Whether it is for an anniversary, birthday, graduation, or a work friend for holidays, gift-giving is an activity that is part of everyone’s lives. For some people, researching and buying the perfect gift can generate anxiety, as they might not have enough confidence in picking something great, or they feel as if they are not well-prepared for it. However, everyone can learn how to buy an excellent gift. It helps to know that the perfect gift doesn’t exist, but instead, the smaller details will make it memorable.
Not every individual is the same, which means there isn’t a given formula or guideline to follow when it comes to gift-giving. People are complex and have different likes and dislikes, so choosing a gift will depend on how well you pay attention to them. But fret not – some techniques can help you accomplish this, regardless of how well you know the receiver. The ultimate goal is that the person will cherish and appreciate the gift. Without much further ado, let’s dive in:
Learn to pay attention
The first unspoken rule of gift-giving – and probably the most important – is to pay attention. More often than not, the receiver, whoever that might be, has divulged what they would like to receive. This isn’t too obvious or said intending to announce the giver, so it is vital you are aware of what interests the receiver.
This information is your potential gift or from where you can brainstorm ideas. Therefore, what your receiver tells you or simply points out in conversation, is a great place to start. For example, you might discover that they have always wanted to try dance classes but never got around to it, or maybe they have been planning to replace an object, such as getting a better set of headphones. This is your opportunity not only to give a fantastic gift but also to surprise them.
When it comes to paying attention, this is something that comes naturally with your loved ones and close friends. However, there are times when you might have to buy a gift for someone whom you might not know very well, like a work colleague. In this case, don’t be afraid to ask.
You could ask the receiver themselves, but it is vital you do this subtly if you plan on keeping the gift a surprise. Plus, you might not want to come across as entirely indifferent, even though that is not your intention. On the other hand, you can always ask a friend of theirs or a co-worker who knows this person better. This is where you have to pay attention in this situation.
Give yourself enough time
Everything that is left last minute is anxiety-inducing. Rushing to do something can put incredible pressure on yourself and, for some people, this is a recipe for disaster. So, to avoid this situation, especially if you are not too prepared, it is essential you give yourself enough time. Generally, you will know in advance when someone’s birthday is approaching, and you will definitely know the holidays when you should buy gifts. Therefore, you know when you should start planning.
It might help you make a list of ideas based on what the receiver has said and what you know of them. Another helpful tip would be to set a reminder on your calendar when an important event is coming up. It isn’t uncommon for people to unintentionally forget when life gets a bit too hectic.
For situations when you learn on short notice of an event, as it might happen, there isn’t much time to prepare. However, asking for help with gift ideas is not a negative thing. It still shows that you care and that you want to give a gift that is appreciated.
Put some thought into packaging as well
How you present the gift shows how thoughtful it actually is. Indeed, when you pay attention and buy something you know the receiver has been wanting for a long time, you are on the right path. However, the details and thought you put into how you will give it is as essential as the gift itself. Thus, it is of the utmost importance you think about the packaging as well.
For instance, if you have bought more than one thing, it might be a good idea to wrap them up separately and make the receiver discover them one by one. Depending on their preferences, use wrapping paper and a ribbon that you know they would like, like in a colorful palette or with specific messages that the receiver will appreciate. Otherwise, it might seem as if you bought them last minute. No matter what gift you choose, the packaging will also show your thoughtfulness.
You can rarely go wrong with experiences. Whether it is tickets to a concert of their favorite band, an instrument-playing lesson for music enthusiasts, or dance classes, the receiver will most definitely appreciate the gift experience a great deal. Not only this, but it will give them the time of their lives, so this type of gift is sure to remain in one’s memory for a long time.
However, a noteworthy mention would be that you might want to be completely sure that the receiver has a great deal of interest in that respective activity before buying such a gift. Suppose you offer them a painting kit, for example, but this is not something that interests them.
This is a situation to be avoided. Therefore, when it comes to specific gift experiences, although excellent and thoughtful ideas, it is vital you ensure they match the receiver’s interests and likes. Then, such gifts will be met with great enthusiasm.
Cliches – try avoiding some of them
In some cases, cliché gifts can easily appear unoriginal, and it might make you seem as if you have given little to no thought to it. This isn’t necessarily the case in every situation. Offering red roses to your partner can be seen as a cliché by many, but there are still the favorite flowers for some people.
However, some gifts can be considered the “lazy” option, like a mug with a common message. To avoid this type of situation, always add an element that is specific to the receiver. With customization, you can tailor the gift based on their preferences, and, this way, you transform a cliché into a thoughtful gift.