5 Tips for Nailing the Perfect Gift for Everyone on Your List


5 Tips for Nailing the Perfect Gift for Everyone on Your List

Gift giving has been my love language since I was a little girl. I was forever making pictures, friendship bracelets, and impressively once made a recreation of the blow up man that you see outside of car dealerships for my mom’s birthday. I am the go-to person for family and friends whenever someone needs gift ideas. There is a misconception that those of us whose love language is gifts associate love with materialism. According to the 5 Love Languages, “The receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you.”

5 Tips for Nailing the Perfect Gift for Everyone on Your List

This is me in a nutshell. Some of the best gifts I’ve gotten have been so small. Like the key my MIL had made for me that was teal with polka dots {both of which I love}. Or the handwritten notes my husband used to hide in my apartment for me to find when we were first dating. Since gifts are my love language, I am particularly skilled at gift giving. You could say I’m…..gifted {I had to do it}. As we go into the holidays, I want to share some of my secrets for finding the perfect gift. 


Make a Year Round Gift List

Since gift giving is how I show love, it is on my mind most of the time. Whether I am grabbing my husband’s favorite candy at the grocery store, or picking up a birthday present a couple of months early, my radar is up for finding that perfect thing. You don’t only have to be on the lookout for gifts only two weeks before someone’s birthday or the month before Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Etc. You can look all the time! When I find something, I either buy it then and hold onto it until the occasion, or I add it to my Google Keep list of gift ideas, and then when that occasion rolls around, I already have the perfect thing. 

Tap into Fandoms

5 Tips for Nailing the Perfect Gift for Everyone on Your List

This is applicable to pretty much anyone. If you are in doubt, think about something your person is really into. Is it a TV show? A video game? A band? A movie? The resurgence of 90’s paraphernalia? If you can find something that fuels their already established obsession, it is usually a hit. My personal one is Gilmore Girls, and although I already have a lot of merch, I wouldn’t ever say no to more. I have framed posters, coffee mugs, t-shirts, and books. Keep ’em coming!

Buy Something They Wouldn’t for Themselves

5 Tips for Nailing the Perfect Gift for Everyone on Your List

Assuming you can afford it, splurging on something that someone would not buy on their own can make for a fabulous gift. Last Christmas, my brother-in law bought me Teiks in a secret santa gift exchange. I had been eyeing them for months, but couldn’t take the plunge. It was a great gift, and I wear them probably the most of any of my shoes. When I was dating my husband, the first birthday gift he got me was a fancy box set of Harry Potter books. Which he shipped to me. From Germany.  It was something I never would have bought {I already owned them all in mismatched versions} but that gorgeous book set is a cherished possession. It also pretty much sealed the deal that I had found the man I was going to marry.

Make it Personal

5 Tips for Nailing the Perfect Gift for Everyone on Your List

I’ve nailed several gift occasions for my mom by tapping into family connections. My grandmother died when I was a teenager, so anything that celebrates her memory has been a great gift, like the etching of one of her recipes in her handwriting that I got my mom a few years ago {thanks Etsy}. I’ve also done a family photo session, because everyone loves having family photos, but no one loves the work of making them happen. Since our daughter was born, almost every gift occasion involves either a photo of her or a craft she helped to make. I know her grandparents value those over any item we could buy, and you had better believe we are going to ride that train as far as it will go. Think about what might be meaningful to the person you are shopping for, and follow that instinct. 

Sometimes Gift Cards Are OK

It pains me to write this. In my gift giving world, gift cards are synonymous with lazy and uncreative. BUT. I also value the gift that will be loved and used over the one that will sit and collect dust. If you have a coffee lover, get them that Starbucks card. I’ll take some free-to-me Chick Fil A any day. This is especially helpful in those difficult teen years, when it might be hard to figure out something they would really like. I tend to cheat on this by getting a small gift and pairing it with a gift card just to make myself feel better. Even with gift cards, try to keep it personal. Do they have a favorite local restaurant/bookstore/clothing store? And when in doubt, Amazon is usually a safe choice.

So there you go! Keep it personal, splurge if you want, and feed those obsessions. Happy gifting!

What are your gift giving hacks? Have you ever nailed the perfect gift? 


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