A few years ago David's mom introduced me to the 5 languages of love. After looking it over it became super clear to me that I show love by giving. I love to give things to people that I love, so I've made it a personal mission to be very good at it.
I once had a friend whose standard of gift giving was to spend some time with the recipient and wait for them to compliment something that she owned. Then, when a reason for gifting came about, she got them one and gave it.
In general, this is an ok practice. I mean, there's definitely worst. You could receive gifts that your giver wouldn't be caught dead with. Those always go straight to the donation pile.
To me, there's a clear art in giving great gifts. It's not about spending tons of money or waiting for them to compliment something of your own; it's about being thoughtful.
1. Give specifically what they ask for and/or need.
If someone has a registry or a wishlist or a Pinterest board of things they want, purchase something from this list, if possible. Your recipient is giving you a clear idea of what they want, practically begging for it, so go with it. You know they'll like it.
Likewise, opt for a practical gift over a frivolous one, especially if your friend is in a tough spot. They may not be asking for an oil change, and it's not fun to wrap, but I'm sure it's much more appreciated than another set of coasters.
2. Consider giving an experience.
Some of my favorite things to give and get are not things, but experiences. David was once in the habit of giving me massages for my birthday. Concerts are something that I've always enjoyed giving. It's not about what they get, but the memories they make while doing them. Especially if they get to do them with you.
3. Give something you'd wear / love / enjoy / purchase for yourself.
Giving something that you know you'd love for yourself is usually a pretty good way to make sure you don't get into that impulse-buy trap. You know, that moment when you see something you think would be great, get it, and then almost immediately regret it. Always pause and take a moment to imagine if you'd be happy if you received this as a gift. If not, put it back and move along.
It's all about thoughtfulness and quality. These make for really great gifts.
This last reason is the foundation behind a couple of events coming up on Indie Shopography. Starting Monday, and over the next two Mondays, I'll be hosting three giveaways here on the site. Three giveaways of things I love. All for you.
Mark your calendar. I'll see you then!
How do you pick out gifts for your friends and family?
Today I'm thankful that I have a job that will let me take off all week, if I want. And I want.
I'll be spending the week with family, friends. I'll be cooking, eating, and sipping. Shopping. Laughing.
Not working, or answering emails.
Man, my boss is one cool chick.
There are almost 2.5 years of really great blog posts archived away in the depths of Indie Shopography.