There are a lot of factors that go into being a good gifter. I like to pride myself on having this skill. People have even commented on it. I think it is one of the nicest compliments I’ve ever been given.
I remember reading an article when I was a teenager about gift giving. It said to try and put time into all your gifts, but the ones you should never skimp out on is for your mom and your best friend. I thought this was an interesting comment.
The concept that you should only half ass your gift giving for some people and put all your money and effort into others. I understand what they were trying to say. Show extra appreciation to the people that support you the most.
I like to take this sentiment and apply it to all my gift giving. Chances are if I’m buying a gift for you or your child you are a person I care about in my life. So I want to show you that.
Another piece of advice I was given was to always try and find gifts that you want to keep for yourself. That way when you give it away it truly means you are being selfless. I love this concept. Although not always applicable, (because chances are I don’t want to keep anything I’m buying for my Grandpa) I liked the idea.
So after years of consciously trying to set the bar of being a “good” gift giver I reflected on why people say this and how I can keep doing it. I whittled it down to Eight main components:
1. You have to show time and effort
Spend time on gifts. If you know you have something coming up plan ahead. Don’t do last minute shopping because you never end up with something as thoughtful. You might luck out and find a pretty good gift. But chances are it will be something mismatched to the giftee.
If you got them something that was clearly ordered in advance, personalized, or a gift that was “made” for them in personality they will be appreciative. It shows how much you care that you took time out of your busy schedule to do something nice for them.
2. Be the master of the gift Card
There is always a time and place for gift cards. If someone requests them, or if you know they are saving up for something. But knowing when the gift card will be appreciated and when it will be a disappointment is the key.
An example would be to not buy a $50 gift card for your mom for her birthday. It needs to be more heartfelt.
Another option is for someone like a kids teacher or one of your teenagers friends is the gift/giftcard combo. Do a small gift that’s thoughtfully paired with a gift card.
3. Be Creative
Try and find things people may not have seen before. Whenever I am on pinterest or come across a link to something cool I save gift ideas. Even if its something that I can’t think would suit someone I know it always comes back later.
4. Pay attention to little details
This means knowing their style. An example would be lets say your sister in law loves yorkies. You want to buy her a yorkie t shirt. There is a difference between a cheesy over sized gimmicky shirt with a yorkies face covering the entire thing vs. a cool fitted shirt with a yorkie outline on the sleeve.
5. Presentation means a lot
This doesn’t mean that you have to ruin the environment with crazy paper, ribbons and tape. There are tons of way to be creative with wrapping that are environmentally friendly. There are lots of cool cloth wrapping bags. I love to use these and tie candy or other bright ornamental things onto them instead of a card.
For something a little bit more elegant, I like to use wooden boxes. You can use a little bit or ribbon that matches the occasion. Whether it be a birthday, Christmas or other event.
6. Know the time and place for Gag Gifts
No one wants a gag gift at a baby shower, wedding, or birthday party. Know when they are appropriate. If you are doing a gift exchange at work, nothing is more weird and uncomfortable then the forced laughter when someone opens a lame fart gift that Todd from accounting thought was hilarious.
If you do decide that you want to buy somebody a gag gift. Make sure you know their sense of humour.
7. When all else fails
If you know nothing about the person you have to buy a gift for. Like a coworker or a kids coach. Give something that is either edible or usable. Think edible basket, wine, water bottle, movie tickets, gourmet cookies, etc.
8. Don’t over gift
Don’t be that awkward person that brings an acquaintance a Christmas gift, fully knowing that they probably won’t have something for you. Its not a positive interaction in any way. The other person just feels embarrassed and guilty. Or if you are doing a gift exchange, don’t go above the limit so that your gift is far superior. You may feel like you ‘re trying to do something nice but it doesn’t feel genuine to the person you are giving it to.
The purpose of a gift is to either show appreciation or celebrate an event. Just remember that whatever you give them is meant to make them feel special and cared for. Try your hardest to make that happen for them.