I’ve realized that gifting is more than exchanging objects; it’s about strengthening a special connection. But finding the perfect gift during a special occasion is difficult. Especially for me.
I struggle to find things that resonate with my friends and family. Because of this, I have used cash and gift certificates as a crutch. But, to mix things up, and to give something meaningful, I’ve started taking a more personal approach. And it’s made a huge difference in my relationships.
The next time you’re searching for the perfect gift, keep these five tips in mind.
Observe Before Giving
The number one rule (by far) is to observe the person’s wants and needs before visiting the gift shop. By basing your gift off of little cues and notes you’ve taken, you’ll give your friend not just a gift, but a reminder of how closely you listen, and how much you care about the little things that really matter to them. That’s how you keep the connection strong.
Not many people pay attention to the details. But if keep an eye out for the specifics, you’ll get insight into things your friend actually needs–and those always make for the best gifts.
For example, knowing that your friend is a travel bug gives you the opportunity to purchase travel bags, passport holders, immune-supporting supplements, and hundreds of other items that will improve their journeys. The same holds true if that person is a rock climber, or a bird watcher, or gem hunter.
Also, it never hurts to know the stone that corresponds to your gift recipient’s birth month. That opens a wide range of meaningful gifts, like necklaces, rings, paperweights, bracelets, anklets, and even mineral soaps!
Give for Good Luck
Depending on the occasion, you might want to pick up a good luck gift. These come in handy for housewarming or graduation parties, because you want to give that person hope for their next phase of life. Do you not know of any good luck gifts that aren’t rabbits feet? Choose from this list:
- Palm trees (for new houses)
- Amulets (bracelets, necklaces, etc)
- Four-leaf clover pendants
- Frankincense and Myrrh
- Pineapples (an old English tradition)
- A fine aged scotch whiskey (like Glenlivet–Crown Royal works in a pinch)
- Tony Robins’s ‘Money: Master the Game
- Any one of Zig Ziglar’s motivational CDs.
Gift With a Good Cause In Mind
Learn about any charities they support so you connect through their dearest causes. For example, you can donate in their name, or even provide funding for a startup they’ve been working on. You just have to ask questions, listen, and determine what’s meaningful to them.
Send Them on an Adventure
Studies show that people are happiest when they spend money on experiences rather than material items. I believe this holds true for gifting too. If your loved one hasn’t had the opportunity to travel, send them on a trip. With so many discount sites–like Groupon and LivingSocial–you can find incredible experiences at reasonable prices. Are you low on cash? Send them to a local restaurant, or a show, or a wine tasting tour.
Some people are natural born gift givers. I used to envy them, and I resigned myself to giving bad gifts. But after I discovered the simple tips presented in this article, my gift-giving experiences are better than I could have imagined, and I feel that much closer to the ones I love. All it takes is a little observation, personalization, getting specific, some luck, choosing the causes that are close to them, and being open to adventure.
Featured photo credit: huffingtonpost.com via huffingtonpost.com