We all know that choosing a great gift can often be stressful, time consuming and a tad confusing.
Research shows that the amount of effort that goes into the finding and creating of a gift hugely enhances the value to the recipient. It is not just about physical effort – time spent searching online or wandering aimlessly around a store hoping for a flash of inspiration. It is about putting extra effort into choosing a gift that shows your understanding of the recipient, their likes and their personality.
Finding the perfect gift shows a depth of care and understanding for the receiver of your gift. If you can put yourself in their shoes and imagine how they will feel when opening your gift will show empathic understanding. This may not necessarily be choosing the most expensive gift, but it will mean you’re more likely to choose a present which has a special meaning between you.
Here are a few ideas to help you think about selecting a meaningful gift:
Make a list of all the things the person is interested in
Think of things that define who they are and spend 5 minutes writing down as many things as you can think of about them. Now brainstorm something to go with every item on that list, small or big. This may help you hit on some cool ideas you wouldn’t have otherwise thought of.
Think about the personality of the recipient
Are they girly, elegant, flamboyant, quirky, eccentric, traditional? Do they like practical things they can use or would they appreciate something decorative? Think about the colours they choose to wear, the accessories they like. Do they like chunky jewellery, fun prints, understated, classic styles?
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Does the recipient have a hobby or particular interest?
Do they like cooking, would they enjoy a cook book or something for the kitchen. Or a specialist cookery class and apron for an aspiring chef? Perhaps they like gardening, and they may enjoy a plant in a and trendy planter, gardener’s tools or a book about plants?
Ask yourself what that person needs.
They DO need something. Think about their circumstances. Perhaps they have just moved to a new home that needs decorating so something for the home would be perfect… Or they have a stressful job and would benefit from some pampering products? The key is to think broader.
Give a gift that is personal
A frame could hold a cherished photo or poem; a photo album could be filled with photos from a recent event. You could even put together a ‘hamper’ of gifts, you could fill a box with relevant treats and useful products (in pretty packaging of course!).
Think about how close you are with the receiver of the gift.
How many years you’ve known them, how big a part of your life they are, and how important they are to your future. Best friends are deserving of very meaningful, personal gifts that reflect your years of friendship. Whereas you wouldn’t give people you have just met or don’t know too well overly personal or expensive gifts.
Consider the occasion for the gift
Do you want to give something they will cherish forever, or something fun that will make them laugh? Christmas and birthdays are big, important holidays for which larger gift giving is acceptable. However, there are many holidays like Easter, Wedding Anniversaries, and Valentine’s Day etc that require different levels and types of gift giving.
Decide on your budget
This will help to narrow your choice from the overwhelming to the manageable. When it comes to the value of a gift, research reveals an asymmetry between the gift giver and the receiver. Gift givers often tend to place a lot of emphasis on how much a present costs and think how much they spend on people is very important. But actually the receivers of gifts place less emphasis on how much a gift cost, and value the effort and empathy which has gone into it far more.
Make the present an experience
Get creative with the packaging! Rather than just handing them a gift in regular wrapping paper, think of the gifting experience as an event—and you want to make sure they enjoy it. Never underestimate the joy of unwrapping a beautiful present!