1. Enjoying. This is the obvious place to start. Everyone has different things that they enjoy. Your partner might enjoy a particular television show or film. Your friend might have a hobby that they enjoy doing. Your colleague might have a pet that they are fond of. And don’t just think of obvious hobbies and interests – think as well about the little things they seem to get a kick out of. Do they love entertaining guests? Or maybe they’re very house proud?
Take some time to draw up a list of your gift recipient’s favorite things (in your mind or on paper depending on how you work best). Whether big or small, they will appreciate a present that relates to this. For example, you could buy them tickets to see their favorite band, a box set of their favorite show or equipment for their favorite sport. You could even organize a day out at their favorite city. Taking the time to think about what your friend or family member gets real joy from will help to make the present buying experience more straightforward for you.
2. Speaking from heart. The problem is that we think about giving gifts as the exchange of physical objects. A useful alternative is to think of a gift as communication. When you give a gift to someone, what you are actually doing is speaking to them. You buy, make or discover a gift that says something to the receiver. They receive the gift, and if they are perceptive, they understand your message. Of course, this is obvious, but somehow we forget it when we go to choose gifts. We focus first on the object or the need, then check what message it conveys.
3. Make the present an event. Get creative with the packaging! Rather than just handing them a gift in regular wrapping paper, think of the gifting experience as an event—and you want to make sure they enjoy it. Hide his gift and send him on a scavenger hunt to find it. Rather than just giving him a gift card, hide a secret message in a Twilight book that sends him to the gift card code. Or sew her present into a giant stuffed shark so she has to do surgery on it to get it out. And never, ever, underestimate the sheer fun of unwrapping presents. Sometimes, quantity can mean quality, when it’s a bunch of small individually wrapped items.
4. The gifts that we come up with when we think of gifts as communication may be the same that we would think of in other ways. The difference may simply be that we arrive at a decision faster and with more certainty that our gift is right for that person.
Of course, there is a caveat. If you have nothing positive to say to the person, but feel that you must give a gift, then go back to your old ways of thinking. Communicating negative things with a gift, may not be the best way to enjoy your Christmas. Try it only if you are feeling brave.
5. Include a little bit of yourself. Make it personal in a different way—personalized from you rather than for them. Create a piece of art, write a song, knit a scarf—you get the idea. Combine this with one (or more) of the above suggestions for an ultra-personalized gift.
6. Remember Shared Experiences. It is very touching to receive a gift from someone that you shared a particular experience with. Take some time to consider the times you have spent with your gift recipient. Over the past year you may have attended concerts together, been on holiday or enjoyed a great night out. Even moments spent at school or university can be a happy memory. Gifts which remind your recipient of the time you spent together are very thoughtful. You could create an album of holiday pictures, buy another set of tickets to see your favorite band perform or organize another evening out together. Also remember the inside jokes or the stories that you have shared over the past year; these can be fun to relive or record for posterity.
7. Expecting. Based on our results, people are willing to give more than they expect to receive. They also expect people they are close with to spend more on them, such as immediate family and a significant other. Choosing what kind of gift to personalize was pretty split, but everyone across the board appreciates customization.
Though there are endless ways to personalize gifts, four of the most popular methods are with a name, pictures, quotes or monograms. Show a loved one you care by adding their name to a coffee mug they can use every morning or give a personalized infinity canvas to display your infinite love.
A quote could be a great gift on a canvas or pillow for an upcoming birthday, and inspire the recipient every time they see it. Or you could opt for a simple and classic form or personalization — a monogram! Monograms are great to add to jewelry or wedding gifts.
No matter the type of personalization, when it comes to gifts for family and friends, you want to give them something that they’ll cherish forever. That’s why personalized gifts are popular amongst all, and the perfect way to celebrate a special occasion!