With the commercialization of virtually every holiday, many people complain that gift-giving is just another retail gimmick. Despite this pessimism, the fact remains that we give gifts to show appreciation, love and how much we care for and know the other person. But picking the perfect gift can be a challenge no matter how well we know the recipient.
It gets harder as years go by to purchase that special something for someone we’ve known for a long time. This is usually because we have a hard time moving beyond what we like. For example, I know my best friend’s favorite color is yellow, but I think it looks horrible on her. So how can I buy her that yellow blouse, even if I know she’d love it? But that’s why gift-giving is an art—the art of looking at the potential gift through the recipient’s eyes.
FIND THE PERFECT GIFT & GET IT RIGHT
- Watch and listen to what the person likes. Remember that handbag she admired but thought too expensive? That’s a no-brainer!
- If he is a reader, ask about some of his favorite titles. Then look them up on Amazon—the site will suggest similar books.
- If a woman is into beauty products, you’re lucky! Check what brands and colors she wears and what products she keeps in her bathroom. You might even be able to sneak into her makeup bag!
- A gift certificate to his or her favorite store is always a winner. But make sure it’s a store he or she likes, not just one of your favorite places to shop.
- Consider buying an experience. Concert tickets, a massage voucher, a getaway, these are all unforgettable gifts.
- If he is into sports or has a favorite team, find out what equipment might be useful, or buy a team jersey.
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- Jewelry can be a difficult purchase, but if you pay careful attention to what she wears, you can pick her style (and not yours!).
- Some memorable gifts can’t be bought but take a lot of effort. Prepare a special, surprise dinner for your friend, one that includes all of his or her favorite dishes (and favorite people, if you want to cook for a crowd).
- Buy gifts throughout the year, even if it’s far from the specific date. If you stumble across something you know the person will like, stash it in the closet until the gift-giving occasion arrives. Just don’t forget where you stashed it!
- Write a heartfelt letter, by hand. Taking the time to write a letter in appreciation will impress anyone.
- Have a budget but be flexible. Sometimes price doesn’t matter if you find the perfect gift that will rock this person’s world.
- Most importantly, unless you have the exact same taste as the recipient, stay away from things you like.
There is a special thrill in gift-giving, the expectation of surprising someone and making her happy that encourages us to give. Some may call it all commercial hype, but there is still tremendous emotional satisfaction in selecting (and receiving!) the perfect present.