Does giving presents stress you out? You want to give the people in your life thoughtful gifts they’d love, but it can be so difficult to know what to know the heck that is. If you want to learn how to be a better gift giver, check out these easy tricks!
You will feel so much better when you know how to find the perfect gift for someone. And even be inspired to get your shopping done early!
This post is part of the Stress Free, Debt Free Holiday series!
Don’t forget to check out the other posts:
- How to Create a Christmas Budget (and actually stick to it!)
- 21 Ways to Earn Extra Money for Christmas
- How to Throw a Fabulous Holiday Party on a Budget
This post may contain affiliate links. You can view my full disclosure policy here.
How to be a better gift giver
1. Really consider the recipient
It can be so easy to think of you want the recipient to have. But to really be a thoughtful gift giver, consider what your loved one really likes, wants, or needs.
Just because you like something doesn’t necessarily mean that the person who’s receiving your gift does. Remember that the gift is not for you.
Even if you think it’s a silly hobby, or not something you’d spend money on normally, it might make the perfect gift if the recipient is super into it.
Really give some thought to what that person might be craving or needing right now.
2. Give experiences instead of stuff
If you genuinely want to make a gift memorable, try giving an ‘experience’ instead of a physical item.
It could be a gift certificate for a class your loved one has been wanting to take, a massage or pedicure, or a membership or subscription that the recipient can use over and over.
There are also travel gift cards such as Airbnb and Hotels.com. A vacation is always a memorable experience.
Here are 50 of the best experience gift ideas to get you started.
3. Be observant
Listen to the gift recipient throughout the year and take notes. Most people mention from time to time things they’ve been wanting, or wanting to do.
Pay attention to what your loved one says, and how it could be turned into a gift idea.
They will be so touched that you listened to them, and actually remembered what they said!
4. Give time-saving gifts
If someone on your list is particularly time-starved, try giving them a service or device that will save them time or energy.
A gift certificate for house cleaning, or grocery or meal delivery service would be most appreciated by busy professionals or moms. Or just about anyone, I’d think.
5. Remember that it’s not how much you spend
The best gifts aren’t the ones with the highest price tags. People remember the gifts that you put effort into. They can really tell if you gave their gift some thought.
Don’t try to outdo anyone or show off when choosing gifts. You’re far better off being thoughtful.
6. Give clutter free gifts
Part of the Christmas stress can be finding a place for all the gifts we receive when the holidays are over. We all have so much ‘stuff’ already.
Please be intentional and don’t give overly large gifts that your recipient has no space for.
Here are 100 clutter free gift ideas!
7. Give a gift card or cash
Speaking of no-clutter gifts, consider giving your gift recipient a gift card or money. Even if it doesn’t seem particularly thoughtful, a gift card or cold hard cash will always be more appreciated than something they don’t want.
If you’re unsure, try to think of where the person most likes to shop, and just give a gift card.
And if it feels impersonal, put a little something fun with the money. A pair of fuzzy socks or homebaked goodies would be a nice little addition to make it seem more gift-like.
When in doubt, go with an Amazon gift card. They sell everything!
8. Don’t wait until the last minute
Going shopping right before Christmas means that everything will be picked over and you will get stressed.
Please don’t do that to yourself! Avoid the crowds and the wandering around getting hot in your winter coat, and just buy the gifts earlier.
Amazon Prime can be your best friend during the holiday season. They make it so easy to come up ideas, compare prices, and read reviews.
You can find something for everyone, and they’ll deliver it to your home in 2 days!
Get all your Christmas shopping done from the comfort of your couch this year. Pop in a Christmas movie and sip some hot cocoa while you’re at it.
Learning how to be a better gift giver means doing some forward thinking. If you’re making a Christmas budget, the next good step is to brainstorm some gift ideas.
You can make a budget for each person and come up with some ideas within that budget.
If you’re really organized, keep a list throughout the year of gift ideas for those especially hard to buy for loved ones.
10. Check Pinterest for ideas
Pinterest is chock full of gift guides and ideas for every type of person. Create a ‘gift ideas’ board and refer back to it when you’re ready to start shopping.
11. Ask for a wish list
When in doubt, just ask! Your loved ones would much rather receive gifts that they actually want, so asking is always better than guessing.
If you want it to be a surprise, ask for 5-10 ideas. They won’t know which one they’re getting, but you can be sure they’ll like whatever you choose.
Or you could ask their significant other, best friend, or closest relative what they’ve been particularly wanting this year.
You can use this printable Wish List from the 12 Days of Christmas Printables!
12. See what others are asking for
If you really don’t want to ask the gift recipient for a wish list, find out what gifts are popular this year. Browse Amazon’s Best Seller or Most Wished For lists and you’ll be sure to come up with the gifts everyone’s wanting.
This works especially well if your loved one is particularly hard to buy for, or if you have almost nothing in common with them.
13. Give something local
If you’re gifting to someone visiting from out of town, or sending a gift to someone who can’t make it home for the holidays, give them something that’s popular in your local area.
Most areas have specialty foods or drinks that aren’t available in other parts of the country. A shirt or other local souvenir might be very appreciated by someone who couldn’t get it otherwise.
14. Consider a luxury item
A luxury item doesn’t necessarily have to be overly expensive. It can be something that your gift recipient wouldn’t be able to buy, or willing to splurge on for herself.
If you do have a large Christmas budget, then I’m sure an expensive luxury item would be most welcome.
The idea is to gift a special treat that will feel like a luxury to the person receiving it.
15. Wrap it nicely
Nothing makes a gift seem more special than lovely wrapping. It shows that you put in that extra effort.
They make wrapping paper so pretty these days that it does most of the work for you. And the dollar store has such a great supply of holiday wrap, gift bags, and other necessities that it doesn’t have to be expensive.
I hope these suggestions gave some ideas for how to be a better gift giver. Try not to get stressed or over-complicate your gift ideas.
Just brainstorm what your recipients would really want, keep it clutter-free or time-saving if you can, and when in doubt, just ask!
You May Also Like:
- 35 of the Best Christmas Movies to Watch This Year
- 5 Ways to Stay Sane This Holiday Season
- Stress Free, Debt Free Holiday Series