Choosing the right presents can feel like a challenge at times. Christmas and birthdays are the perfect opportunity to spoil your friends and family and show you care. At the same time though, if you are not confident about choosing the right present, it can feel pressured and difficult. And surprisingly, it can often be especially difficult buying for a partner or a close friend. If you know that they like shoes but you bought that last year, what do you buy instead? Fear not, it is possible to turn into a present buying extraordinaire; you just need to consider a few points.
What Do They Enjoy?
This is the obvious place to start. Everyone has different things that they enjoy. Your partner might enjoy a particular television show or film. Your friend might have a hobby that they enjoy doing. Your colleague might have a pet that they are fond of. And don’t just think of obvious hobbies and interests – think as well about the little things they seem to get a kick out of. Do they love entertaining guests? Or maybe they’re very house proud?
Take some time to draw up a list of your gift recipient’s favorite things (in your mind or on paper depending on how you work best). Whether big or small, they will appreciate a present that relates to this. For example, you could buy them tickets to see their favorite band, a box set of their favorite show or equipment for their favorite sport. You could even organize a day out at their favorite city. Taking the time to think about what your friend or family member gets real joy from will help to make the present buying experience more straightforward for you.
Remember Shared Experiences
It is very touching to receive a gift from someone that you shared a particular experience with. Take some time to consider the times you have spent with your gift recipient. Over the past year you may have attended concerts together, been on holiday or enjoyed a great night out. Even moments spent at school or university can be a happy memory. Gifts which remind your recipient of the time you spent together are very thoughtful. You could create an album of holiday pictures, buy another set of tickets to see your favorite band perform or organize another evening out together. Also remember the inside jokes or the stories that you have shared over the past year; these can be fun to relive or record for posterity.
Events Are a Good Option
If you struggle to think of an item for your recipient then consider an event instead. This has the advantage of not taking up any space and if you do the event together then you will create a great new shared experience. You’ll also get value simply from the anticipation of the forthcoming event!
Pay Attention to What They Say
More often than not your friends and family will mention the things they want or need in conversation. They might complain about things that are broken or needed. They might point out things that they like the look of. They may even focus on particular items time and again in their conversation. Listening to what your gift recipient says will help to guide you in your gift choice.
Note Down Ideas
It can be very easy to think of a great present idea one day and completely forget it the next. Keeping a subtle list of gift ideas can help to solve this problem and give you a selection of gift ideas when the time comes to buy your present. It is great to keep a list for any number of people to reduce the pressure of thinking of ideas at Christmas and birthdays. It is worth assessing your list from time to time though; your recipient may buy themselves items that they need prior to their birthday.
Falling back on old favorite gift ideas can be very tempting when you are running out of gift ideas. Flowers, chocolates, gift cards, even perfume can be easy gifts to buy but run the risk of appearing to be easy choices; your recipient may be hurt that you did not put more though into their gift. Try to avoid clichéd gifts unless you are sure that your gift recipient would enjoy them and take the opportunity to think of something imaginative and unexpected.
Ask for Help
If you are running out of ideas try asking friends or family members. They may approach your gift dilemma from another point of view and help you to think of a gift idea that you might not have thought of yourself. And if you’re really stuck? Ask the recipient themselves what they’d like. This way at least you know they’ll genuinely appreciate/be able to use what they receive!