Buying someone a present might seem like the simplest thing in the world. All you need to do is go to the shops and get something nice. After all, there’s an endless array of options out there in the form of both brick-and-mortar and online stores. Nothing easier, right? Well, not really. For many, coming up with the perfect present can be nothing short of an agonizing endeavor, as it means poring over a decision for an extended amount of time.
Nobody wants to have to deal with having the recipient of their gift pretending that they enjoy the present, while in reality, they’re planning to throw it in the bin immediately after the guests leave. If the person you’re buying for has a hobby or interest they’re dedicated to, things might seem simpler, but there’s a catch there too. You might buy them something that they already have or something that, while fitting for their hobby, doesn’t fit their particular niche. When you consider just these few aspects, it becomes easy to see how gift-giving is quite a slippery slope.
Yet, there are ways to make it work for you. Here’s what you should know about becoming an expert gift-giver.
Take it easy
When picking the right gift, most people envision turning up with something truly extraordinary. You’ve probably done it yourself a few times. It’s easy to get carried away and try to buy something exceptional that the recipient will remember for many years to come. It’s a natural reaction, especially if the person you purchase it for is very near and dear to you.
But while the effort is praiseworthy, it’s also important to remember that not every gift has to be life-changing. Most of the time, it’s enough for presents to simply be meaningful. Just because your friend or relative didn’t burst into happy tears after opening the package from you doesn’t mean your gift was unsuccessful. Some part of the reason why deciding on a gift is so difficult for you might come from the fact you place very high expectations on yourself.
One of the best ways to ensure your present is meaningful is to choose something that brings strong emotions in you as well. For example, if you read a book or listened to a record that left a deep impression on you, you can share it with someone special through the means of a gift.
The whole package
When you get a gift for someone, you must focus on all aspects of it, not just the item itself. For instance, the way you pack the present is fundamental. You should think carefully about the packaging, as you want to pick something aesthetically pleasing. If possible, you can look for wrapping paper that fits the present inside or offers hints about what you’ve bought. Choosing tartan ribbon to wrap up the gift can provide a nice contrast and help the package stand out.
Most of the time, people believe choosing a suitable gift means going for something the would-be recipient would enjoy. For example, if they’re a fan of a certain musician, buying them a limited, collectors edition record is a no-brainer. But thinking outside the box and getting something slightly unexpected can yield better results. For instance, if you find an item you believe they might be interested in, something that could introduce them to a new hobby, you should consider getting it.
It’ll signal that you’ve given the buying process considerable thought, making the other person feel seen and appreciated.
The little things
Another way to get a gift to say that you care is to buy something they’ve been talking about. You’ve probably heard a friend talk about how much they’d like a specific thing several months before their birthday. Even if they’re not saying as a hint for what you should get them, you should still commit it to memory and buy it if you can.
Even if it’s something small, it’s bound to leave a deep impression because it’s a deeply wanted present. If you buy a gift for a person that often mentions things they’d like to get, you can keep a list. When the time comes, you can look through and pick something from it. Some items might require a bit more digging around. For instance, some people enjoy vintage gifts, such as clothing, books, magazines, or household objects.
A list of possible items you could buy is helpful even if you cannot find the exact items, as it gives you a general idea of what you could buy. This way, you can look for the next best thing.
Don’t overthink it
Overthinking buying a gift can be a genuine problem for some people, especially when there are too many options available. You might think that there’s absolutely no way to focus on just one thing. After all, you might change your mind and decide something else would have made a better present. But then it would be too late. Avoiding this mindset is difficult when you’re prone to overthinking, but you must make a conscious decision to avoid falling into this trap in order to have a positive experience buying and giving someone a gift.
Overthinking is just as typical when you don’t know the person well. When you don’t know much about someone, it’s easy to start thinking there’s no way you could settle on a gift. But even minimal info, such as someone’s favorite color, can get you pretty far if you get creative. When in doubt, don’t be afraid to go overboard or do something funny.
For instance, buying a pair of socks looks like you’ve put in no effort, but getting thirty will feel quite ridiculous, making it a memorable present. Books always work as well as food or beverages, especially if you add in the nostalgia factor and get the recipient something that reminds them of the comfort food they enjoyed in their childhood.
Getting the perfect gift can be challenging, but if you follow a few simple rules, the experience of settling on which items to buy won’t be so painstaking.