Wednesday, November 4, 2020

How To Be A Great Gift-Giver

I'm not usually someone who is particularly good at identifying their strengths, and I'd much rather wave off a compliment than take it how it is intended, but I know that I am a good gift giver. While I don't think it is necessarily my receiving love language, giving gifts is undoubtedly how I prefer to show my love to other people.  

When I shared with y'all on Instagram that I was beginning to put together gift guides for this holiday season, I had a few requests of how I go about deciding what to give the different people on my list. I loved the idea of this since, in most cases, it really is the thought that goes into finding someone the perfect present that means the most, and I am excited to walk y'all through the decision process I go through when it comes to deciding what to gift someone. 

But first I want to share my very best gift-giving secret, and it couldn't be easier. One of the only reasons I feel like I am good at giving gifts is because I keep a running list of gift ideas for specific people on my phone throughout the year. Pretty much a no-brainer, but I know many people think they will remember something someone may have mentioned wanting when it comes time for a gift-giving holiday, but the stress of buying for multiple people, among other reasons, tends to cause them to forget. Using the notes app on my phone, I have a specific note titled "gift ideas" that I am continually adding to. I would show it to you, but since many of the recipients read my posts, that would spoil some of my fun. On the note, I have written out the names of the people I know I'll be shopping for gifts for at some point during the year (parents, brother, grandparents, friends, etc.). Each person is listed on their own line, and I have mine set up to be double spaced between recipients since that makes it less overwhelming visually when I take a look at it. From there, I write down anything they've mentioned or I've seen that I would want to gift them. If I'm shopping with someone on that list and they point out something they like while we are in a shop, it immediately goes on the list often with parentheses next to it with where we are when they mention it so that I can go back to that place and purchase it. If I am sitting on the couch with my roommate and she says something in passing that she wants, it also makes the list. The immediacy in which you write it down helps in the long run since you can likely be much more specific. Something else that I've started to do is write down things someone says they hate doing to see if I can later come up with a way to make that chore or activity less daunting for them. For example, for someone who hates blow-drying their hair, this one-step hair dryer is my go-to gift solution. 

It has gotten to the point that my parents and sometimes even friend's parents come to me to ask what to give the people they know we are both shopping for! This list also helps me to know what to buy when I see it on sale, which often results in being able to purchase something that may seem a little nicer, but in-reality was purchased when it went on sale. I know that encouraging you to write these things down seems like the biggest no-brainer, but I know that list is the only reason I can consistently come up with good gift ideas around the holidays. Now, if only it magically made it so that I had the budget to purchase all those items for the people I love! 

Since it may feel a little late in the year to purchase presents for this holiday season from that list that you may have only just started, I hope the gift guides that I'll be releasing over the next several weeks will help with that. I've also included a few other questions I like to ask myself before purchasing presents below that will hopefully help you identify whether or not you want to buy a certain gift. 

Is this something they wouldn't buy themselves?

Now that I'm at the age where most people I know have an income of their own, that means they may be harder to shop for since they will more than likely go ahead and purchase an item for themselves instead of asking for it as a gift. I think this is what makes shopping for parents so difficult. To get around this hurdle, I like to find items that the person may not purchase for themselves but would still love to receive. Usually, this means something that feels like it may not be "necessary" but is a luxury they enjoy. For example, this is why I always ask for a restock of the Glamorous Wash Diva detergent. Do I need a $25 bottle of laundry detergent? Absolutely not. But do I love the way it smells and enjoy doing laundry more because of it? You bet! 

Is this something that fits the price point you're hoping to spend without feeling like a "filler" gift?

This question tends to lend itself more to gifts of a smaller price point and is why stocking stuffers and small budget gifts for coworkers can feel so tricky. If you're hoping to spend less than $10 on a giftable item, it can be hard not to turn to items like post-it notes, a picture frame, or a drugstore lip balm set, among other things. Well, for me, these are items that don't always feel like a gift and instead get tucked away in a drawer until I remember they are there. That's not because I don't appreciate them, but instead, because they are items I'd buy for myself if I needed them. Instead, you'll save money and likely give something that seems nicer if you approach small budget gifts like this by buying a set that can be broken apart. Here are a few great break apart gifts I've found: A Beautiful Holiday Candle Set, Gourmet Hot Sauce Trio, Lele Sadoughi Embroidered Face Mask Set, Makeup Eraser Set (roll them and tie a ribbon on them to make them especially cute), Sugar Lip Balm Trio, Spray Perfume Set

Is this something they already own and love and may want more of?

The first thing I think of in this category, pajamas. I will never not (excuse the double negative) be excited about a pair of pajamas, especially if they are a brand I adore that is on the pricier side like Lake Pajamas. Gifts that fall into this category are sure to provide an enthusiastic response from the recipient since you already know they love the item! 

While I'm sure I could come up with plenty of other questions worth asking yourself when it comes to purchasing a gift, the point of this post is to make gift-giving easier and not more stressful! I would love to know if y'all have any other ways you make picking out presents easier. And if you're still feeling overwhelmed, my first gift guide is going up on Friday :) 

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