They say it is better to give than to receive, and this is especially true when you’re giving great gifts. It can be very difficult, however, to find the right gift for all the people in your life and for all kinds of occasions. Weddings, birthdays, graduations, co-workers, friends, family, romantic partners…the list goes on. You can become a great gift-giver by asking yourself a series of questions. They apply to every relationship you have and can help you figure out how expensive a gift should be, how personal and when to give it.
What is your relationship to the person?
Is this someone you are very close to and with whom you share a lot of experiences? Or is this a co-worker? If you are very close to the person, you will want to probably spend a bit more money on the gift and put more thought into it. If it is a co-worker, you want to be careful about not giving something too expensive or crossing personal boundaries.
What is this person interested in?
The best way to give a gift with meaning is to make a list of everything the person is interested in. You can do this with any type of person (spouse or co-worker), though you want to spend more time on the list for people close to you. This list will help you guide towards gifts that show you know the person. If the person likes cats and classical art, you could get them a book of famous paintings with cats photoshopped into the frame, or if they love cooking, a cool kitchen gadget would be appropriate.
Can you think of anything in their past that will help you choose a gift?
Think back on the person’s life to see if there’s anything there that might inspire a gift. Maybe they used to live in Belgium and there’s a certain type of chocolate they love that is only available overseas. You can go all the way back to childhood if you want, especially if you grew up together.
Is there anything this person needs?
Never underestimate the practical gift. It is guaranteed to be appreciated and used. Practical gifts are an especially good idea for times when the person is starting a new chapter, like getting married or graduating school. If they have a registry, buy something on the registry; avoid going off-book. Ask yourself how close you are to the person when choosing how much money to spend.