Holiday gift-giving is a custom filled with noble intentions, but it sometimes lead leads to stressed-out out shopping madness. As you set out to choose gifts that show our your affection or appreciation this holiday season, also set the intention of experiencing the feeling of giving a really fantastic gift. It’s so fulfilling and satisfying to know you picked just the right thing for that one special person. Similarly, when you receive a gift that’s exactly what you wanted/needed, you get a sense of how much thought the giver put into the gift. Here are a few tips and tricks when it comes to the art of great gift giving.
1. Details Do Matter
Fancy wrapping or expensive greeting cards are not mandatory for a great gift, but remembering to take as much time in the presentation of the gift as you did in the acquisition of it is important. You can also keep an eye out for gifts that already come in elegant packaging.
2. It’s the Thought That Counts
Too often people try to go head-to-head when buying gifts. This builds unnecessary pressure, and the thoughtfulness loses its meaning. Don’t get caught up in the idea that more is better or that bigger is better! You should be choosing a gift because you want to – not because you expect anything in return.
3. Think About Joining Forces
If you’re not sure whether it’s appropriate to get someone like your boss a gift, consider organizing a group one. It looks less self-serving, plus you’ll be able to give them a nicer gift without breaking your holiday budget.
4. Remember to Give Thanks
Feel stuck because someone gave you a gift and you didn’t have one for them? No worries – simply give back your gratitude. It’s not mandatory to reciprocate, but it is essential to accept the gift with a genuine smile on your face and say something like, “How thoughtful. Thank you so much for thinking of me.”
5. Just Say No to Gag Gifts
Unless your workplace or group of friends is hosting a white elephant exchange where the premise is to give a silly gift, opt for tasteful over tacky. Gags can sometimes be seen as offensive, especially in work environments. Make sure to keep the gag gifts for very close family and friends.
6. Buy for the Couple Instead of the Two Individuals
If someone you know gets into a relationship, it’s OK to shift your gift-giving from individual to couple. Buying a certificate to a restaurant or movie night is a gracious gesture. Meaningfulness is automatically included, since the gift also acknowledges that you are rooting for them as a happy couple.
7. Regift the Right Way
Passing along an unwanted gift to someone else is not only OK, it’s smart. Some of the best regift items are: picture frames, notecards, candles, and bottles of wine, sparking cider, or champagne. However, the key to successful regifting is to make sure you remove all traces of the original giving beforehand – and to be certain you’re not giving something back to the person who gave it to you!
8. Double Down on the Tip
If you get your hair done regularly by a particular stylist or use a dog-walking or cleaning service, pad their regular paycheck with a little something extra. A good rule of thumb is to double your normal tip, and make sure you let them know a holiday tip is included. Even if you never see them, you don’t want them to think you forgot them.
9. Have Fun
Gifts don’t have to be a series of “should haves” and guidelines. Gift-giving is supposed to be fun. Don’t get overwhelmed by the etiquette and lose focus of the joy of the season. After all, you’re buying gifts because you like these people. It should feel nice to do. If you’re feeling resentful of the gifts you’re buying, you need to re-evaluate your list.