Ways to always buy the right gift -
Even the most well-intentioned gift givers don't always hit the spot when it comes to giving friends and loved ones presents that they will actually like. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and Indiana University say it’s not for a lack of trying, but more of an "expectations vs. reality" dilemma.
More often, unless you know exactly what someone wants, there is a possibility that he or she probably won’t get enough enjoyment out of your gift. You tend to pick gifts in the hope of making your loved ones happy when they receive it, but it turns out they prefer gifts that will make them happy for an extended period of time.
While there isn’t one right way to give gifts, here are some suggestions on how you can give better presents to your friends and loved ones:
1. Gift an experience.
They say people should collect memories and not things, which is why sometimes, it’s good to consider giving gifts like tickets to concerts, weekend getaways and special degustation meals.
Most gift-givers prefer to give material presents because they last longer than experiences. Researchers say, however, that material items lose their value pretty quickly. After the novelty wears off, or they get broken, or new and cooler gear comes out, so does the value.
Gifts of experiences, on the other hand, live forever in people’s memories, providing receivers with funny, rich and meaningful stories that stand the test of time.
2. Introduce them to something new.
Some people are creatures of habit – they have their favorite coffee shop, clothing store or bookshop – so it makes sense if you just give them a gift card as present. This is an easy way of giving something to your friends and family members, but at the same time, it could be seen as lazy and unimaginative.
Be thoughtful and find something that’s related to their favorite activities, but add a unique and creative twist. Perhaps get them a gift card to a funky new boutique that they haven’t visited, or maybe a gift card for an independent bookstore so they find more specialized titles.
Novelty can sometimes be a good thing, and people need to be nudged out of their comfort zones a little in order to realize that.
3. Extend the joy of receiving.
Gifts are great when people first receive them, but after a while, the initial happiness fades. If you want to extend the joy for your friends or loved ones, you can get them a subscription box based on their interests, a seat at the wine-of-the-month club, or a gym membership. That way, there’s more to anticipate and the excitement can linger much longer than it would with a once-and-done gift.
4. Share something meaningful to you.
When you share your favorite things with your loved ones, such as a treasured album or novel, or a gift certificate to your favorite restaurant—you are also sharing a small piece of yourself.
Explain to your friend or family member your motivation for giving them this kind of gift, and emphasize that you care enough about him/her to share something that’s important to you.
5. Think about their interests.
The best gifts are the ones that show you know what the other person would like. Your loved ones would appreciate your gift better if the present shows that you understand them and their interests.
Find gifts that touches on an important theme in someone's life – it could be a spa voucher for your mother or a personalized 3D crystal photo of her whole family.
Gifts connects us to the people we love
At the end of the day, you are giving gifts to strengthen relationships and make each other happy. The key to giving better gifts is going beyond the mass-produced, trendy and shiny things, and putting a lot of thought into the kind of present you want to give to your loved ones.
Do you have any other tips on how to give better gifts? Share them in the comments section below.