Here’s a fact: not everyone is good at gift-giving. It doesn’t matter if some people have access to a large budget and even a loan app to further supplement their purchasing power. At the end of the day, it’s still challenging for them to find good gifts that the recipients will appreciate.
If you’re part of this group, it can certainly feel frustrating or even stressful. However, there are actually scientifically proven ways to become better at choosing the right gifts for your loved ones, friends, and colleagues. Here are some tips to keep in mind, so that you can find more fulfillment in gift-giving:
Always Focus on What the Gift Receiver Wants
When you’re buying gifts, keep in mind that you’re doing it for the receiver. Thus, your thinking should be, “What do they want or need?” rather than “Oh, I think they’ll love this!”
If you know your giftee well, you’ll likely have an idea what kind of person they are and therefore what kind of gifts they’ll truly appreciate. Meanwhile, if you aren’t that close to someone, you can rely on your powers of observation. Do they often wear plain-color T-shirts? Then buy a pack of those, even if you seem to think that they’re too plain. Again, it’s all about the receiver!
Help Solve Problems
One thing that people often assume about giving gifts is that it should add something of value to a person’s life. This concept isn’t wrong, but it isn’t completely correct either. That’s because giving gifts can also mean taking something away—such as a person’s problems.
For example, if your giftee is a mother of a rambunctious toddler, offer your babysitting services for a day so that she can relax. (Of course, only do this if you’re sure you can take care of the child. Otherwise, your offer won’t be much of a gift.) On the other hand, if your giftee is an athlete, consider
giving them athletic tape or schedule a session with a massage therapist.
Try to Avoid Gift Cards
It’s easy to default to giving gift cards when you can’t think of a good present. You might think that it’s practical, but what you’re actually doing is passing the burden of decision-making to the recipient. As such, it’s best to avoid gift cards. The only time this is advised is when they’re for a store that you know that the recipient actually visits.
If you really can’t think of a suitable gift, it’s better to give cash. This offers more flexibility, which the recipient will definitely appreciate.
Learn How to Wrap Gifts With Style
For a truly memorable gift, make sure to wrap it with style. It’s easy to resort to plain wrapping paper or even a store-bought gift bag because the recipient will just throw the wrapping away later, right? However, remember that the way you present your gift is part of the gift itself.
You don’t even have to get expensive wrapping paper and ribbons, either. Just make sure that the package is presentable; it’s also a good idea to get a wrapper or accent in the recipient’s favorite color. If you don’t know how to wrap gifts, now is the time to learn! There are plenty of tutorial videos online, or you can ask a friend who knows how to wrap gifts beautifully to teach you.
Think Practical and Long-Term
As a gift-giver, there’s a certain desire to “wow” the receiver. This is pretty normal, although not the best mindset if you want something that doesn’t fade away. The key is not to just think about “wow” moments, which can certainly be good memories down the road, but also the long-term uses of the gift.
For example, if a person loves flowers, think beyond big bouquets. Perhaps give them a book about floriography or even a unique flowering plant that they can take care of. These may not be as flashy, but they will certainly last longer and give the recipient continuous rewards. Of course, if the person says they love receiving flowers, don’t hesitate to give them a bouquet! That said, you may want to tone it down a little and invest more in practical and long-term gifts.
Usually, Simple and Sentimental Is Better
In relation to the previous point, the amount of appreciation that a person will have for the gift you give them isn’t based on the monetary value but rather its meaning. Look for connections between you and the giftee—a movie, perhaps, or a concert you watched together? Then, look for gifts that represent this to the both of you, say a T-shirt or a mug. You might think that these are boring, but they will mean a lot to the recipient. This is where the saying “It’s the thought that counts” really manifests.
Don’t Actively Seek Appreciation
Last but certainly not least, to be an awesome gift-giver means not actively seeking appreciation. Yes, it’s nice to be thanked but this isn’t the point of giving someone a gift. If anything, it’s you showing your appreciation for the giftee. Remember the saying: “It’s better to give than to receive.”
What’s great about gift-giving is that it’s more than just a social act. It can also make us happier! In short, becoming a better gift-giver means becoming a happier person overall.
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