A practical guide to finding the perfect gift for anyone and everyone this Holiday Season.
We all know that thing about how Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, but sometimes it can also be the most horrible time of the year.
You know what I’m talking about. Gift shopping.
“Oh, I don’t need anything,” your wife says. But you know that isn’t true. Then there are your friends, parents, in-laws, and more. You could ask them what they want, and, if you’re really lucky, they’ll tell you exactly and you can go buy it, but that takes all the msyrery out of the event and makes it pretty impersonal. And you definitely absolutely don’t want to resort to buying the DVD of Transformers 2 at your local store because it was on sale for $3 on Black Friday ;-)
Heres our Top Tips
1. Make the present an event. Get creative with the packaging! Rather than just handing them a gift in regular wrapping paper, think of the gifting experience as an event—and you want to make sure they enjoy it. Hide a gift and send them on a scavenger hunt to find it. Rather than just giving him a gift card, hide a secret message that sends him to the gift card code. Or sew her present into a giant stuffed toy so she has to do surgery on it to get it out. And never, ever, underestimate the sheer fun of unwrapping presents. Sometimes, quantity can mean quality, when it’s a bunch of small individually wrapped items.
2. Literally, give them an experience. She loves Into the Wild but already has the movie and the movie poster? Organise a surprise secluded, step-by-step mystery weekend away, ending in a romantic lakeside meal.
3. Make a list of all the things the person is interested in and things that define who they are. Make this list long—spend at least two full minutes writing down as many things as you can. Now brainstorm something to go with every item on that list, small or big. You don’t have to give all of those gifts, but you’re going to hit on some cool ideas you wouldn’t have otherwise, and when you combine a few of them, your loved one will appreciate how personal and thoughtful you were.
4. Look to the past. Maybe someone on your list recently graduated from college, and you could frame his diploma for display.
5. Ask yourself what that person needs. I know what you’re saying. Stop it. They DO need something. The key is to think broader. What does a super busy mom or dad need? Time, probably. There are tons of products out there to help people run their lives more efficiently. You could even ask other people you know what their pro tips are. Have a keen camper. Put together a survival kit! Thinking on a more general level will help you get outside your regular, narrower view of that person.
6. Do some stalking. If all else fails, stalk. Most people have a wishlist, and they’ll be pretty surprised and delighted if you somehow found just the thing they wanted without even asking—and that they may have even forgotten they wanted themselves. Look through their social media/ internet history for clues, you can see what types of things they’ve posted and commented on before, and they might also have a wishlist on a website.
7. Include a little bit of yourself. Make it personal in a different way—personalized from you rather than for them. Create a piece of wilderness art, write a song, knit a scarf—you get the idea. Combine this with one (or more) of the above suggestions for an ultra-personalized gift.
8. Make them laugh. Don’t just give a Kindle. Know someone who loves potatoes? Give her 22 pounds of them.
9. Be charitable. Ok, so someone on your list REALLY has everything he or she needs? I don’t believe you, but that’s okay because there are a lot of other people out there who don’t have everything they need. Find something they’re passionate about, and then donate to that cause. Did she volunteer in Haiti? Donate to the charity she went over there with. Is he a dog lover? Donate to an animal rescue. There are thousands of charities helping teens get off the streets, curing cancer, rehabilitating drug addicts, fighting for women’s reproductive rights, and more. Make a gift to a cause that matters in their name.
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