Picking The Perfect Gift

With the holidays coming up, I thought it would be relevant to discuss picking the perfect gift for someone. 

Some of you may not care about putting thought into a gift and instead will opt for the usual gift card, tie, perfume, or a bundle of cash. 

That’s fair.

But I am here to argue that gift-giving doesn’t have to be like a chore, and on the contrary, should be enjoyable…at least when it concerns your closer friends and family. 

There’s nothing wrong with the list of gifts above per se, it’s just that we can all afford to be a little more creative in our selection.

I don’t know about you, but I usually can’t wait to see the look on the recipient’s face when I give them their gift. This is because I’ve usually put thought into the process and know that they’ll like it.

When scouting for a gift, often people will focus on what they would like to receive, and just assume that the recipient would like it too. Or they think that because they’re a certain gender (let’s go with ladies for this example), they’d automatically love perfume. Try to tailor your gift more to the individual

You may not understand why your friend likes Mint In Box items so much, especially since the point of them is to stay in their original package, but it doesn’t matter. You know they’d like it deep down, and they’re the ones who have to enjoy the gift, not you!

Here’s a list of tips on picking the perfect gift for that special person:

1.    Think back to past hints

Was there ever a time when you were out with this person and something caught their eye? Like an item in a window shop or a scarf around someone’s neck as they passed by? Try to rack your brain for moments like this and if you succeed, that’s bonus points because your recipient will be extra thankful that you remembered!

2.    Collect some data

Think of it as your own little investigation. If you want to go the extra mile, ask their closest friends and family what they think your recipient would desire. Perhaps they just lost their favorite sweater, or their curling iron recently broke. That’s where you step in and offer them a replacement!

3.    Keep a running list of what people like

Something I’ve been doing lately is keeping a list of those closest to me and just randomly jotting down items I think they’d like and their current obsessions. That way, when the time eventually comes for you to give them a gift, you’ll already have this list of pre-meditated options. 

4.    Don’t have to spend money

A common misconception and often deterrent for people is that they have to spend a lot of money to give someone a quality gift. Money doesn’t always dictate quality. What’s more valuable is how much thought you’ve put into the gift. You honestly don’t even have to spend money if you really don’t want to. Instead, you can create something for the person. 

One of the most valuable gifts I’ve ever gotten is a montage video from my brother for my college graduation. This video montage consisted of hours’ worth of work in finding and converting old family videos of me to a compatible file format, as well as reaching out to my friends for video and written messages, all consolidated into a 10 minute video. This meant ten times more to me than if he had gone and bought me an expensive jacket. In fact, that video is priceless. The point is you can easily create sentimental things for people, like videos, scrapbooks, pieces of art, etc. Not only will it cost little to nothing, but it will also be much more precious. 

5.     When all else fails…

If you’ve really thought things through and still can’t come up with a decent gift, there’s still hope: gag gifts. These are often silly, non-functional gifts that symbolize some kind of inside joke between the two of you. This kind of gift again shows thoughtfulness and that you’ve tailored the gift to the person. For instance, I had a running inside joke with my college friends about a metaphorical “nerd jar”, where instead of being penalized every time you swear, it’s every time you say something super nerdy. Therefore, a potential gag gift I could give one of these friends is a jar full of pieces of paper containing nerdy quotes from them. You get the picture.

Above all, the key is to be creative and thoughtful in the process. Don’t go for the obvious gift or the gift everyone else is probably planning to give them. The more thought you put into the gift, the more the recipient will appreciate it, and trust me, they can tell.