Picking a gift for an occasion can be difficult. You might look up some guides or top 10 lists for the most popular products that are out on the market right now but let’s face it, those aren’t always good choices. Sometimes you might think you’re spending too little or too much on a present. As a result, you might feel a little discouraged or annoyed, and picking a gift might seem like the most difficult thing to do.
But worry not! Picking the ultimate gift for someone is actually surprisingly straightforward. All it takes is a little planning, some thinking and a bit of knowledge about the person you’re giving a gift to. Once you nail these gift-picking tips, you’ll find it’s incredibly easy to make someone happy with the perfect gift every time.
Know your target
The first thing on your mind should be your target, i.e the person you want to give a gift to. If it’s someone you personally know, then this should make it a lot easier. However, if the gift is for someone you’ve never met before, such as in-laws or a friend of a friend, then it’ll be easier to go for a generic gift since you don’t know each other yet. However, if your aim is to put on a great first impression, then you have to do a bit of digging and researching. First, let’s go through a few handy tips on how to choose a gift for someone close to you and someone you’re unfamiliar with.
Picking for someone you don’t know
Speak with people that know your recipient. Gather some information and don’t be afraid to straight up ask what they would like. Sometimes, if you manage to speak with a close friend to the recipient, they might give you a lot of fantastic information. Because you don’t know the person, you don’t want to leave anything up to guesses and you want to try and pinpoint your gift as best as possible. For instance, if you’ve been told that they enjoy rock music, then you might consider getting them a vinyl or a CD as a gift. However, they might already own those albums, so you want to speak with them and see if they already own it, or ask a friend of theirs to check.
Because it’s easy to give them something unusable or something they don’t enjoy, buying a gift for a someone you don’t know should usually be restricted to generic presents like a consumable gift (chocolates, drinks), gift cards for a well-known store, or bespoke gift sets such as toiletries. These are items that can be used by anyone and there are no real restrictions involved, making them almost fail-proof gifts that are fantastic for someone who you don’t know much about.
When it comes to the amount of money you spend, don’t let the value of your gift affect your decision. If you’re trying to impress someone then it’s probably not smart to try and show off how much money you have. If you really want to show someone you care and knock their socks off, then take a bit of time to learn about them and pick a gift that matches their interests. For instance, if it’s someone you know that has helped you with home renovations in the past, then you could find a Lowes card to give them since they’re probably interested in DIY. If your friend tells you that they’re really keen on clothing, then perhaps you could get them a Nike or Ralph Lauren gift card.
Picking for someone closer to you
If the target is someone closer, then this will either make picking a gift incredibly simple or devilishly hard. Some people are just far too difficult to please. No matter what you get them, they might be stubborn and refuse to use it, buy their own, or just simply forget about it. If your recipient is like this, then you might want to get them something consumable such as a bottle of alcohol, chocolates, sweets or something similar.
Some people prefer practical gifts. This means anything that they’ll use immediately or in the future. For example, toiletries, perfume sets and cookware are great examples of items that will see some immediate use. Practical gifts are fantastic for people that are moving on or starting something fresh. For instance, a married couple could use some household items to share such as a luxurious duvet set, a set of cups for drinking, or even some fancy picture frames to house their wedding photographs. Similarly, a college student moving to a dorm could do with a new laptop, a larger bag or even a smartphone.
A lot of the time, the need for a gift comes with a special occasion. For instance, it’s not uncommon to visit a friend for their baby shower party for a pregnant friend. In this case, it’s easy to choose a gift because you can just get something for the baby, or something for the parents to make looking after the baby as little easier. Unfortunately, it can be awkward sometimes when you gift something that’s similar to someone else, so try to coordinate with the other guests attending the baby shower before you pay for something.
And lastly, we have sentimental gifts. This category is more for people who see value in items beyond their monetary cost. Great sentimental gifts aren’t always bought from a store, however. A good sentimental gift can actually be made by yourself. A fantastic example of a simple, cheap and meaningful gift would be a picture frame with a photo of you and your recipient inside of it. It could be an old college selfie that you and your friend took, or perhaps a family photo to give to an elderly relative.
In short, picking a gift for someone close to you depends on how much you know about said person. Try to decide a gift based on their personal interests and how they’ve responded to your gifts in the past.
Packaging your gift
Once you’ve decided on a gift, you need to get the right packaging for it. For starters, wrapping the box it comes in is the most basic form of packaging that you should always use before presenting it to someone. Once you learn to wrap a gift, you can start adding custom touches to it. For instance, you could change the wrapping paper based on the occasion or the recipient, you could add cards or bows to the wrapping paper, and you could even use different types of wrapping paper for a single gift. There are lots of different ideas and you can get very creative with your wrapping designs.
If your present is a gift card, then you can’t exactly wrap it inside of something to present it. Instead, this is when you should focus on making a fantastic greeting or occasion card to hold your gift card. It’s never a bad idea to personalise it and make your own greeting card, but you might find yourself lacking some creative ideas or the materials needed to make one. Luckily, there are plenty of greeting cards that you can buy online. Some of them are handmade with a lot of unique designs and ornaments, and others are simple cards with fun designs. Don’t let the price of these cards put you off—they can really add some flair to your gift card and make a lot nicer than you’d think.
If your gift is digital, such as an online gift card or a digital copy of a video game or music album, then there aren’t many options to make it look nicer. Some websites, such as Amazon, allow you to add some extra additions to your gift cards like a message or a funny video, but online gifts are generally hard to personalise and you shouldn’t worry too much about packaging them properly.
When sending a gift abroad, it’s important to put your wrapped gift package into a sturdy box with plenty of protection. This could be bubble wrap or air bags, or even styrofoam to fill the empty space and help protect your package. You also want to get insurance on your package to either guarantee that it arrives, or that you’ll get compensation back for the cost of the items in the event it’s lost or damaged in transit.
To summarise, buying a present can be relatively simple if you understand these basic concepts. Always pick something that is relevant to your recipient’s interests. If possible, go for safe options when possible. If you plan to get a gift for someone you don’t know, then take some time to do a bit of research on them by asking friends or family members if you want to make a great first impression. No matter what type of present you give, ensure it’s packaged properly so that it doesn’t seem like an afterthought, and always accompany the present with a greeting card and a small message unless you are handing the gift directly to your recipient.