How to Give a Great Gift to Someone

Four Parts:Gift IdeasFinding Gifts for Someone You Know WellFinding a Gift for Someone You Do Not Know WellGiving the Gift to the Person

It can be nerve-wracking finding a great gift for someone. Finding a gift that the recipient will enjoy takes a bit of forward thinking and an understanding of the recipient's personality and tastes.

Gift Ideas

Sample Gift Ideas

Part 1
Finding Gifts for Someone You Know Well

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    Make a list of the person’s interests and preferences. Personalize the gift by sitting down and making a list of the person’s interests and likes. Try to write down as many specific items or experiences that the person has told you she likes or is known to enjoy.[1]
    • For example, you may write down that your friend likes video games, movies, and Thai food. You may also think about if the person is an introvert, who prefers to experience things in small groups or one on one, or an extrovert who wants to learn new skills and meet new people.
    • You should also take into account the age of the person. An individual who is 45 years old may appreciate a different gift than someone who is 16 years old. If you have a close relationship to the person, intimate or friendly, you may select a gift that is more personal. If you are not a close with the person, you may choose a gift that is more useful or accessible.
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    Identify items the person may need. Think about any items the person many need in her day to day lives or a big purchase that the person needs to do but has been putting off. This could be a new kitchen appliance the person has been eyeing or a new backpack the person needs for a new year of school.[2]
    • Look for practical gifts that still feel like a treat, as the gift may be out of the person’s budget or the person may not have time to get the item herself.
    • Avoid going too far over their budget or it may be taken as an insult - consider what will be a surprise but not a shock.
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    Sneak a look at the person’s online wish lists. If you can be sneaky, try to look at the person’s online wish lists. Many online retailers, like eBay and Etsy, will allow users to make online wish lists of items that they like or want. If you can manage to get into the person’s account, you can look over her wish list and select a gift from there.[3]
    • Only sneak a look at her account if you are close to the person, such as a familial or intimate relationship, and if you think she will not mind you looking at her account for the sake of a good gift.
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    Consider giving the person a sentimental item. Maybe you have a photograph of the two of you together that you know the person likes. Frame the photograph and give it to her as a sentimental and thoughtful gift that she can display in her home.[4]
    • Another option is to take items that have sentimental value, such as a souvenir from the first time you went on vacation together, and put them in a memory box. A memory box is a decorative box that you can fill with sentimental items and give to someone. The items can act as a collection of memories that you both share.
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    Arrange an experience as a gift. Often, giving the gift of an experience can be more impactful than giving a person an item. This could be a couples massage, a sky diving date, or dinner at the person’s favorite restaurant. Think of experiences that will surprise and excite the person, as these will often make a lasting impression.[5]
    • You can also give the person an experience in the form of audio books for a long road trip or drive. This would be a practical gift that would also help the person to fill her time learning and listening to a good story, which would make for a valuable experience.
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    Donate your time as part of the gift. If the person is often stressed, overworked, or going through a hard time, offer to gift her your time. This could be by doing all the yard work for a week or by taking her kids out for the day so she has some free time to herself.[6]
    • Gifting your time can also be good for individuals who have physical or mental disabilities, as you can offer to take her for dinner and assist her for the night or run an errand for her that she will not able to do on her own.
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    Make a homemade gift. Homemade gifts can make the best gifts, as they are often thoughtful and detailed. Homemade gifts also show the receiver that you spent lots of time and effort on her gift, which she will surely appreciate. Set aside some time and create a homemade gift you think the person will love, such as homemade bath products, homemade cookies mixes, or homemade candles. You could then give the person an individual homemade item or put the homemade items in a basket and give her a whole bunch of homemade things.
    • Another homemade option is to create a DIY item for the person’s home. This could be a small item of furniture, an item to hang on the wall, or an item for her deck or patio. Think of a DIY you can do that would appeal to the person’s sense of style and bring her joy.
    • If you have a passion for cooking or baking, a good gift option may be a batch of freshly baked cookies or an offer to cook dinner for the person.

Part 2
Finding a Gift for Someone You Do Not Know Well

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    Create a homemade hostess gift. A hostess gift is what you bring to someone's house when they are hosting you for dinner or for a get together. A classic hostess gift is a nice bottle of wine, but if your hosts do not drink or if you are looking for a more unique gift, you may go homemade. This could be a homemade mix of spices and seasonings in a nice jar or bottle for the host to throw on chicken or fish, or a homemade cake or loaf for dessert, wrapped in wax paper.[7]
    • You could also bring other homemade items like a homemade candle or homemade bath products. Though if you do not know the host well, you may opt for edible gifts that have wide appeal.
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    Buy a practical gift for a teacher or boss. If you are trying to find a suitable gift for an authority figure, like your teacher or your boss, you may opt for practical items. This could be a gift basket of school supplies, full of all of the teacher's essential school supplies for the next school year or a gift basket of tea and coffee, if your teacher enjoys warm, comforting beverages.[8] Or, you could make her a personalized coffee sleeve for her coffee mug.
    • For your boss, you may want to play it safe and go for a gift that is practical but also thoughtful, especially if you want to impress her. Look for a nice succulent plant in a pot or make her a glass terrarium to brighten up her office. If your boss drinks and enjoys cocktails, give her a seven piece cocktail set or a nice wine opener. If you know your boss' sense of humor, consider giving her a funny calendar for the new year that she can put on her desk.[9]
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    Take a colleague out to lunch as a gift. If you are looking for a gift for a work colleague, consider treating him for lunch one day or a nice after work dinner. This will allow you both to take a break from work and de stress, while still remaining professional of course.
    • If you are trying to think of gifts for several colleagues, consider buying each person a nice bottle of wine or making them nice gift baskets. Try to give everyone the same gift, as you do not want to show favoritism in the office.
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    Ask people who are close to the person for gift advice. If you are stumped on gift ideas for someone you do not know well, you may want to reach out to any friends or individuals close to them for gift ideas. Pull aside another colleague who is close to your boss and ask her for advice or call another friend who is attending the same event for ideas on hostess gifts. Brainstorm with others for the perfect gift, and discuss ideas beforehand to make sure you both don't end up getting the person the same gift.

Part 3
Giving the Gift to the Person

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    Personalize the gift wrapping. A big part of the fun of giving a gift is watching the person unwrap the gift. Make the gift wrapping personal to the person by choosing wrapping that is in the person’s favorite color or that has the person’s favorite animal printed all over it. Use ribbon or bows on the gift wrapping for an added touch.[10]
    • You may also want to get creative with the wrapping by using a nice gift box or gift bag and tissue paper. Or you may want to make it fun and difficult for the person to get to the gift by wrapping it in duct tape or masking tape. You can then watch the person struggle to open the gift, just reassure the person it will be worth it once she gets to the gift inside.
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    Include a card with the gift. Write up a nice card to accompany the gift, as this is considered a considerate touch to any gift. Use a card that expresses how you feel about the person. Often, funny cards a good way to brighten someone’s day and get her more excited for the actual gift.
    • If you are giving the person an experience in the form of gift cards or a certificate, place them in the card and use the envelope as gift wrapping.
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    Get creative with the giving of the gift. Rather than simply hand the gift over to the person, get creative and make the gift giving element interesting. Send the person on a scavenger hunt to find her gift or put a secret message in the person’s favorite book that she must decode to locate her gift.[11]
    • You can also leave the gift in an area she may not expect to find a gift and let her experience a surprise that way. Being creative about giving the gift can help to amplify the excitement for the receiver and make her experience of receiving the gift that much better.

Article Info

Categories: Gift Giving