Giving gifts might seem like one of those things that you’re either good at or you’re not. But if you’re one of those people convinced they’re bad at giving gifts, there’s some good news. As it turns out, gifting is actually a skill, which means that it can be practiced and improved over time.
So how can you start becoming a better gifter? These seven tips will set you on the path to becoming the best gifter in your group of friends!
1. Observe Before You Give
If you want to give a friend the best possible gift, a great place to start is with the person who will be receiving the gift. What are their interests and hobbies? What’s their favourite colour? What TV series or films do they like? You could begin by making a quick list of all the things that your friend likes and enjoys. Then, based on that list, take note of a few items that could contribute to the things that they love. For example, if they enjoy traveling, you could consider getting them some accessories suited to travel. Or, if you notice that they spend a lot of time at home, you could give them a plant or decoration to spruce up their living space. Paying attention to these details is the first step in becoming a better gifter.
2. Give Something Timeless
It’s no secret that the flash and bang of a new gift is often quick to fade. This means that if you plan to give something beautiful, you should be sure that it will stay in style for a while. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you need to stick to old, used, vintage looks or gifts for grandma. Instead, consider timeless fashions that stay in season year-round, like neutral colours, pearls, and simple but elegant pieces. This way, the recipient will appreciate the gift longer and better.
3. Give Something Consumable
This tip might seem a bit counter-intuitive, but think about it: everyone needs to eat and drink. You can take advantage of this fact by gifting something edible, but a step up from what your friend is used to. For example, you could give some fancy tea or coffee, a nice bottle of wine, or bespoke snacks that cater directly to your friend’s favourite flavours. This is something that your friend is sure to love and enjoy.
4. Don’t Gift Self-Improvement
You should never use the opportunity to give a gift as a way to try and change someone. Perhaps your friend has a bad habit or a problem they’re trying to work through. Their challenges should not be the inspiration for your gift. Things like weight loss tools, self-help books, and nicotine patches are terrible gifts, even if you’re giving them with the best of intentions. The exception to this rule, of course, is if your friend asks specifically for any of these items.
5. Consider Gifting an Experience
Instead of giving your friend an item, you can give them an experience such as a class, tour, or trip. However, you should be sure to take care of the booking (and scheduling, too, if possible) so that you’re not also giving the burden of working out the logistics of the experience. While giving an experience as a gift is an excellent and out-of-the-box approach to gifting, you should be absolutely sure that the recipient will enjoy this experience before you commit to it as their gift.
6. Give a Gift with a Story
Even if you’re getting a standard or typical gift for a friend, you can find a version that reflects a bit of your history with that person. For example, if you’re gifting a notebook, find one with a picture on the cover that reminds you of an experience you have with the recipient. Or, if you’re giving a candle, choose one with a scent that relates to a story you two have in common. Even run-of-the-mill gifts can be special if you find a way to relate it to a common experience or story that you share with your friend.
7. Give Something Useful
Remember that in the end, people aren’t always trying to increase the positives in their lives. Often, they’re trying to reduce the negatives. This is a great thing for the master gifter, because it opens so many avenues for giving something your friend will really value. Think of things that could make just one aspect of their life less problematic and more enjoyable, and then gift that thing! It might not be something fancy or flashy, but it will definitely improve their life overall, and they’ll think of you fondly each time they use your gift.