How To: Give a Gift {to Anyone}

{Candy cane Christmas gifts image from marthastewart.com}

It’s that blessed time of year again. Time to find incredible and unique gifts for everyone on your Christmas list. Panicked yet? Don’t be. Here are some simple tips to help you in your cause.

If you snooze you lose. I don’t know about you but I don’t give anything that I wouldn’t like to receive myself. So that means boring, clichéd, or tchotchke gifts need not apply. Ideally, I like to give gifts that the recipients would never buy for themselves. Be creative when it comes to gift giving and try to make it personal and tailored to the recipients taste as much as possible.

Gift cards. These are tricky, depending on the person you are giving the gift to and the context. For a personal gift, gift cards can give the impression that you didn’t really put much thought into the present, but for a workplace these can be great gift items. If you know your coworkers well enough to know their favorite restaurants or interests definitely give them a gift card. If I tip someone in cash all year long, like my hair stylist or massage therapist, I prefer to give them a gift card for the holidays. You can’t go wrong with gift cards for Amazon, Starbucks, Godiva, or Barnes and Noble. These can also be regifted easily which can be useful during the holidays. Whereas for a personal gift, if you know your girlfriend has a favorite salon, set her up with a specific service, ask the salon receptionist for ideas and recommendations. That extra effort will make all the difference.

Little things. Let’s face it, when you get a great gift it’s not so much about the gift itself, but the sincere gesture behind it that makes it memorable. Including a handwritten card with a gift to anyone really makes the recipient feel appreciated and special. With so much online communication and text messaging, it’s nice {not to mention refreshing} to receive a handwritten card.  Invest in high quality cardstock and let your loved ones and coworkers know how much you appreciate them.

Who’s the boss? Every workplace is different, and it used to be that you that you never gave the boss a gift. That’s not really the norm anymore. To avoid looking self-serving, team up with your colleagues to give your boss one nice gift. One idea is to give your boss a gift for him and his family to enjoy. Your boss will be a hero to his kids when he gets home and his spouse will see him as well liked by his employees. It’s a win/win for everyone.

Money isn’t everything. Great and thoughtful gifts needn’t be expensive. It’s not about finding the most expensive gifts, but rather the ones that convey the most meaning. Some of my favorite gifts over the years have been relatively inexpensive. Chocolate bars, a tin of homemade cookies or candies, magazine subscriptions, candles, personalized stationary, handmade mix cds, winter scarves and hats, these are gifts that I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated.

Personalize it. A picture frame is just a picture frame. But a picture frame with a meaningful picture inside and an engraved message? Now that’s a gift. Monogramming and engravings are great ways to elevate your gifts and make them all the more special. Some of my favorite things to have monogrammed include robes, jewelry, barware, frames, and towels.

Use your talents. If you are a fantastic baker, gift someone with your prize winning recipe or favorite kitchen gadget. If you are a wine aficionado, give your favorite bottle of red to someone who is also a fan. If you have a green thumb set your friend up with an herb box or a pair of gardening gloves and a promise to help pull weeds. When you inject a little part of yourself into your gifts your recipients will be all the more blown away by your gesture.

Theme scheme. Sometimes narrowing your gift giving efforts down to a concise theme is helpful. For example, if you know your friend loves his coffee you can use that central idea. A beautiful basket or tin, with a traveling coffee mug, a pound of coffee beans and some gourmet chocolate espresso beans and you’re all set. If you know someone is a frequent traveler, give them Bose noise cancelling headphones, an eye mask and cashmere wrap to make their traveling all the more comfortable.

What are some of your favorite gifts to give?

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2 Responses to How To: Give a Gift {to Anyone}

  1. amyg says:

    Great Ideas!!

  2. Breanna says:

    @Amy Thanks love! You are a great gift giver so I really take that as a compliment!

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