Gift Giving 101

Every year I hold my breath in anxious anticipation as my husband opens his Christmas Gift … or birthday gift … or anniversary gift. Unfortunately, more often than not my anticipation turns into disappointment as he stares at my gift with a confused look on his face. No matter how hard I try to find something unique and different, I always seem to come up a bit short – or at least I did. Then I discovered the secrets to buying the perfect gift.

If you too, have a hard gift buyer on this year’s Christmas list, use some of the gift giving strategies below to find something they will love – and you will love giving them.

Forget the Agendas

I used to come up with these great gifts for my husband only to get a quiet “thanks hon” after he opened it. Why? Because many of my gifts had an agenda (my agenda) attached. Let me explain: one year I decided that we needed to spend more time together so I bought him (or shall I say us) a membership to the local botanical gardens.

Now, don’t get me wrong, the man loves to stroll through the gardens. He has actually made it a plan several years ago to visit during each season so he could explore every nook and cranny during a variety of weather conditions ands seasonal changes. The problem with the gift was that he was forced to go “with me.” As he explained later, my gift was no so much one to give him something he wanted, but to force us to spend “quality time together.”

A better idea would have to purchased him tickets to some of the lectures and workshops held at the gardens so he could learn more about what he was interested in.

Any woman who has ever had her husband buy uncomfortable lingerie for her knows exactly what I’m talking about. After all, is the gift for you (in that case warm fuzzy PJ’s would suffice); or for him?

Think Them – Not You

I will admit that I have a hard time with this one. Often, I come up with an idea for a gift, only to allow my taste to usurp the idea. Let’s take my daughter, for instance. She’s fifteen and absolutely loves music. So I have bought her tons of music in the past only to have her sigh with dread. The problem: I buy what I think she’ll like because I like (or liked) it. Instead, a better choice would be to buy her an iTunes card so that she can buy her own.

I also have two sisters. The older one absolutely loves fuzzy warm socks. She has a real knack for finding unique socks and always buys everyone in the family matching socks and sweaters for the holidays. Personally I love it, but I have another sister who doesn’t get the interest in socks.

She says she has 7 pairs (one for each day of the week) and simply rotates them regardless of what she is wearing. She now has a drawer full of gift socks that she has never worn. The lesson here: buy what they want and like – not what you want and like. That may mean shopping at stores you aren’t comfortable in. In that case, simply try ordering online. That’s what I do when it comes to shopping for my very “metro-ish” brother.

Instead of dragging myself through stores I am unfamiliar –and uncomfortable in – I opt for shopping online at places like Plus Metrostyle often offers discount coupons for online purchases which makes shopping for my brother even easier.

Consider Their Personality

It never ceases to amaze me how different people from the same family can be. Personally, I find it most fun to try and find gifts to match a person’s individual quirkiness. One of the main rules of gift giving is know the person you are buying the gift for. Think about their personality; their hobbies; interests; etc and find a gift that fits them the best.

One of the absolute best gifts I ever received was a bottle of bubble bath that had been discontinued. Believe it or not she had found it at, and when she used her overstock coupon code from the internet was able to purchase the bottles on a BOGO special. Only a true friend would go that extra mile to find something I would treasure.

Forget Those Needs – Go For the Wants Instead

Now, this tip can be a bit tricky depending on the person you are buying the gift for, so first I must say to refer to the items above first. For instance, I love getting presents that I need. Usually because I am too cheap to buy them for myself. So, when my husband presented me with a new refrigerator for our anniversary I was absolutely giddy. My friends wondered what was wrong with me.

That said, most people really prefer their holiday gifts to fulfill a w ant rather than a need. When trying to find the perfect gift for someone, think about the one thing that they always drool over, but simply won’t break don and buy for themselves. Maybe it is a special necklace for your wife; or a handmade rocking chair for your mother. IN my nieces’ case, it is professional style makeup. Since that stuff can be so expensive (and hard to find), I was thrilled when I discovered online, a retailer who sells professional grade makeup to the average consumer. To help keep costs down, check out the latest bh cosmetics coupon code on our site for even deeper discounts

Don’t Worry About the Price (especially if it is on sale)

Before you say “what are you thinking!” I don’t mean overspending here on gifts – but under spending. I can not tell you how many times friends have said to me “ I found the perfect gift for so and so on the clearance rack but didn’t get it because they’d know how little I spent.” First and foremost, my reaction is “why?” If you find the perfect gift buy it, even if it 90% off. Who cares if something cost $5 or $50 if it is exactly what someone wants. Now, if you’re buying it just because it is cheap then shame on you; but if you are attracted to the item because it screams the person you are buying it for great!

Take Your Time

Finding the perfect gift for someone you love is not always easy. Sometimes it can weeks of pondering and shopping to find what you are looking for. That’s okay because that is the #1 rule of gift giving: take your time. I have a good friend who habitually waits until her husband’s birthday to even think about what she wants to get him, let alone buy it. Every year she calls me in a panic for an idea. How do you think her gifts are regarded?

This year, however, I sent her to to shop. This online store is so chockfull of great gift ideas that even she was able to find something quickly and had it expressed delivered (for free) using one of the many Jimmy Jazz coupons available.


Remember, if you truly want someone to cherish the gifts you offer, than take the time to really think about what they would like. That is what makes homemade gifts from your kids so special Sure, they could have taken your spouse’s credit card and hit the mall for something nicer; but what parent doesn’t treasure the crooked picture frame or hand drawn artwork that their child took time, energy and love to create? That’s what all of our gifts should represent: Our time, our energy and most importantly, our love.