The breakdown on what makes a good gift, and where to start!

Gift-giving has been a huge part of Western Society for as long as we can remember. Gift-giving is a way to show someone you appreciate them. It can also just be because you were forced into a White Elephant at your work’s holiday party. Nevertheless, a majority of Americans can say they have either given or received a gift at least once in their lives. With a gift-giving culture so prevalent, has anybody truly mastered the art of gift-giving? There are some key aspects to take into consideration when choosing that perfect, or at least adequate gift. 

Occasion:

What is this gift for? Is it a national holiday in which people are expected to give and receive gifts such as Christmas, Hanukah or Valentine’s Day? Is it someone’s birthday? Are you giving a gift just because? All of these aspects need to be considered to narrow down your search. For example, a gift card to a grocery store might work fine with your employees during the holidays, however, it might not bode as well for a birthday or Valentine’s Day. 

Recipient:

Who is this gift for? Is it for someone you know quite well like a significant other, a best friend, or a sibling? Is it for someone not as close to you such as your boss or a child’s teacher? The recipient of your gift should help you determine what is appropriate to get and what is not. It is best to play it safe with those you do not know super well personally. Versatile presents such as mugs and gift cards are safe bets, whereas books and clothing might not be. In contrast, if the recipient is someone you do know quite well, a little bit more thought with your gift will go a long way. Do they have a favorite band or movie? A favorite type of candy? Knowing these things can help you narrow down your search and pick out a gift that is more custom-tailored for more personal recipients.

Price:

Is there a set price? Do you have a general understanding of how much to spend? If so, great! If not, it is ideal to consult other people also buying gifts for your occasion or recipient. After all, you do not want to get a gift that was obviously under $10 such as a chocolate bar when the spoken or unspoken price point was around $50. While how much the gift-giver actually spent on the gift is rarely discussed (rip those price tags off!), it is important to anticipate how much to spend. If you truly do not know how much to spend, a safe bet would be to stick with $10-20.

What to do if you are truly stuck:

There are countless ways to better understand the subtle art of gift-giving. Consulting friends, coworkers, or anyone who has any relation to the occasion or recipient is a good start. Discussing what gifts they are planning on giving can help get the ball rolling. Another way to get the ball rolling is through looking through gift guides. There are countless gift guides on the web such as:

Gifts For Her: https://www.gifttree.com/specialpgs/gifts-for-her-girls-women

Gifts For Him: https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/holidays/gift-ideas/g399/gifts-for-men/

Gifts $20 and Under: https://www.cosmopolitan.com/lifestyle/advice/g3624/gifts-under-20/

Whatever source you choose, just note that the subtle art of gift-giving is never truly mastered. What is most important is the thought and effort put in.