Has there been a growing nervous feeling in your gut every time your mind begins spinning in circles trying to dream up the perfect Christmas present for the hard to buy? They say it’s the thought that counts, but it takes more than just buying anything at all, it’s that you made the effort to find that exact special something. If you look at gift giving from a different perspective, it really doesn’t take much effort to select an appreciated gift, if you are willing to go beyond sales circulars and expectations.
If you’re in a hurry, I’ll give you a shortcut. One method to buying a gift is to investigate an aspect of that person’s life and then see what’s out there on the market, something that would compliment what they already have. Often you can find something they might already own, but that doesn’t always mean they don’t want more, a replacement or an upgrade! Perhaps the lady in your life really enjoys a relaxing bath. If you do a cursory examination of her bathroom you’ll have a good idea of what she doesn’t have and can work from there. A modest under $20 dollar gift might be underwater bathtub lights or a novelty bath pillow. Maybe the guy in your life takes pride in his car. A quick inspection of his garage might lead you to realize he needs a digital compass for car.
There are three basic ways to go about finding the perfect gift, even if the recipient is difficult to please or appears to have everything: you can get to know the person better by engaging them in conversation about their interests, on a regular basis; you can pay attention to their surroundings and activities over a period of time; and you can simply take a hint.
Sometimes it’s a matter of getting to know your giftee a little bit better. This requires regular long-term research. Take notes throughout the year – actually write it down and tuck it away in a safe place such as your wallet. When they get excited about something, ask general guiding questions like “so what would make it better?” or “so which one do you prefer?” or perhaps “are you looking forward to the new version/edition/upgrade?”
If you live with them or hang out at their house, check out what magazines and catalogs appear more worn than others. You can also select a hobby where the evidence is obvious, something that requires a variety of tools and reference guides, such as metal detecting, ghost hunting or skateboarding. If for instance they are an automobile enthusiast, you may notice they complain every so often about leaving their car out in the sun and precipitation. You might want to work into the conversation the topic of an auto canopy and see their reaction. If you notice they like to venture off the beaten path and explore, you might want to research the best automotive digital compass you can find.
The last tactic to gift giving is to figure out if you have a hint dropper on your list. Some only drop subtle hints around the holiday season, so pay attention and look for corresponding evidence that you were actually picking up on a hint. “I like dogs” doesn’t always mean they were trying to get you to buy one for them. You can also study what they pick up and play with at the store. Some hint droppers will do this on purpose, when they know you are watching, as this is easier for them than communicating verbally.
Breathe. Relax. Seek to obtain an attitude of gratitude. Get to know the people who are important in your life. Nothing takes the place of being an attentive friend or family member. Perhaps the holiday is about a release of the accumulation of our thoughts, and it shows in the gifts we give. Appreciate those close to you and the selection of the perfect gift will come more naturally.