of the most stressful aspects of the holidays is making sure the gifts you give to friends and loved ones are as special as the person you are giving them to. There are certain guidelines that can help you make sure your thoughtfulness and efforts are not misdirected.
Deciding on a Gift
Depending on the person you’re shopping for, the perfect present can be anything from a book to a skin care kit or darn near anything in between. What’s most important isn’t necessarily the gift you give, but the reasoning and effort behind it.
Think about problem-solving and how to remove negatives from your best friends’ lives. Some of the best gifts solve a problem or alleviate a hassle or annoyance. If your friend is a shift worker and is often complaining about how they struggle to sleep during the day because of the sunlight, consider buying them blackout blinds or curtains. Or if they are a university student who has to study a lot, you can give them an engraved moon lamp or something similar that looks good, is personalized, and useful as well. Not only can these be thoughtful and useful gifts, but they are also practical and will be useful for a some time to come.
Inversely, don’t solve a problem they don’t think they have. It can be easy to inject your opinions into the lives of those we love, but your best bet is to stick with issues they’ve said are bothersome.
It makes you feel good to give a gift. Sometimes selfishly, but with the best of intentions, you will spend more on something that is more expensive because it will be more extravagant or flashy. Giving gifts to those you care about should be about the recipient and not about how it makes you look as the gift-giver.
Time and experiences are the most appreciated gifts in comparison to tangible things. The good news is, you can give both. Instead of getting your best friend a place in that cooking class she always wanted to take, buy yourself a spot too, so you can do the class together. Not only are you giving a gift that you know she’ll love, but she gets to share the experience with someone she loves as well!
Your options for giving experiences are almost limitless; it doesn’t have to be a class of some kind. You can apply the same idea to seeing a play, going out to dinner, catching a sporting event, or anything that you know your friend would love to do!
Just because an experience may be an awesome gift, that’s not to say giving your friends and family old-fashioned gifts like mugs or socks is a bad idea. What’s most important is attaching sentiment to the gift you’re giving. That can be done in a few different ways.
For example, gifting a coffee mug alone can seem mundane and not very thoughtful. If you take that same mug and put a note inside it, saying something about a time you had coffee together and something funny happened or anything that ties an emotional connection to that mug, you attach sentimental value to an otherwise run-of-the-mill gift.
If you ask your BFF what he/she wants for a gift, don’t ignore the request. Even if you may think what they said isn’t enough or, for some reason, they didn’t mean what they said, it’s always your best bet to honor their request. If you don’t, it can be interpreted as disregarding their wants for your own or that you simply don’t pay attention to them when they share their ideas with you.
As a whole, people feel good about giving gifts. To make sure they are well-received, be sure the gift you give is personal, useful, and/or has a sentimental attachment.