Gift giving is an art. Some people are great at it; they have an innate ability to come up with the most amazing, memorable and thoughtful gifts. Unfortunately, some of us are seriously challenged in the gift-giving department. In fact, many people see it as a great source of stress, especially when it comes to gifts for people who already have everything.
We all have those people in our lives-friends and family who have great careers and great incomes that allow them to buy essentially whatever they want. Granted, they may not have private jets or reservations to go to the moon with Virgin Galactic, but they do have the state-of-the-art gadgets, latest fashion, fancy vacations and other cutting-edge toys by the dozen.
Nevertheless, the fact they have everything doesn’t mean these friends and family don’t like to receive gifts. They equally desire appreciation, support, love and recognition, just like everybody else. So the focus here is not the monetary value of the gifts, but rather the thought and meaning behind the gifts.
Do you think you are one of those gift-giving challenged? Yes, it’s difficult to come up with the most amazing gift at a moment’s notice without any context. There is certainly no universal gift that everyone likes. So you do have to put time and effort to come up with it.
One way to do it is to dedicate a day to think about it. No, you don’t have to do nothing for a day and sit around to think about the gift. You also don’t have to do intensive research on the web for a day. But what you can do is to keep the person in mind for the day as you are going about your daily business. Think about her likes and dislikes between moments during your morning coffee, drive to work, lunch time, grocery shopping, dinner preparation, TV break and so on. Although you can certainly have random thoughts about the person, but below are some suggestions to guide your thoughts to make your process more productive.
Where’s Her Hometown?
Is she from another state or from another country? Does she have fond memories of her hometown? Things that can remind her about good times and good friends in her hometown are excellent gifts. For example, if she is from Vermont, a gift set of maple syrup or Ben & Jerry’s ice cream would be great. If she is from Texas, you could take her to a fun day outing with authentic Texas BBQ. If she is from Sweden, you can give her a gift basket of Swedish specialty food. Also, she may be interested in getting the latest news about her hometown. Why not give her an online subscription to her hometown newspaper?
What’s Her Passion?
Is she into craft? Photography? Art? Books? Theater? Cooking? Food? If so, you can focus on things that enable her passion. Give her a lens cleaning kit if she is into photography. Give her a French Laundry restaurant cookbook if she is a gourmet home cook. Give her tickets to an upcoming play in the community if she is into theater. Give her several skeins of scrumptious yarn if she is into knitting. Give her tickets to an upcoming special exhibition in a nearby museum if she is into art. Give her an orchid if she is into gardening.
What band or sports team does she like?
Is she crazy about a certain band? Then one direction you can approach from is memorabilia of the band. Perhaps you can get a small, signed photo of the band in action, or guitar picks or drum sticks the band used before. You can certainly get those items on eBay. You can even get concert tickets for upcoming events. Even if the band is not playing, she might still appreciate going to see a cover band. Similarly, you can get memorabilia about the sports team she likes. A signed team jersey, photograph of her favorite player and tickets to a game would show your thoughtfulness.
What Experience Would She Like to Gain?
When you chat with her, does she mention anything she would love to do but has not gotten around to do? For example, did she mention wanting to learn to scuba dive, hang glide, fly a plane or take a cooking class? All those experiential gifts are available in many large cities. These are classes you can give her as gifts. Better yet, if you can even take the class with her-you are not just giving her the gift of a class, but also your time and companionship.
Is Religion or Spiritual Matter Important to Her?
One option of a gift is to give an artifact that is related to her religion or spiritual belief. If she is a devoted Christian, you can think about giving her framed art, cushion or coffee mug with her favorite scripture. If she is curious about Buddhism, perhaps you can get her a Tibetan singing bowl or prayer flags. If she is Jewish devotee, you can consider giving her a prayer art. If she is spiritual Muslim, you can give her wudu socks for her daily praying.
What’s Her Favorite Charity Organization?
Does she have a cause that is close to her heart? If her family member has been affected by breast cancer before, and you know she is an advocate, then a donation to the related charity organization would be appreciated. Perhaps she is on the board of the local chapter of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, you can also make a donation there. Better yet, you might be able to get your company to host an event or support that charity organization.
What’s Your Relationship With Her?
You can even express your appreciation, love and support to her directly in a sentimental gift. If she is your mom, sister, mother-in-law, aunt, mentor or best friend, there are items such as sculpture, jewelry, coffee cup and such that have sentimental sayings or poems on them that can reflect your sentiments for these beloved people in your life.
When people say, “it’s the thought that counts,” it is especially true when it comes to giving gifts to people who have everything. Spend the day keeping her in your mind, which by itself is an amazing gift for her. The physical gift is merely a reflection of your thoughtfulness. Try asking these questions and sure enough you will come up with the most amazing gift for her.