If you’re anything like me, giving gifts brings on more anxiety than it really should. Putting too much pressure on myself, I believe I have to get the most perfect and most thoughtful gift for each person on my list. It really is completely self-imposed, no one ever gets upset at a gift given to them. Just receiving a gift is thoughtful enough, right?
Nonetheless, self-induced anxiety will surely occur. It only goes away once the gift is purchased. In order to help (myself) everyone, I’ve put together a list of ways to give a thoughtful gift for everyone on your list!
Really think about the recipient:
What does the recipient like to do? What sort of hobbies do they have, do they have kids or a dog, do they like to go hiking, are they a wino or foodie or ceramic miniature samurai collector? Everyone is into something, just try to find what that is before buying a gift.
Then do your research:
Do your research on their hobby for gift ideas. If your cousin is a work-out fiend, get them new work-out gear related to their workout of choice. Many popular work out classes have their own line (CrossFit, Barre, Yoga, etc). Oftentimes, kids or a pet is the way to their heart – purchasing something for the light of their lives may get more mileage than something for them. If they love keeping up with fashion or love jewelry, ahem, our boutique is always a good choice 🙂 Got an amateur cook on your list? A new cookbook or must-have kitchen tool is wonderful (and thoughtful)!
Gift cards are not the enemy:
I think gift cards have gotten a bad reputation for being the “easy way out” when giving gifts. While it is an easier option when not knowing what to give your recipient, it also allows them to get whatever they want! What’s the harm in that? To make a gift card more thoughtful, tailor the gift to them (see above paragraphs) then write a thoughtful message along with the gift card: “I know you’ve been eyeing that cashmere sweater and thought I’d give you the final push to treat yourself!” or “I know you’ve been unable to have date night lately, so here’s a date on me to your favorite restaurant!” This makes you out to be the thoughtful hero who pays attention.
DIY gifts are also not the enemy (and not that difficult):
If you really have no idea what to get anyone on your list, going the DIY route can be less painful and more thoughtful than you really think. Make vanilla extract (vanilla beans in vodka or bourbon), hot chocolate mix, candy cane flavored vodka, ornaments, even just a card, anything really! You can make them for everyone on your list and you’re sure to be the thoughtful gift-giver in the group.
The gift whisperer
Another tip – write down when someone says they “need” something. I make a mental note and than write it down later (even months before their birthday or Christmas). It makes life easier and someone is bound to need something throughout the year! Careful though, make sure there’s a “no buying anything for yourself” rule a few months out from Christmas, you don’t want them to spoil it by picking it up for themselves…
As you can see, being thoughtful doesn’t have to be difficult. Sure, it just may require a little more effort or brainstorming on your part, but that effort is sure to be recognized. I hope this list helps you check everyone off your list. Happy holidays!