Janah

How to be a better gift giver

Written on Sunday 15th April, 2018

I've always tried to be an overachiever when it comes to gift giving - there's nothing quite like seeing a person's face light up when they've opened a present from you that they love. Equally, the polite smile that spreads across your loved one's face when they're less than impressed with your gift is something I never want to be the recipient of, which also drives my determination to put a lot of thoughts into my gifts.

Some of these tips come from personal experience, but a quick search on Google will also bring you a multitude of horror stories about people receiving nightmare gifts. I've read about people being re-gifted their own presents, and others receiving slices of toast and even a packet of Tic-Tacs for Christmas!

The general number one rule for being a good gift-giver is to put a lot of thought into the present you're buying - even if you can't spend a lot or don't know the person well.

You should always try as hard as you can to get a gift that the person will like, rather than a gift that's going to make you feel good or something that's more in line with your own interests.

I'm grateful for every gift I've been given but I've received presents from friends and even family in the past that just didn't resonate with me at all - they weren't things I could use or had any interest in and so it sort of made me feel like there wasn't much thought that had gone into choosing the present.

It didn't feel like the gift was for me, it felt like they were just swiped from a shelf and handed over because it was easy and convenient.

Similarly, there have been presents I have received that I have absolutely adored, purely because it was clear that the person made an effort to know what I like and get me something I would enjoy.

I have a cousin I was close to as a child. When she moved to another country, we didn't get to see or speak as often and we grew up in separate worlds. Then she returned to England when we were both adults and we immediately bonded over our shared love of make-up and cosmetics. Last Christmas, she got me a lipstick kit and I absolutely loved it because she really chose that present according to what I liked. Even the colour was perfect - she bought me the only colour I mentioned I didn't have.

A present doesn't need to be extravagant to make an impact. It just needs to be thoughtful.

Avoid money and gift cards

Part of putting thought and effort into a gift is actually setting the time aside to find or make it. A gift card, or giving money as your present can give off the impression that you didn't have time, or couldn't figure out what to get.

That's what gift cards are for - convenience. But a thoughtful present shouldn't be about convenience, it should be about going out your way to gift someone with something that means something to them.

Now don't get me wrong - I don't mind receiving a gift card as a present once in a while, and I have resorted to giving them as gifts many times. But it's never my first option - it's always a last resort or an emergency.

If you do have to give a gift card or someone is insisting on one - you can still put some thought into it by picking one that the recipient can really enjoy. For example, if you know the recipient really loves clothes shopping, you could give them a gift card for their favourite clothing store, rather than an Apple gift card that they may not enjoy as much.

Packaging is just as important

I may consider myself as a pretty thoughtful gift-giver but when it comes to wrapping, I am the absolute worst. I can't wrap presents to save my life, but I am making an effort to learn because, over the years, I've seen that people appreciate that. The presents I have made an effort to wrap nicely have always received a better response. If you're as hopeless as me, Google and YouTube are your friends. There are very helpful online tutorials that show you how to wrap gifts. If all else fails, pick up a lovely gift bag and some tissue paper, rather than just handing over an unwrapped present.

The bottom line

It will always depend on the occasion and the individual, but being a good gift buyer comes down to being thoughtful, observant and mindful. As long as the person can see the effort that's gone into their present, you'll never have to worry about them not liking it.


Similar Articles

Easy Fathers Day Present Ideas

Easy Fathers Day Present Ideas

As the Summer months draw closer, another special celebration is on the horizon, and as with most special celebrations, the choosing of gifts will be in order!

Read more

Why the act of gifting is important

Why the act of gifting is important

It's just a way of life. With birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, religious celebrations, housewarmings, births and just about any other special occasion you can think of - comes gifting.

Read more

Easter gifts that stand out

Easter gifts that stand out

Easter is a much-loved celebration here in the UK. With all the feasting, chocolate, gifts and of course, the glorious bank holiday weekend, it's no wonder why!

Read more

Last minute ideas for a thoughtful Valentine's Day gift

Last minute ideas for a thoughtful Valentine's Day gift

It's almost time for the annual celebration of love - Valentine's day! But are you prepared?

Read more

How to add value to cheap gifts

How to add value to cheap gifts

When things are tight, and your budget isn't huge - how can you add value to a cheap gift?

Read more

Hobby-based original Christmas gift ideas

Hobby-based original Christmas gift ideas

You're probably about half way through your Christmas shopping list and at that stage where you're stuck for ideas on the last few tricky people.

Read more

Christmas Countdown: Gift buying methods

Christmas Countdown: Gift buying methods

We're just weeks away from Christmas! That means it's time to get organized and start thinking about how you're going to get all those gifts for your family and friends.

Read more

Ways to bend the rules of gift giving

Ways to bend the rules of gift giving

Did you know that there are certain unspoken rules when it comes to present-giving? That's right - there's a whole gift-giving etiquette!.

Read more

How soon is too soon to start buying Christmas gifts

How soon is too soon to start buying Christmas gifts

Summer is slowly transitioning into Autumn and it's approaching that time of year when we start thinking about our Christmas plans.

Read more

What Should I Include In My Baby Wish List

What Should I Include In My Baby Wish List

Expecting a little one? I'm sure you already know you'll need a lot of stuff. Luckily, you're not expected to deal with that all by yourself and a baby gift registry is the best way to allow your friends and family to help you out with those all-important baby care items.

Read more

How to host the BBQ of the summer

How to host the BBQ of the summer

Summer has well and truly arrived with clear blue skies and lovely warm heat. That means one thing - it's barbeque season!

Read more

Beating the holiday blues with souvenirs

Beating the holiday blues with souvenirs

I recently returned from a holiday to Barbados. I've been many times before, but this visit was a little more sentimental to me.

Read more

Giving experiences as gifts

Giving experiences as gifts

Experiences can make incredible gifts - if you get them right. I like to give and receive experiences as presents and I find gifting them to be super useful when I really can't think of anything else to get someone.

Read more

How to be a better gift giver

How to be a better gift giver

I've always tried to be an overachiever when it comes to gift giving - there's nothing quite like seeing a person's face light up when they've opened a present from you that they love. Equally, the polite smile that spreads across your loved one's face when they're less than impressed with your gift is something I never want to be the recipient of, which also drives my determination to put a lot of thoughts into my gifts.

Read more

Reasons to give homemade gifts and how to get them right

Reasons to give homemade gifts and how to get them right

Not all gifts have to come with a hefty price tag to be special. In fact, some of the most touching and memorable gifts can be created by you, in the comfort of your own home, for hardly any money.

Read more

Don't forget these essentials if you want to throw an unforgettable party

Don't forget these essentials if you want to throw an unforgettable party

I've been to a lot of parties and thrown a fair few in my time. They take a lot of planning - and in the midst of figuring out where you're going to throw it, who you're going to invite and how you're going to decorate, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed.

Read more

Gift-buying on a budget: how to make the thought count

Gift-buying on a budget: how to make the thought count

I've had a lot of friends give birth over the last few years, and a subject that's popped up time and time again is push presents. 'He got you a what?' I exclaimed, the first time a friend had told me she'd been given one. But once she explained what a push present was, I instantly liked the idea of them.

Read more

Why cards are just as important as gifts

Why cards are just as important as gifts

I've kept every single card I've ever received since childhood. Maybe that's just a quirky habit of mine, but I can't ever bring myself to throw them away - there's something so special about them to me.

Read more

Lifting the lid on 'Push presents'

Lifting the lid on 'Push presents'

I've had a lot of friends give birth over the last few years, and a subject that's popped up time and time again is push presents. 'He got you a what?' I exclaimed, the first time a friend had told me she'd been given one. But once she explained what a push present was, I instantly liked the idea of them.

Read more

All the things to love about personalised gifts

All the things to love about personalised gifts

I love buying gifts. I think I love buying gifts more than I love receiving them! Here are some more wonderful reasons to love giving and receiving personalised gifts.

Read more

It's free always has been, always will be