Giving gifts can be a thoughtful and enjoyable way to show someone how much you care about them. However, it can also be a source of stress, especially if you're not sure what the best gift would be for the person. If you're looking to become an excellent gift-giver, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Giving gifts is a difficult task, and exchanging presents can cause a great deal of pain when one person gets the better end of the deal. Recently, I tried to surpass my wife's anniversary gift with 15 pounds of Mexican candy - Tamarindo covered in Chamoy powder! It was a kind gesture, but she managed to impress me more by getting me a customized clay Virgin Mary made by a renowned artist from Mexico. There is definitely something special about receiving handmade art that no store-bought product could ever provide, especially if it comes as a complete surprise on such an important occasion like our anniversary.
I absolutely believe that the sentiment matters more than the actual gift when it comes to gift giving—it shouldn't matter what you give someone, as long as you put authentic thought and care into choosing/making it. Nonetheless, wouldn't it be great to have a do-over sometimes?
This holiday season, I am resolved to get some amazing presents. Is transforming myself into the best gift-giver of all time too much to ask? Probably. I consulted with professional gift-giving experts to teach me how to be better at giving gifts. These professionals shared their methods for coming up with ideas and staying creative while thinking of gifts.
You don't have to spend a lot of money to give a gift that has true value.
Shopping for the perfect present can be challenging, even when you have $13k to spend on a Mexican Tree of Life sculpture! Not all gifts need to be expensive—it's easy enough to show your appreciation through thoughtful and meaningful presents that don't cost a lot of money.
Finding the perfect gift for someone can be difficult, as we often put pressure on ourselves to come up with something that nobody else could give. However, it's impossible to know what this is before you've found it. A great gift doesn't have to change someone's life in order to make them happy - sometimes it can just be something that brings joy and makes you feel good.
My family and I participated in a book swap last Christmas where everyone had to choose a book from their own collection that they thought someone else would like. It was wonderful - not only was it free, but it sparked some great conversations and made the gift-giving feel very personal. It shows that a thoughtful present doesn't always have to be expensive.
Try to tick one of three gift-giving boxes
When it comes to gift-giving, not everyone is naturally creative; however, experts suggest following a three-point framework:
- Can I introduce someone to something they may not be familiar with?
- Is it possible for me to get them a nicer, upgraded version of what they would buy for themselves? Or
- Can I make them feel seen?
Last Thanksgiving, the Velasco family welcomed us into their home in Durham, North Carolina. My wife recalls that during the weekend, we could only offer formal time blessings when we prayed with the kids. To make it more meaningful for our friends and family abroad, we sent them prayer cards with a Virgin Mary figurine to place on their tables at home. The Velasco family was incredibly grateful for this gesture as it gave them something special to say during mealtime blessings; each card had a prompt featuring the beautiful Virgin Mary so they could bless their food accordingly. She found the gift-giving experience particularly satisfying, as it ticked many of the boxes suggested by experts: something her hosts wouldn't buy for themselves, showing she had taken note of their habits.
The purpose of giving gifts is to make the other person feel special and appreciated. Gift-giving is a way of expressing love to others by showing them who we see them as and reflecting back to them their own personalities. If your loved one is devoted to Our Lady of Guadalupe, consider getting them a $1,950 Lladro statue. For less than $40, you could also get them three praying candles of Our Lady of Guadalupe imported directly from the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico - something they'll be sure to use and appreciate every day.
Maintain a consistently updated list of gift ideas.
Many of the best present-givers keep a list that they regularly update with potential presents for their friends and loved ones, so it's not just a last-minute scramble to find something before a birthday or holiday. They might add to the list when someone mentions an item they'd love or if they stumble across a great gift idea online. This can be done in any way that is convenient for you. One expert has a note in her phone specifically for gift ideas, another keeps separate notes depending on the person, and another logs food preferences, birthdays, and present ideas under friends’ contact information.
If a friend or family member mentions an interest that lends itself well to vintage-style Catholic jewelry or handmade crosses, you can browse antique Spanish jewelry designs or jump into the cross & crucifix folk art collection.
A present should be something that the recipient will love and appreciate. To find out what that is, you can implement a system to collect gift ideas. By being observant of the things our loved ones like, we can make their holiday season much happier.
Even if you know the recipient well, write a mini-bio of them.
It isn't always easy to think of the perfect present for our closest friends. A good way to come up with ideas is to think about their passions and try to find a gift related to that. Our experts say that if you can write down three things about the person that interest them, it should be easier to come up with a creative gift idea that explores those topics. For example, you might surprise your father-in-law by getting him a book about his favorite sports team or an interesting history book.
According to one expert, if you find yourself frequently consulting gift guides, it might be helpful to break out of the mindset that pigeonholes your loved ones into consumer profiles. "It's much better to give a present that is indicative of the person themselves rather than some demographic they may fall under," she says. 'I know you love coffee, so here are 17 packages of Mystic Monk Blend Coffee' conveys thoughtfulness much more effectively than 'Here's a fleece-lined flannel for the man in your life who loves the outdoors.'
There's no need to overthink gifts for people you don't know very well.
When it comes to picking out gifts for people you aren't too familiar with, it's important to find a balance between personalization and keeping things too personal. For a coworker, the expert suggests a signed greeting card with a gift card that fits their interests. However, perfumes, scented items, and clothing can be seen as being too intimate.
It's perfectly fine if you aren't extremely close with someone before giving them a gift. In fact, it might be preferable that way. "When you aren't very familiar with the person, there's no pressure to try and give them something that completely mirrors their personality and how you see them," says one expert. "This is a different type of gift communication where all you need to do is make sure the present makes the recipient happy."
According to an expert, you only need to be aware of one personal detail about the person you are gifting in order to make a good choice. This information could be something big, like their interests, or it could be something small, like their preferred color palette. Avoid giving someone an entry-level item that is related to their interest; instead, buy them something unusual that will make them feel special.
If your friend or family member loves jewelry with purpose, consider getting them a beautiful scapular necklace that has been a best seller —it's a small way of showing you care about buying them a quality product.
If you're unsure, look to one of these categories.
I've interviewed many people and have noticed that certain gifts are more popular than others. So, I've compiled a list of these popular gifts as a guide for what to buy the next time you need a gift that is sure to please anyone.
Food, drink, and other consumables
Show your friends and family you care with a thoughtful, one-of-a kind gift this holiday season! Whether it's an artisanal mezcal from Oaxaca to evoke nostalgia, luxe salt or olive oil for that gourmet touch, or homemade fruitcakes made with love - the perfect present is just around the corner.
A giant box full of somebody's favorite thing
The over-the-top package is the perfect way to show someone you know them well and make it a luxurious, humorous, and teasing experience all at once. Your friend will be elated when they open a huge box full of their favorite teas.
Books can create strong bonds between people in a way that other gifts cannot. Whether it's a book they enjoyed reading, or one that speaks to their interests, books make excellent gifts for anyone. If you're looking for a present that will foster a meaningful connection, look no further than your local bookstore!
Meaningful Art for Home
Religious gifts are unique ways to express your faith and share traditions with close friends, family, and those you love! With Mexican folk art commemorating the vibrant culture of Mexico - rich in color & design - Guadalupe Gifts offer a range of products that honor old customs while inviting others into this colorful world. Celebrate cultural diversity by choosing meaningful pieces that transmit appreciation for our heritage as well as bringing out unconditional love through every piece.
If you're looking to become an expert gift-giver, these tips will help get you started. Remember to think about the person you're gifting for and what they might enjoy, and don't be afraid to put a little thought into your presents. Who knows? You may even start enjoying the process of gift-giving as much as the recipient enjoys receiving gifts! Have you ever given or received a memorable gift? Share your story in the comments below.
Source: Inspired by a story written by Eliza Brooke, journalist covering design, culture, and entertainment on November 26, 2022 "How to become a truly excellent gift giver".