Want to impress your friends, thrill your family, and wow your colleagues? Giving gifts that are thoughtful and ‘just right’ is sure to get you noticed. I’m going to share with you 7 steps to becoming a great gift giver.
1 – Start with the questions
You need to begin by gathering some information about your gift recipient. Start by answering these questions to determine a profile of the receiver:
– What does this person like? – Running, lattes, Elvis?
– What is their home like? – Do they have stacks of books around, are they a minimalist, does their kitchen support a huge range? (I always get such great insight from visiting people’s homes.)
– What is their life philosophy? – Are they an avid yoga student, is their life lived in the fast lane, are they a vegan?
2 – Check the milestones
Is this a special birthday? You then need to determine if you should acknowledge it. – Are they shouting about turning 30 or trying to pretend 40 is not around the corner?
3 – Put the gray cells to work
Next you want to brainstorm some ideas using the above information. I find a cup of tea in a coffee shop helps me to feel relaxed and creative. Browsing through magazines can be productive too. (Later I will share with you some of my go-to prompts for coming up with terrific gifts.)
4 – Determine the short list
Have a short list of places to shop based upon time available/your lifestyle. – Do you prefer to support your neighborhood stores, do you find it easier to get everything from one big store, or is online shopping the only thing you have time for? And then schedule some time to shop. We all have busy lifestyles these days so you do need to allow time to shop, otherwise this task becomes another stressor and you will end up fudging the gift in the end.
5 – Don’t forget a Plan B
Start the process early enough to allow time in case your first foray does not bear fruit. This cannot be emphasized enough.
6 – It’s a wrap
You also need to factor in picking up gift wrap, so you really do the gift justice. Your style may be understated, but you don’t want to be running into your local drugstore late the night before and have no real choice. Also, if you’re not great at paper wrapping, know your limitations and use a gift bag. And don’t stop there. Adding a gift tag or enclosure card with a handwritten personalized note – perhaps something referring to the present – can really make the gift seem special. Carefully executed presentation sets the whole tone for how the gift will be received. (Much more on this topic later…)
7 – Timing is everything
Nothing is worse than a late gift, it just doesn’t make anyone think that they’re important to you. If you can’t deliver something on time yourself, think about having a gift delivered – always a nice option. There are also plenty of calendar reminder options to prompt you ahead of time, so you’re not caught out: Paperless Post and Minted are two sites that I like.
Over the coming weeks and months I look forward to sharing more ideas for taking the pain out of gift giving.