How to Find the Perfect Present and Give the Best Gifts
Find the perfect present for EVERYONE on your list! Once people hit a certain age, they tend to have everything they need and can buy anything they want for themselves! It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but the stress of finding, making, or buying the perfect gift to show your loved ones you care can put a damper on anyone’s spirits. I have compiled 10 Tips to Find the Perfect Present (and some awesome gift ideas!)
Gift Giving is Hard!
I get that not everyone likes exchanging presents, or doesn’t have the funds, or thinks it’s too commercial. As Scott likes to joke, “instead of presents, let’s just all throw $20 in an envelope and exchange that.” Yet I think it’s an opportunity to show how well you know a person, how much you care, and celebrate your relationship to them (why yes, gift giving IS one of my love languages now that you mention it). So I thought I would share my process of figuring out how to get the perfect present for all the people in my life, and maybe some fun gift ideas and gift guides!
Tips & Tricks for Giving the Perfect Present
Every gift giving holiday even I have trouble finding the Perfect Present for some of the people in my life – I know my parents, my in-laws, and my boyfriend are all difficult to buy for! Even if you ask “what would you like for your birthday/Christmas/whatever?” They answer “Nothing” So frustrating! So check out my strategy for finding a great gift below:
1. Don’t Wait until the Holidays!
Gift giving is stressful because there is a deadline. Don’t wait to start thinking about the perfect present. The first tip I have for everyone is LISTEN and WRITE IT DOWN throughout the year! People always mention things they like, things they need, or maybe you just happen to notice something that might make their life better/easier/happier. Pay attention, and when you notice something like this, open the Notes app in your phone and jot it down. Then when it comes time for a gift giving holiday, you already have a bunch of ideas written down and personalized.
2. Google/Pinterest is your friend!
Chances are if you are giving someone a gift you know a little something about them. There are a million and one blog posts out there with gift ideas already assembled for people that love “tech” or “movies” or “comfort” or whatever. Browse these for some inspiration, because you may not even know certain products or ideas even exist! Check out some of my Gift Guides Here!
Gift Guide Spa Day |Gift Guide Fitness |Gift Guide Coffee Lover |Gift Guide Tea Lover |Gift Guide Cocktail Lover |Amazon Finds Car Gadgets | Gifts for Mother’s Day | Gifts for Bakers | Gift of Sleep | Gifts for BBQ Lovers | Travel Gifts |
3. Ask them!
My family always gives gift lists for Christmas because we would rather get each other things we actually want, than have total surprise on Christmas morning. Even if you do end up going off list, it’s a place to start brainstorming. Fair warning: some people will not give you lists so you’ll just have to come up with ideas on your own. If they say “Nothing”, hope is not lost, try asking their close friends/family/co-workers or anyone you think might know them well enough to give you some ideas.
Try some association gift ideas- for example if they really like coffee some gift ideas could be unique flavor of beans, a coffee grinder, coffee syrups, a coffee mug, a travel mug, a milk frother, or a French press. Take something general they like (cooking, watching movies, reading, taking a bath) and try to think of all the different parts that go with a simple thing to expand the options. Especially if you know what someone else is getting them already, there are usually accessories or accompanying gifts that ‘go together’.
5. Homemade DIYs!
Gifts don’t have to be big or expensive, but it should be thoughtful. Sometimes a homemade gift is the most precious and magical of all when you put your heart into it. Making something doesn’t have to be difficult even if you’re not a ‘crafty person’. I don’t recommend a hand knit sweater if you’ve never done it before, but learning to make Homemade Flavored Coffee Syrup is super quick and easy and shows you cared enough to create it for them! Or remind them of a great memory you shared together to tell them how much they mean to you. Use photos to make a scrapbook, or write them a letter/poem.
Gifts don’t just have to be material objects. Quality time is one of the biggest love languages, so giving them the gift of time together or with other loved ones can be precious. Plus new experiences are always exciting! On the bigger side of things trips or concert tickets can create lifetime memories. But don’t forget about novel experiences- if there is something they’ve never done before, or something that doesn’t happen in your area all the time. Search Event Brite, or google “Events in my area” to see what’s happening near you! Even something as simple as a fun date night out will get them to associate the great memories of that night with your gift.
Ideas –Concerts, Escape Rooms, Theme nights, Festivals, Chef Tables (lots of restaurants will do a custom menu for your reservation!), Wine/scotch tasting, Paint night/crafting workshops, Massage/spa days, Skydiving or indoor sky diving, museums/art galleries/conservatories/science centers as they will often have special events/parties or “adult only” nights
For those that have everything they need and can buy anything they want (ie parents/in-laws/grandparents)- customization is your best friend. Gifts from grandkids can involve photos, handprints, cute misspelled cards (because those things can’t be bought from a store they mean a little bit more!). Plus a lot of stores can also customize regular items to make them that much more special-transform from regular everyday objects to treasures as soon as they are customized. Add a photo, a special phrase, their name, or something else they really love. Something I really thought was special was a customized puzzle involving a picture of your loved ones. This website makes it easy to customize lots of different products!
Ideas- Monogrammed Cutting Boards, Photo Socks, Photo Underwear, Name Blankets, Special Saying Pillows, Photo Mugs, Engraved Wooden spoons/spatula, Photo Puzzle, Name Welcome Mat, Name or Photo Ornaments, Photo T-shirt, apron, tote bag, Engraved Clock, Name Golf balls, Name Phone case, Initial Key chain, Name Towel, Special phrase or converted photo Wall art, Maps of special places, Photo Snow globes, Photobooks, Custom Story books, Custom Comic books, DIY Video montage featuring your friends/family
8. Gift baskets!
I love filling a box or a basket with lots of little things they will enjoy. Instead of one present, they get lots of little ones. Simple things like candies, tea, hot chocolate, beer etc you can buy a variety of and they can have a sampler kit. The basket could be filled with all one type of thing, or things related to each other (for example a “bath basket” could include bath bombs, bath oil, lotion, candle, face mask). Lots of companies design pre-made baskets around the holidays or allow you to customize your own basket. Some of my favorites include Boxfox which has lots of cute girly options, and Man Crate which has lots of guy options.
These are some of my favorite gifts to give because they are the gift that keeps on giving all year round. There are so many cool subscriptions you can gift to people, from toys for little ones, to beer, to cheese, to makeup, to craft kits. Each month the recipient gets a new box with new treats to try out. Luckily these subscriptions can usually come in 3 or 6 month options as well because this one can get pricey quickly! There are lots of specialty sites out there focusing on one subscription, but This one has a lot of options in one site. Seriously there are subscription box services for pretty much anything!
10. Stock Up for Last Minute Gifts!
My mother used to have a “Gift Closet” in our house growing up, and I do the same thing now in my own house. Basically when you see a really great sale that you can’t pass up on ‘generic’ gifts that don’t have an expiration date- go ahead and buy it and store it away. That way when you forgot Becky at the office has a birthday tomorrow, or your next door neighbor got you an unexpected Christmas gift, you have a bunch already on hand that you can choose from without breaking a sweat! Note: these are more for generic gifts I wouldn’t spend more than $15 on anything in the Gift Closet, and you can find lots of great deals to stock it up on Black Friday or Boxing Day.
Ideas- Candles, Scarves, Socks, Mugs, Hats, Gloves, Tea/coffee, Alcohol (the best generic gift!), Chocolate/Candy, Slippers, Board Games/puzzles, Novelty/Gag gifts, bath bombs, lotions, beard oils, books/cookbooks, notebooks, fancy pens
Bonus: if you have little kids you can do the same thing for party favors! We would find sales like “10 for $10” at Claire’s and put them in the favor basket. Then for our birthdays Mom would let us choose what to put in each favor bag.
If you liked this post comment below! Let me know what other gift guides you want to see!
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