The Art of Gifting
Tis’ the season for festive outdoor celebrations, graduations, first communions, Mother’s Day and more. Hence, spring is a good time to examine the art of giving. It is probably safe to assume that most people enjoy receiving presents. The thought and feeling of anticipation can be quite exciting.
Being on the receiving end is the easy part, the giver must be the attentive and creative one. There are so many occasions when gifts are expected, sometimes you need to bestow some sort of friendly gesture to a business client, family member, friend, a new acquaintance or someone you don’t know, or a person you don’t particularly like!
Forced Giving is Meaningless
I have never been in the situation where I have felt forced to give a gift. Anyone who receives a special offering from me knows it comes straight from the heart. Why? I firmly believe a gift is something you give freely, not just because it is Christmas, a birthday, or any grand occasion. If it is not in my budget, or if I simply do not want to, I don’t. Nor do I abide by tit for tat. Countless times I have heard people complain about having to buy this one or that one something or needing to spend a set amount on a gift. I want no part in forced giving, it has no meaning.
Gift Shopping Tips
All that aside, I do enjoy being on the giving end, especially when I get the purchase just right. Do you dread buying presents simply because you never know what to get? That is a valid reason. Here are some things to consider before you venture out on your next gift shopping trip:
Stay Within Your Budget: Be very clear about what you can afford to spend, and this will simplify the process from the start. Buying a gift should never be a financial burden. Think about the occasion, the person receiving, and what that person means to you.
Do Some Browsing: If you have no clue about what to buy, head to a department store or shopping mall and look around. This will allow you to see many different items that may spark some ideas or remind you of the person. Online shopping is more convenient, but sometimes browsing in a physical store is more efficient. You can comparison shop online later.
Think of the Receiver: Never buy a gift because you like it! That can be the secondary reason but always consider the receiver first. What makes this person happy? Make a list of likes and dislikes, favorite items or events, or things he/she may have mentioned. For example, a friend may want to attend an upcoming concert or has been eyeing a pair of earrings, or a dress. Some people are more practical and really appreciate useable gifts like gas cards, razors or a home-cooked meal. But if you are still unsure, or don’t know the person well, go with a general gift that is suitable for most. A nice wallet, a plant or flowers, gift card, set of pens, are good options. If you miss the mark the giver can easily re-gift them. No harm was done.
The Thought Does Count: It crossed your mind to give a gift, that counts. So, no matter the size or cost of the offering, give with warm feelings and the best intentions. A decent person receiving will appreciate the effort and enjoy the favor.
Choosing the perfect gift for someone special can be very rewarding. Always remember, gift giving should not feel like an obligation or a chore. Enjoy the process, make someone else happy and share in the excitement.