The throwaway gift is going out of fashion but buying something that will last for years is definitely going to the gift that keeps on giving.
Since you don’t want your Christmas gift to cause more harm than good, how can you be sure you choose a gift the receiver will love?
Here are my six tips;
- Don’t fret about the price
Should you just splurge to show how much you care?
Spending more does not always guarantee a well-received gift. While the giver may think that spending more conveys more thoughtfulness, receivers don’t associate the price with their level of appreciation.
The gift itself is what matters most.
- Think longer term
The trick for giving a great gift is to think past the fleeting moment of actually handing it over. When givers give gifts, they’re trying to optimise on the moment they give the gift and see the smile on the recipient’s face right in that moment, what recipients care about is how much value they’re going to derive from that over a longer time period.
It might not be exciting to watch a friend or family member open the gift of a subscription, so you might be less likely to give one, but a recipient may actually love it, since it’s a gift that can be enjoyed often over time.
- Forget about uniqueness
Don’t get too hung up on giving the most unique gift out there. Sometimes something that many people desire, or many others have, can be exactly what someone wants.
We also tend to want to buy diffeent gifts for multiple people, even if they might all be happier with the same thing – and might never compare gifts at all.
In order to feel like a good gift giver, people wrongly feel like they need to diversify the gifts, even at the cost of giving the best present.
- Buy based on shared interests
To shop better, start with something you have in common with the recipient. Instead of using your own preferences and adjusting them for how you and the recipient differ, focus on what you share and pick a gift from there, if you have something in common with somebody, get something you would like, will more likely be something they like.
- Ask what they want
Usually seen as taboo, but wouldn’t we all be better off if we gave people what they want?
We think that gifts are supposed to be a ‘surprise’, but the best gift will be whatever it is they say they want.
Think about a common interest you share and buy something that your recipient can experience – say, concert tickets or a cookery class. Experiental gifts can bring you and the recipient closer, even if you don’t experience the gift with your recipient.
- Don’t overthink it
At the end of the day, don’t fret too much about giving a terrible gift: truly bad gifts are rare.
Unless something is wildly inappropriate, the recipient will feel some level of appreciation. And even if you do give a sub-par gift to someone you are close to, you may be saved by your thoughtfulness. That’s because when someone gives a bad gift, it triggers the receiver to think about why the giver chose it and feels like you at least spent a lot of time making your selection, they’ll appreciate the effort that went into choosing a less desirable gift.
In other words, the old adage ‘it’s the thought that counts’ really might be true.
And even if you don’t get the gift right, someone will still feel good in the situation: you.
Have you bought your presents yet?