Picking gifts is difficult, and while Santa has an easy time doing it, the rest of us don’t. Finder mentions that Americans spent $15.2 billion on unwanted Christmas gifts in 2019. Not all of us can choose great gifts, and quite often, we end up picking something we think the other person will like. Sometimes we choose gifts that we’d like to use ourselves. If you’re genuinely in the mood to choose a great gift that the person you’re giving it to will love, consider these tips to help you become a better gift-giver than even Jolly Old St. Nick himself.
1. Solve Problems With Your Gifts
Quality is always a better option than quantity. Most of us choose gifts that we think our friends and family will like because there’s more of it. When you consider it from the recipient’s perspective, though, this seems counterproductive. There’s only so much space they have to store gifts, and eventually, that space will run out. They might like you, but your gaudy addition to their home decor may be less welcome. Instead, try to solve problems with your gift-giving. Give them something that alleviates their boredom or takes over one of their responsibilities so they can have a day to themselves. These sorts of gifts mean a lot more than just another item to fit on their mantelpiece and forget about. Try not to solve problems your loved ones don’t have. For example, giving your wife a weight-loss plan after she’s put on a few pounds is likely to backfire.
2. Don’t Have “Use-By” Dates On Gifts
Solving a problem by offering them a relaxing getaway to a spa or gifting a gift card might sound like the right approach. The problem here is that these gifts typically come with a “best by” date. Expiring gifts put pressure on your friend to use it or lose it. Sometimes, they will simply sit there with the gift cards or the spa day until it almost runs out, then rush to take advantage of it. Most times, though, they just let it expire. These gifts are only useful for people who already have those visits as part of their routine. Anything that forces them to leave their comfort zone might not be such a great buy.
3. Practicality Comes First
We always default to thinking that the flashiest gifts are the ones that people remember. The truth is that people overlook the dazzling for practical gifts every time. If you use an object every single day, you’d likely be grateful to the person who gave it to you. If you wear a flashy watch or piece of jewelry once a year, you might be less inclined to remember who gave it to you. The New York Post found that most Americans receive three forgettable gifts every Christmas. If you’re one of those flashy gift-givers, chances are yours is in the forgettable pile.
4. Dial Down the Thoughtfulness
Thoughtfulness can be your downfall in gifting. You might run to the Traditional Company for some lights because you think your loved one doesn’t have any, only to realize that they don’t need any since they don’t like the added flare. We spend a lot of time thinking about how the recipient would feel to get a gift without actually thinking about the recipient themselves. What do they want? If you can find that out, you won’t have to worry about another Christmas gifting faux-pas since you’d already know what they’re into.
5. Capture the Moment
People often underestimate how vital sentimentality can be for humans. According to the Association for Psychological Science (APS), sentimentality evokes nostalgia, which might actually help to promote mental health. Pictures, mementos, and anything that evokes memories of a place or a time that they were happy would make for a great gift to joke their sentimentality in the right direction. Capturing the moment means a lot because it preserves a time that they were happy. Those memories can help their mental state immeasurably.
6. Don’t Skimp on Quality
While this is an obvious statement, many people overlook it. If you buy something for your friend or loved one, make sure it’s made with quality. No one likes getting cheap gifts, and many people would prefer not to get anything than getting something that looks flimsy or poorly made. The quality of your gift is a subconscious nod to the strength of your bond. You don’t want to give someone you’re close to a gift that’s likely to break.
Gift Ideas Are All Over
Deciding what to get a loved one shouldn’t be so hard, yet it can be challenging to pinpoint the gifts that’ll remain long after the moment has passed. These tips are designed to give you a heads-up of what works in gift-giving and what you should be thinking about when you hand them something. Sure, the thought counts, but if you want to remember you, don’t get them that gaudy pair of purple socks. Chances are it’ll end up at the back of their dresser until they move house.