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Anatomy of a Great Gift

2015 April 20


I bought a birthday gift for a dear friend this week and it got me thinking about what makes a good gift versus a not-so-good gift…(because we all know we’ve gotten our fair share of both). Here are some gift giving tips I like to keep in mind when shopping for the special people in my life:

Multiple gifts make a major impression. I like to give a couple of little things versus one big one, because everyone likes to open a few little surprises at once. It doesn’t have to break your budget; you can couple one more expensive item with some smaller token ones, but in my opinion, this is one scenario where quantity can go a long way…

Share your favorite things. A few years ago in an office holiday gift exchange one of my co-workers gave me a few of her favorite things – and I loved it! She wanted to share some of the things she loves the most and the concept was so sweet and heartfelt, I remember it years later. I love to gift my friends my favorite lip balm or a favorite book or the perfect tee that I can’t get enough of. And I always mention it’s a favorite in the card.

Give a gift card…but don’t stop the giving there. At this age, it’s tough to find the perfect everything for even your closest friend or family member so I always like to include one gift card among the other small gifts so they have some autonomy to go and treat themselves with their personal wish list in mind. But I never give a gift card solo…it feels too impersonal to me unless it’s paired with something else. A nail salon card with your favorite three polishes, a restaurant gift card with a bottle of your favorite wine, a retail gift card with your favorite accessory from the brand…etc.

Scout their social media. Check out your recipient’s Instagram and Pinterest for their favorite must-haves of the moment. My Pinterest wish list board is alive and kicking all year-round (mainly for my own amusement though those of you shopping for my upcoming birthday are welcome to reference it, too…;)) and it’s an easy place to find the things I am coveting most…sometimes with a direct link to purchase.

Don’t mind the presentation, mind the message. This is my personal rule because I am the worst gift-wrapper in the world (I actually paid a friend in wine a few years ago to do my holiday wrapping for me), but I feel like the true sentiment comes in your personal feelings and not just in the pretty presentation. I always include a proper card (not just a gift tag), no matter the occasion, and take the time to write a heartfelt message that shows how much I care about that person and their special day. Maybe it’s the writer in me, but it always beats a fancy wrapping job in my book… 😉

3 Responses
  1. April 21, 2015

    Great ideas! I love the multiple gifts idea, especially if it is theme-based. For my 20th wedding anniversary last October, I came up with the idea to give my husband 20 things, especially as I didn’t have one big gift I wanted to give him, but I had lots of ideas of smaller things he wanted. I did count the items in the gift as part of it. When I gave him a set of 4 masculine glasses for his scotch bar setup, that counted as 4 gifts, LOL. He loved it! This is especially great for those who gift giving is their love language.

    BTW, I got a great compliment on a Facebook post of a picture of me yesterday. A friend commented with a picture of Gwyneth Paltrow in a similar white dress and said I looked just like her. I don’t think she knows what a compliment that was to me!

  2. April 24, 2015

    I really love the idea of giving a bunch of smaller gifts. It’s nice to pair a store-bought thing with a DIY treat. If I buy both items, I make sure that the wrapping is special and done by my hands instead of by someone else.

  3. elizabeth duncan permalink
    April 25, 2015

    Love these ideas, especially the thought of giving someone (most likely a female) my favorite things because in return, I love seeing what people’s “Go To’s” are.

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