Buying someone a gift they love shows you’ve taken the time to choose wisely. Unfortunately, choosing a gift that suits their tastes isn't always easy. Some people say they don’t need anything, while others are almost impossible to please.
Nothing dampens your holiday spirits quicker than wasting hours searching for the perfect gift, only to see them react indifferently. However, when you get it right, the reaction is nothing short of wondrous.
Consider these strategies to pick out gifts they’ll adore this holiday season.
Listen for Clues
Listen for clues about what’s going on the person’s life. Perhaps they want to get in shape and they think a gadget can help them track their progress.
Don’t assume buying the gadget would be predictable and boring. If it’s something they specifically want, buy it.
Buying gifts for distant loved ones may involve a little more detective work. Ask plenty of questions, solicit the help of their friends, or just come right out and ask them. It is better they get something they want than for you to waste your time and money on something they won’t use.
If nothing stands out, make a list including anything you know interests the person. Maybe they like football, knitting, sci-fi, or golf. Try to put together a few items that reflect their interests. They’ll appreciate the gesture and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
Pull Ideas From Their Past
Aunt Gilda may tell you she doesn’t want a thing and it’s good enough if you come for dinner. However, showing up empty-handed isn’t really an option.
Small gifts can have a big impact when they show you’ve listened. Aunt Gilda may reminisce about her old home, so why not find an old photo and frame it? Grandpa Joe loved the Yankees, so how about a ball cap? Got a budding photographer on your list? Why not create a canvas print from one of their best images?
Think Smart & Practical
Buying the most expensive gift you can afford doesn’t mean it will make the person happy. Why spend money on a big screen TV, when they really want to see blockbusters at the theater? You’re better off buying them a movie theater gift card for admissions, popcorn, and treats.
Gift cards aren’t impersonal when you tailor the buy to the person. A picky teenager would rather have a gift card so they can hit the sales and buy what they want, instead of feeling guilty because they tossed aside your unwanted present.
What Do They Need?
Even if a person tells you they don’t need anything, you can find something they’ll appreciate. A budding entrepreneur would appreciate an online course from a seasoned master.
Have a foodie on your list? Create a food basket full of small gourmet items. What about the person who’s phone always dies? Why not buy them a wireless phone charger?
The point is that you can create a small, carefully chosen care package for anyone if you consider their needs.
Create an Experience
If you’re really stuck, consider creating an experience. This could be revamping the person’s bedroom with a new comforter and sheets to create a sanctuary they can enjoy every night. Everyone appreciates new bedding and a good night’s sleep.
Maybe the person on your list loves car racing. Lessons in a Formula One or NASCAR vehicle would leave a smile on their face for years. You could also buy them an introductory surf lesson or a ticket to a play.
How about buying that special person new towels and then setting the bathroom up for a spa experience? Most people don’t buy towels often enough, but nothing beats the feel of fluffy towels after a leisurely soak. Add candles, music, and the drink of their choice and you’ve created a memorable gift.
Wrap a gift card in a giant package filled with bells and objects that rattle. Wrap a map inside an envelope and send the person on a scavenger hunt for their gift.
Buy oodles of small items so it takes forever to unwrap them all. Buy a silly sticker for a luxury car or Trump toilet paper for a staunch republican. Find the craziest socks for the most conservative person and the oddest flavored chocolate for the connoisseur. Everyone loves a laugh and they’ll remember your gift too.
Follow these tips and you’re sure to find gifts the people on your list will adore.