Gift giving is tough. Here are tips to help you select great Christmas gifts and shop for presents all year long. Learn a few tricks to make gift giving easy.
Buying Christmas gifts, or any gifts for that matter can strike fear in the most confident shopper. But buying gifts is a regular part of most of our lives, enjoy it or not. So how do you buy pleasing gifts? How do you stay off the crappy gift giver list? There are some tricks to buying good gifts, and some habits that will keep you buying bad ones. Pay attention and your shopping, and giving experience, will be much more enjoyable.
Gifts bring out the worst
Whatever your relationship with the recipient, if you’re struggling with a gift, chances are you’re struggling with the relationship. When things flow naturally between two people, gift buying is much easier. If you’re sweating what to buy, it could be because you’re going to feel judged about your selection, or worried about the significance of the gift or any other reasons that have nothing to do with the actual purchasing of a gift. Just know you’re not alone here, and some recipients are harder than others for a reason. It’s okay to opt out of the gift exchange if it’s causing you angst. You can say so up front or just deal with the awkwardness of not having an exchange gift. Next year, chances are it won’t be an issue again. Having trouble doesn’t mean you’re a lousy gift giver globally, so don’t take it personally.
Tough one. It’s easy to go for luxury gifting when you’ve got millions. Smaller budgets call for clever thinking (in so many areas of life). If the budget is small, you’re not going to feel great about giving a bigger gift than you can afford. Unless it’s a car or a house, the recipient isn’t going to notice how much more you spent, so create a budget for each person and stick to it. It can be done.
Buy for the recipient
Try not to buy something just because it appeals to you. We all fall into this trap sometimes, particularly when you’re buying for someone who brings out the worst (see above). Think before you shop. What are the person’s hobbies, likes, needs, wants? If you don’t know the answer, choose a generic gift (candles, wine, coffee, chocolates, nuts, certificates) or better yet, get off the list entirely.
When you find yourself in a must-buy situation and still don’t have a clue, try to relax. It’s not a competition. If you buy a lousy gift, you’re not going to get fired. Just accept that your gift may not be at the top of someone’s list, but you’re still showing you care and making an effort. See generic gift ideas above.
When all else fails
Gift certificates can’t fail. Amazon has something for everyone. Restaurant certificates in the recipient’s hometown are always welcome gifts. Flowers, wreaths, massages, overnights at a B&B, and even homemade certificates like babysitting, house cleaning, or making a homemade dinner are things we can all appreciate.
If you’re the recipient of a “bad gift,” remember sometimes we’re harder to buy for than we know, and a bad gift is rarely intentional. Try to remember the spirit of giving.