Shopping for other people can be really difficult, but I totally love that moment when you find that perfect gift for someone, and I love the look on someone’s face when they open that perfect gift.
I’m going to divide gifts into several different categories and give a few examples/ideas on how to pick out a gift.
I tend to like to give practical gifts. I define practical gifts as something you would eventually buy for yourself as a necessity or to update a current necessity. These could be clothes, things someone needs for their home/apartment, etc. If you know someone really well, you probably know what they might need, whether it be new gym clothes or new bed sheets.
Clothing is oftentimes difficult to buy for other people because it’s really hard to know whether they’ll like the style or fit. Personally, I would only buy clothing for my mom and my boyfriend becuase I know what they like to wear pretty well. If you want to get someone clothes, but aren’t sure of their styles, remember to grab the gift receipt or grab them a gift card to their favorite store.
If you want to buy someone a practical gift, but maybe you don’t know them very well or don’t spend much time in their homes, seeing what they might be able to use, stick to the basics. People can always use a new bath towel set, a new set of drinking glasses, or patterned dish towels.
Gifts people would (probably) never buy for themselves
Gifts people wouldn’t buy for themselves can include a wide variety of objects. These are the kind of things we see in the store, really want, but walk past anyways because we have groceries to get.
When looking for one of these gifts, it’s a good idea to look at someone’s hobbies. If someone really likes making art, find out what kind of supplies they’re missing. If someone loves to read, find which books they’re wanting. Do they collect something?
Jewelry, decorative items, and board games are just a few things that could fall into this category. Gifts of “experience” could fit into this category as well. Prepaying or buying tickets for an event such as museum tours, wine tastings, or classes. Taking them out for such experiences is a great gift as well.
Personalized gifts can combine the two types of gifts above or could add a personal touch to something for someone who seems to already have everything. The internet is full of online retailers who are ready to personalize all sorts of things for you and your loved ones.
Personally, I have used Moonglow and Shutterfly, and I trust both of these sites to deliver. Moonglow allows you to choose a specific date and put the moon from that date on a piece of jewelry. These are great for birthdays or anniversaries. Shutterfly will personalize just about anything for you from cutting boards to coasters. I’ve ordered prints, Christmas ornaments, and magnets from them.
There are many other sites out their that will customize the perfect gift. Some that I have seen advertised include LoveBook, The Night Sky, Things Remembered.
For me, personally, there’s a big difference between receiving cash, checks, and gift cards simply because of the format. It’s also important to keep in mind during this section that this is just me, and other people probably use their gifted money differently.
Cash is often used for eating out (smaller bills for fast food, larger bills for dinner dates) and alcohol. Occasionally, a $100 bill might go towards groceries or clothes shopping, but that’s rare.
Large checks are deposited into savings, and I save it for a very long time. (The only time I pulled money out of savings was for college and to by my car.) Checks $30 and under are cashed and used as said above.
Gift cards for clothing stores are used gratefully as an excuse to buy clothes. Walmart and Target gift cards are often used on groceries, cleaning supplies, or other home necessities.
All three of these things are great, but if you’re gifting someone money for a specific reason, it’s a good idea to think about the format you’re choosing otherwise it might not be used in the way you initially planned.
Of course, we all like to receive gifts, and we all like to give a great gift, but the majority of people don’t really care what you get them. The fact that you stopped somewhere, with them in mind, and purchased an item for them, will normally mean a lot to them.
The amount of money spent doesn’t determine the greatness of the gift. And a handwritten card or a phone call is just as appreciated.