Gifts on table

The arrival of holiday season means it’s peak gift-giving time. However, gift shopping can be a stressful, expensive and time-consuming endeavor. Here are some simple tips and resources to help you find the right gifts without breaking a sweat or the bank.

1. Analyze your recipients

Make a list of each recipient’s interests, hobbies and tastes, and use these attributes to brainstorm gift ideas.

2. Get an insider’s recommendation

If you don’t know someone well enough to think of a gift for them, ask someone who does. Parents, close family, friends and coworkers are all good resources.

3. Know when they know best

Guessing how a piece of clothing will fit someone else, trying to understand another person’s hobby and delving into other more personal matters can make for risky gifting. When in doubt, steer clear of the category, opt for a gift card or provide a gift receipt.

4. Give an experience

Experiences can be far more meaningful gifts than a knick knack that may end up collecting dust on a shelf. A concert, sports game, dinner or spa service are some examples of giftable experiences.

5. Buy local

If your recipient lives out of town or out of state, consider something unique from where you live, such as a local coffee roast, beer, wine or other food or an item from an area craft or gift shop.

6. Make it yourself

Pot a plant, bake some treats, knit a scarf, offer to do yardwork, make a piece of art or write a song – the do-it-yourself options are limitless!

7. Peruse gift idea websites

Look for ideas at sites like Amazon gifts, UncommonGoods or Etsy, or start by searching “gifts” in Google and see where it leads you.

8. Give something sentimental

Have a memorable photo framed, customize an ornament or charm (such as via Paloma’s Nest) or give a favorite childhood toy or food.

9. Give something practical

Consider gifting a care package, a meal kit delivery, a new appliance, a portable phone charger or even some nice pairs of socks (monogramming adds an extra-special touch).

10. Fall back on an old standby

Although they’re something of a holiday cliché, a tasteful gift box or basket can still be a welcome gift for the right person.

11. Ask them yourself

Sometimes, the best solution is just to ask someone what they want. If you still want to provide some element of surprise, request a gift idea list, or have them set up a wish list through a shopping website like Amazon.

12. Keep a gift idea list

Going forward, maintain a gift idea list for the people you regularly give gifts to. You may see something that reminds you of a recipient, or they may mention a want or need that would make a good gift at a later time.

Best of luck with your gift giving, and happy holidays!

  • By: Draper and Kramer Mortgage Corp.
  • In: Tips
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