Gift Giving Tips from a Master Gift Giver
Are you ready to be inundated with Christmas gift shopping lists all over the web? Even though I am guilty of creating shopping lists, I know how overwhelming it can be. Sometimes the suggestions just pile up, and you're stuck with having too many ideas to buy which can be as halting as having none. If you are trying to avoid the Christmas lists guide but still struggling to come up with an idea for gifts, you're in luck with finding this post. I am a master gift giver. I love giving gifts, and I am amazing at it too. There have been many times where friends have reached out looking for ideas on what to gift. I also participate way too much in Reddit Gift exchange year round. So yea, I like the art of giving a gift, and I love sharing my tips and tricks for making sure you give a gift that is well received.
Don't be afraid to talk openly with your giftee what they want
This one I think is the most significant pitfall - not being able to speak to someone about a gift idea. A few years ago I got Grant a watch he loves and still wears to this day, but I didn’t just find the watch on the first go. I showed him a few different designs to see what his taste in watches was like and then went from there, finding something that looked the best for his taste and wouldn’t break my bank account. I’m not saying to shove a photo in their face and ask if the item is what they want but don’t be afraid to be open about an idea you have for them ESPECIALLY if it is for something that is a little bit more pricey.
Evaluate their hobbies
What sort of things do they like? This may take a little bit of research and think about what genuinely interests them and not what is a passing interest. I have been a long time lover of art, candles, Harry Potter and cats while I just recently got into the weighted hula hooping. If given a genuinely divine candle (ahem GRANT like this) I can tell you it would have a deeper meaning than a piece of exercise equipment I can’t guarantee I will like in a month. Taking the time to look at their hobbies based on their personality is sure fire way to get a gift for someone that will keep their interests for years to come.
Avoid gifting things that are based on your interest
When giving a gift the use of “I” should be limited. This isn’t about you. This is about whoever you are getting a gift for. If at any point you find yourself asking what you would want or what you would like, you've crossed the point of shopping for someone else and just buying for yourself which is a real hazard when gift shopping. Unless you have twin personalities (meaning they are identical to one another), there is no reason to be thinking about what you like when getting a gift for someone.
Just because they love something doesn’t mean they want to wear or see it all the time
This is the gift giving habit that I think most are guilty of and all of us have suffered from it. I can’t tell you how many mustached gifts I’ve been given over the years because I like wearing fake mustaches from time to time. Once I was given a pair of American flag sunglasses that had a mustache dangling down under the nose with a card that said: “I knew you HAD TO HAVE THESE.” I didn’t because to everyone surprise; I don’t actually love mustaches that much. I just like fake ones because they are fun. Just because they have a favorite animal or interest, it doesn’t mean it is their obsession and wants to partake in it every waking hour.
Giftcards never hurt anybody
It’s dumbfounding to me the stigma gift cards have acquired over the years. To me, gift cards are never impersonal or lazy. Some items are truly hard to shop for, like clothes and there are certain stores that I love, that I almost never walk into because of the price tags they carry. But if I have a little incentive like a gift card to defray the price of an item I love and wouldn’t usually get for myself, well that's another thing. Giftcards to favorite brands and stores are useful and allows the giftee the freedom to use it on whatever they would like. I can see why some might think it is a lazy gift, but if you put the time into thinking about what stores they shop at and what brands they like it won’t be perceived that way.
If they already have everything, find something they need an upgrade on
I get it. There are people who already seemingly have everything they need or want. I always struggled shopping for my dad because he always treated himself to the things he genuinely wanted. Any day was “treat yo’ self” day if the moment felt right to him, but I finally found a way around it. Instead of asking and thinking what he wanted, I started thinking about what he had that needed an upgrade. When was the last time he updated his leather wallet? Was there a travel coffee mug he loved but was a few years old, so the top was leaky? Was it time to upgrade those old sunglasses?
Ask for wishlists
There is no shame in asking to see what they are exactly hoping for. Amazon has this nifty tool that lets you search out friends and their wishlists too, so rather than playing a guessing game you can go straight to the source and get them exactly what they are hoping for. This year I have every intention of making a mega wishlist and handing it over to Grant. No matter what he decides to get me on the list, I will be thrilled with it.
Look at what is trending
Sometimes an item is trending because it is fun and cool. Maybe it is something your giftee wouldn’t usually buy for themselves, but they would get a kick out of it anyway. Last year our trending presents we gave to friends and family were Alexa Dots and Fujifilm Polaroid cameras, all which were well received. Trendy presents are pretty easy too because most of the major magazine publications print epic lists of the hottest gifts to give this season. All you have to do is find the hot item that matches your giftees personality and boom! Gift shopping was done.
Order in advance
This is probably my biggest pet peeve - late gifts. It's one thing if you can’t afford to order the present by a specific date but it's another to be lazy and forget to get something for your family and friends before you see them. Christmas has been a federal holiday in the US on December 25th for almost 150 years and has been around even longer than that. Don’t be lazy, be giving and punctual.
Don't be afraid to DIY
A lot of people think that if they DIY they can save some bucks which I have rarely found to be the case if ever. DIY presents hold a special meaning however because you MADE them something with your own two hands. You took the time to craft and built someone for your giftee which is always a lovely gesture. Homemade cards and kits are my usually go to favorites when it comes to giving gifts. I love receiving DIY gifts as well. I love to see the creativity, effort and thought that goes into a handcrafted present but when it comes to Christmas, there always seems to be a little extra dash of magic and love.