The quest for finding the perfect gift for someone is never-ending. It can sometimes prove to be a challenge even for a seasoned gift giver and especially for anyone giving a gift for the first time. But some tips and tricks can make it easier to determine the perfect gift that the receiver would actually love.
Now, if you are not a mind reader, like the majority of us mortals, don’t fret!
Here are some tips that will help you find the perfect gift every time for loved ones and even for someone that you don’t know too well. These tips are beginner friendly and take the guess work out of the equation.
How to Find The Perfect Gift For Someone
Finding a great gift may seem arduous, but it is not impossible. It does beg the question though-
What does a ‘perfect gift’ mean?
Much like the famous saying – ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’, whether a gift is perfect or not is a combination of the receiver’s perception and your efforts to find them the perfect gift.
You can easily increase the odds of finding the perfect gift every time by following these actionable tips.
17 Actionable Tips
1. Don’t Buy A Gift Just For The ‘Wow’ Factor
There are plenty of ‘wow- worthy’ gift that only give momentary pleasure to the receiver. It might earn you a quick thank you and a few hugs but if the joy from the gift doesn’t last that long, it will soon end up in the unwanted gifts pile.
Good examples of ‘wow gifts’ are- Something they will need to buy additional attachments for to use, plastic glasses with cute prints, a travel bottle that looks great but lacks insulation etc. You get the picture!
2. Nostalgia Gift
Does the person like to travel down the memory lane talking about the good old times?
‘Reminiscence buff’ is real and people of all ages love to reflect back fondly on old memories. You can’t deny the joy it is to reminisce about good times from the past. We have all been there, talking about things from years ago that brings smiles to our faces.
A nostalgia gift is the perfect way to celebrate old cherished memories, and here is how to find the one that is worth gifting.
How To Find The Perfect Nostalgia Gift
You might need to go down the memory lane as well!
A ‘Memory’ Gift
Think about how did your relationship with the person start? Have you been friends since you were kids? Cousins who loved spending summer vacations at each other’s places? Started your first jobs together in the same company? Is the person your relative- grandfather, favorite aunt etc.?
If you are relatives, then you probably have a mountain of pictures together, get cracking and find one that is memorable. There are services online that can print a picture on all sorts of merchandise if framing the picture or to have it printed on a mug is not your favorite option.
Surprise Them With A Gift From The Past:
Pick a page from their life that they most fondly, and often talk about like the unforgettable 90’s.
You can also gift them a quality, eye-catching old diner style Jukebox. What a sight would it be when they open the gift and see it for the first time?
They will sing and dance with joy not just for that moment but for a long time to come.
3. Make Your Gift Count
It is true that the receiver’s perception matters, but unless you happen to have confidence like my aunt, and a deep love for handing down unwanted things as gifts, you will do just fine.
The only thing to be mindful of is not to be complacent, going for the same kind of items you give them every year or last year- photo frames, candle jars, etc.
Giving a gift is one of the best opportunities to show someone how much you care about them, and it has big benefits for you as well-
Did you know that research has shown buying gifts for others makes people happier? In fact, just the thought of doing something generous for someone else brings about a positive mental effect on people.
Maybe next time we complain about planning and buying a gift, it will help to remember the whole lot of good it will bring us in return.
4. Hobby Gift
Another way to determine the perfect gift for someone is to think about any hobbies that they have like knitting, bowling, photography, sports etc. And gift something related to their hobby.
One thing to be mindful of is to stay away from gifting them the essential tools required for their hobby if you don’t know much about it.
For instance, a camera or camera lens for someone who is into photography. You ask -Why?
The simple reason being- buying essential tools for a hobby takes a lot of research and it also depends on the personal choice of the hobbyist.
You might end up spending a lot on something that looked like a great choice, the store employee said was the perfect gift, but it is not what the recipient prefers to use.
Go for the hobby essentials, only if you know what they want.
In terms of a hobby gift it is always best to stick to accessories that complements their love for the hobby.
For instance, there are affordable and fun gifts for someone who loves photography that are as impressive as an expensive camera or tripod gift.
The key is to give a gift that is related to their hobby they can use in their daily life as well.
5. What do They Like?
It is easiest to find a good gift for someone if you are a tad bit familiar with their likes, dislikes, and things they enjoy doing. Notice what you remember them doing or talking about the most (..not the bad part).
For instance, if someone likes to cook, gift them a truly amazing cookbook full of recipes they will be excited to try.
For someone that likes to make drinks for everyone, give them a cocktail recipe book along with a good quality shaker glass set that will take their cocktail game to the next level and win them compliments!
That goes to show that you should definitely pay attention to what your loved ones enjoy!
6. Gift That Solves Their Problem
Think about the things that they have been complaining about the most recently. Like a broken blender, malfunctioning coffee maker, etc. There’s your clue!
Fixing their problem does not necessarily mean buying them something new if your budget doesn’t allow, but maybe try to repair it for them or get it repaired.
7. Something That Will Benefit Their Current Condition
Not every gift is suitable for everyone and every occasion. For instance, a cookbook or piece of jewelry is hardly an ideal gift for a patient on bed rest or a gift for a patient in post-surgery recovery.
However, just because they happen to be in a hospital doesn’t mean there is nothing except flowers that you can gift. There are plenty of thoughtful and useful gifts for patients that will not only bring a sunshine to their day but will also help with their recovery.
Similarly, if someone in the family has taken the role of a caregiver, a well-thought caregiver gift can help them deal with the daily stresses of taking care of the elderly or the ill loved one.
It is not the value of the gift that matters, but the thoughtfulness of your gift can certainly make a big difference!
8. Think Beyond Physical Gifts
Remember when Nana says ‘seeing you is the only gift I need’, she means it!
It might not just be Nana but anyone who often complains about not seeing you as much or getting to spend time with you.
If you don’t get to spend as much time with the recipient, plan an outing with them to make them feel special. Take them out for dinner, movie or even spend a day with them.
Giving your time and company is sometimes the most priceless gift you can give!
9. Experience Gift
This is especially great if you are looking for a gift for someone you think already has everything.
They might have everything but they have not yet experienced everything for sure.
Gift them an experience like Broadway tickets, race car driving coupon, helicopter ride, sale boat ride etc. Something you know they will enjoy. Groupon is a great place to find new experiences at affordable prices. Check your city guide as well to look for any new experiences popping up in your city.
10. What Makes Them Happy?
Shopping makes everyone happy, yes! but that’s not the correct answer.
Really think hard here, maybe shopping for certain items makes them happier like the latest Lego set, home decor items, new electronic gadgets etc. Look for the latest finds in the categories your loved one adores to look for a gift that has the potential to impress.
If they find more joy spending time with family and friends planning family picnics, hosting parties of all types why not give them gifts that are perfect for a host and make hosting parties even more fun.
11. Look To The Future
Are they starting a new venture, expecting birth of their child, starting college etc?
For someone starting college or pursuing a new hobby, a gift that will help them hone their skills is what they will appreciate the most.
They want to take their hobby to the next level or are interested in learning more about a skill? A course is just the gift that will keep on giving.
Finding a course online has never been easier. Courses ranging from cooking, photography, language classes to even tea tasting classes are now offered everywhere.
If the classes sound too expensive, you can always pick how many classes you want to gift based on your budget.
For most of the courses, there is even an option to choose the course format- in person, online or combination of both. The recipient can take the course at their own disposal.
12. Steer Clear Of Garments, Shoes & Jewelry
These are gifts to avoid if you don’t know them personally. Even husbands and mothers have been known to sometimes accidentally pick something unsavory in these categories.
What makes this category a tough one is the fact that every person has their own style and most people are very picky about what they wear. If you haven’t grasped their style, skip these.
Tips To Find Perfect Gift for Someone You Don’t Know
To choose a gift for someone you don’t know can be tricky. You don’t know what they like, dislike or what is going on in their personal life. This can be a colleague- that you happened to pick the name of for Secret Santa, a fellow student, new boss, teacher etc.
What if I told you it is easier than you think it was? Here are some tips to help you find the perfect gift for an acquaintance, with confidence.
13. Attention To Subtle Details
The best ideas still come from paying attention to the subtle hints people give off, even acquaintances, when you are talking to them. Did you hear them mention their favorite sport or their favorite player?
Not saying you buy them the tickets, but easy to find something with the logo of the team, a picture of the player etc.
If you are not really sure of their favorite player or team but did hear them mention how excited they were for the Superbowl weekend, then that’s your clue as well- Superbowl inspired merchandise! win win.
14. Snoop Around
It is also possible to find yourself in a scenario when you have never really spoken to the person before a great deal. Like in the case of Secret Santa, which has become pretty popular in all types of workplaces.
This scenario would require some snooping around. Check their work space for any sign of their hobbies or interests.
Don’t be afraid to ask around to find their interests. In every department, there is this one person who knows almost everyone in the office. Talk to this person for any helpful tips.
There is no shame in admitting you don’t know the recipient. What’s important is that you still try to gift them something relevant.
If you are going to gift something to someone you don’t know, why not use the opportunity to break new ground!
15. Avoid Giving Gift Certificates From A Deal Site
A coupon or gift certificate from sites like Groupon, Living Social etc. is okay for someone you know, but not for someone that you don’t know.
Remember they probably don’t know too much about you either. You probably are coming from a good place, but this can be interpreted as being cheap. It is better saved for another person.
16. Gift Cards
Gift cards are one of the easiest gifts to give if all else fails. Even though, there is no denying the fact that this popular gift still feels like it lacks a personal touch. But there are ways to make the gift cards seem less impersonal and more thoughtful.
Combine the gift card with a bag of homemade cookies, brownies or other treats. Maybe make them your best voted recipe at work with an attached print out of the recipe.
Related: Are Gift Cards A Good Gift Idea?
17. What Kind Of Things They Usually Buy?
This will give you a clue whether a DIY gift, handmade gift is better than a regular store bought gift.
People have strong opinions about what they think is a thoughtful gift. There are some that love and appreciate the time and care it takes to make a DIY gift or the uniqueness of a handcrafted item, while others find them unnecessary and tasteless.
Know your audience, know your customer—->KNOW Your Gift RECIPIENT.
This brings me to some interesting questions you can ask the recipient to figure out the perfect gift for them.
7 Questions To Ask The Gift Recipient
– What do they like to do on weekends? (A perfect question to uncover their hobbies)
– Do they read magazines, if yes, which ones? (This will give you an idea if they are passionate about any cause)
– What and where do they like to eat? (To help figure out which restaurant gift card to gift)
– Do they have a bucket list? (Great way to find the best ‘experience gift’ for them)
– Do they have any vacation coming up? (If they like to travel, hike, camp etc, that’s a BIG clue)
– Do they like their job? (You will at least know if you should gift them something related to their profession or not)
– What was the best gift they ever received? (It will give you a hint if they like materialistic or sentimental gifts)
These tips and tricks are not set in stone, these are simply some guidelines that will steer you towards finding the great gift that the recipient will appreciate.
I hope these pointers helped you choose the perfect gift for anyone on your list. Do you have any other ways to help you choose a great gift for someone? I would love to hear.
Do let me know in the comments below.
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