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
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
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!