‘At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel’
~ Maya Angelou
Nothing beats the satisfaction of coming up with the perfect gift for someone you care about. Something you know they will love. Recently I have received some amazing gifts and it’s made me think about what is required to choose something that will make the person you are buying for happy. Something that will show them how much you value your relationship with them.
Contrary from what you see in the adverts, you don’t always have to spend loads of cash to find the right present. In fact, often the most meaningful gifts are the ones that don’t cost much, but take a little more thought, time, and creativity.
The gifts that I have most appreciated are from people who have really listened to me and picked up on something I mentioned that I wouldn’t even have imagined myself. It’s where people have spent time making something for me, or hunting for something they know will make me happy. It’s from the people who I feel know me so well and have given me something that I love, but that I wouldn’t have thought to get myself.
So how do you find that perfect gift for your loved ones?
1) Listen intently
It is always wise to actively listen to your loved ones, but there is no better time for this than on the run up to Christmas, or to a birthday or another occasion that you will be getting them a gift. If you really take notice of what they are saying, you should hopefully be able to get some good ideas for gifts for them. Be conscious in every conversation you have with them, to pick up any ideas you can from what they are saying. If you find inspiration for a gift idea from what they have said throughout the year, write it down so you don’t forget it later on.
2) Ask for advice
Don’t think you need to have all the answers yourself. If you chat to their friends and family, maybe they will have some inspiring ideas for you. Ask their best friend, ask their mum, ask the people that they spend the most time with. This can be especially useful if you don’t live close to each other and you don’t frequently see each other.
3) Make something *
Depending on the person you are buying for, making something can be a hugely thoughtful gesture. Home made gifts show that time was spent on them. Homemade cards with a thoughtful picture and message inside can be really appreciated. A picture of the two of you together, a gift basket full of small thoughtful presents, their favourite food or a journal of the time you have spent together can all be great thoughtful homemade gifts. There are some awesome ideas here of things you can make.
4) Spend time
There are two elements to spending time; the first is not leaving it until the last minute and then panic buying something, and having to rush into a purchase. The second is showing that it is well thought through and you have spent time thinking about what they would like and that you have sourced something special for them. If you see something someone you know will love, pick it up then and there and save it for an occasion you will be giving them a gift, don’t leave it too late.
5) Focus on experiences
Gifts don’t need to be material items. Many people appreciate the gift of getting to spend quality time together. For many, spending time with their loved ones can be the best present they can receive. If you think of something that the recipient of your gift would like to do with you, this can be a great present. Theatre tickets, an evening out at a lovely restaurant, a hot air balloon ride, wine tasting, afternoon tea, the list is endless. To ensure there is something to unwrap, you can make a voucher and put it into a box that you wrap up, to ensure there is a nice package to open.
I’d love to hear in the comments below if you have any ideas on how to buy thoughtful presents.
*Disclaimer: everyone is different, if the person you are buying for likes material possessions and is expecting a large expensive shiny gift, I can’t take any responsibility for the trouble you get into if you have gone for something small homemade and thoughtful instead! You need to know your audience!