With just a little more than two weeks until Christmas, many people have already finished buying all their gifts. But for everyone else, there are a few things you should keep in mind when shopping. I developed this list when considering shopping for my son, but the “rules” really pertain to anyone you’re shopping for.
Is the gift something that will be appreciated and used throughout the year? Or is it a gift with limited value–one that may seem exciting for a week or two, only to end up on a shelf or in the back of the garage?
This concept goes along with the idea of longevity. A memorable gift goes beyond the whim of the moment. This is not to say that you shouldn’t get someone what they want–just try to be sure that the idea of the gift goes beyond that, in some way, so it will really touch the recipient. Some examples might include gifts representing specific experiences you’ve shared with that person.
How unique is the gift? Is it just another pair of socks? Video game? Or perhaps a nice. . .um. . .manicure set? Don’t rush through the holidays and grabbing a gift you think MIGHT work–instead, spend a little time to find a special gift. Skip the huge pile of pre-wrapped gifts sitting on the table at Sears. After all, no one was ever that excited to get another pocket-sized flashlight or mini bowling set to keep on their desk at the office.
Choose a gift that really makes sense for the recipient. If the person doesn’t like dogs, don’t get them a puppy. Ok, that might a little obvious–but it isn’t always so black and white. A person who’s not into techie things might not appreciate an Xbox 360 with Kinect. A person who hates reading probably won’t get much use from a copy of the newest New York Times bestselling science fiction novel. And so on.
5. Something New
Sometimes, the best gift for a person is something they don’t know they need or want. The perfect thoughtful gift may be just the inspiration the recipient needs to broaden their horizons, in terms of what interests them. For example, a person who has never heard a certain kind of music may discover it is one of their favorites, once they’ve heard it. Or a person might experiment with sketching if their loved one gets them an art set. The possibilities are practically endless.
6. Two’s Company . . .
A gift that encourages interaction between family members of friends can bring benefits far beyond a gift intended to be used alone. Some ideas might be a cooking set (people often enjoy cooking something special together–fondue, waffles, sushi, etc.), a board game, a pair of tickets to a theater performance, a gift card to a nice restaurant–you get the idea!
7. From the Heart
Perhaps most importantly, give that special person in your life a gift from your heart. If it means something for you to give it, then a person who’s close to you will love to receive it that much more. It’s usually pretty easy to tell when a person has been truly thoughtful in their gift-giving–and that’s something we should all strive for whenever we can. Isn’t that the point of giving a gift, after all?