There's nothing like getting a thoughtful gift from someone you love.
It hits different when you can feel the tangible result of a person's effort, similar to how a parent might feel receiving an art project their child made them at school. While being thoughtful doesn't require a handmade gift, that's always one fail-proof way to communicate your favor of someone you love!
The more creative you can get about the gifts you select for others, the better.
The goal is to display the deepest level of understanding you have of them in the most ingenious way.
Take a candle, for example. Candles are typically safe gifts no matter who you're shopping for because, well, let's be honest - it's hard not to enjoy a candle. But do you know enough about this person to determine their preferences?
Say there's a specific quirk about them; i.e. your best friend has a highly reactive fragrance allergy. Purposefully choosing an unscented candle with a container that fits their home's aesthetic sends a different message than grabbing one off the clearance rack on your way to the checkout stand.
In thoughtful gift-giving, the recipient is seen through the selection or preparation of the gift. How deep of an understanding can you demonstrate you have of the person you're closest to right now? Practice these strategies on them first, then see who else you can replicate the process for.
The holidays aren't just about material consumerism, they're the time of year we should feel elated to reconfirm our relationships with the people we care about most and want to recognize. Of course, being on the receiving end of any thoughtful gesture is nice. But the greater, heartier satisfaction comes from being the one to orchestrate such an event for someone you love or appreciate.
Keep reading for tips on how to impress your giftees this holiday season!
1) Think about your audience.
Again, gifting someone you know has a fragrance allergy a generic candle doesn't communicate the same message of love and appreciation as finding an unscented one that sparks visual joy instead. Take a moment to think about times when you've seen this person most happy or in their element. What were they doing? What were they using? Wearing? Can you recall any obstacles that hindered their experience?
In another example, your cousin loves to go fishing. However, the last time you went fishing with them, you noticed they were frustrated because the sun was in their eyes, making it hard for them to see what they were doing. Some thoughtful gift options in this circumstance might include new fishing equipment, a hat, or pair of sunglasses they could use to shade the sun's glare next time they go out on the water. If financial means allow, get multiple things and combine them into a gift basket. You might also throw in some of their favorite snacks, and/or a cooler to store their favorite beverages in for a more enjoyable overall fishing experience.
What's something accessible to you that could improve their experience with that one thing you know they love? Or even simply serve as a reminder of something you know brings them joy?
2) Make it presentable.
As we know, first impressions are everything.
If your significant other walks in and hands you a plastic grocery bag, it evokes different emotions than if they walk in and hand you a three-tiered box wrapped in shiny paper, ornately secured with a satin ribbon bow. Professional gift-wrapping (or learning to DIY it on the internet) is ideal, but if that's out of reach, work with what you have to make your gift look as special as you can make it from the moment the recipient catches sight.
3) Personalize the message.
Never give a gift without a tag. It's tacky and feels like you've gone out of your way to be impersonal to the person on the receiving end. At the very least, an effortless "To: _____, From: _____" labeled or written on the wrapping suffices.
Best case scenario: you attach a handwritten, appropriately-selected holiday card that includes a personalized message expressing your gratitude and appreciation for the giftee, signaling how you've tailored the gift to them as an individual.
4) Sweeten the deal!
Only if you enjoy it- homemade food is just about the only thing that can substitute for a personalized message to accompany your thoughtful gift.
If your family knows you love to bake, they're likely to mirror the gratitude you're attempting to convey to them through that batch of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies they accept from you, knowing they were the intended beneficiaries of you doing something that brings you joy.
Need more assistance?
Before you start splurging on all the holiday sales popping up on your feed to get your shopping out of the way, consider taking a little extra time to capitalize on this opportunity to express thanks through thoughtfulness.
If the extensive prepwork that goes into thoughtful gift-giving isn't tickling your fancy, fear not! There are a few staple items that can guarantee a warm response from just about anyone.
For the homebodies, try a luxurious face mask or a comfy PJ set/loungewear to chill in around the house.
For the gym rats, try accessories like a pair of noise-canceling headphones or trendy workout shoes.
For the party hosts, try a stunning set of serve ware or a social media worthy charcuterie board.
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