The Secrets Behind A Great Gift. Hello everyone, I hope you are well. In today’s post, I will be sharing a guest post from Kim Brookes, founder of Perfino, an innovative natural scent jewellery brand. Kim spent over ten years running an online gift registry and can offer tips to help you ensure you choose a gift that will be loved. With Christmas, New Year, and Valentine’s all lined up. I am very excited as she will be sharing 10 Secrets behind a great gift.
The Secrets Behind A Great Gift
In a Venn diagram of gift-givers, there is no overlap between the set of people who believe that a gift is an expression of their love, respect and admiration for someone and the group of people who shop for gifts at their nearest 24-hour petrol station. If you want your next gift to appear heartfelt (rather than desperate), here are a few things to consider.
Is It Desired AND Needed?
It used to be that a gift was about fulfilling desire, the element of off-the-wall surprise and the unexpected thrill of a gifted ambush, but times have changed.
In a world where we seek to conserve, repurpose, and minimise waste, the question of whether something is genuinely needed is super important. You don’t want to give something that will kick off a re-gifting process. Your gift will be greatly appreciated if it fulfils an identified need in the receiver’s life. This doesn’t have to mean run-of-the-mill items like deodorant or toothpaste but could be something that you know they need, perhaps some lovely wine glasses for all those parties you hope they will invite you to.
Is It For Them or You?
So maybe it’s just you who always seems to break wine glasses and be in constant need of more, or perhaps they are teetotal and only require tumblers. It would help if you certainly put yourself in their shoes when selecting the ideal gift. Just because you have always wanted a cider press, it’s not much good as a gift if your giftee doesn’t like apples. So, think about their hobbies, what brings them joy, and how they spend their time. Perhaps something for their camping trips, a gimmick for their bike, or something to help them unwind from their stressed life.
I have received many gifts, for which I am profoundly grateful, but many have languished in a cupboard or drawer. Clothing, in general, is one of the worst offenders here as we all have such different tastes, and it takes someone of exceptional insight and taste to predict what will be genuinely appreciated. So, make sure you buy with them in mind and not you.
Is It Thoughtful?
I have in the past given a microfinance loan as a gift to a teenager. I believed that helping someone start a business in a third-world country, giving the option to the hapless teenager to choose the project, and after a year, re-loan or reclaim the funds seemed like a perfect and super thoughtful gift. But I wasn’t thinking about who I was buying for, and they would probably have got far more out of the cash itself.
And on the subject of money, people are very squeamish about this, precisely as they feel it is thoughtless, but when you know it’s what is wanted, for teenagers or wedding couples, it could be the most thoughtful present you can give.
A thoughtful gift means thinking of the person you are giving it to. You know they love roses, so you buy a rose-scented candle. You know they love treatments, so you buy them a massage. And you know they love to travel, so you buy them a minibreak.
Is It Too Much…Or Too Little?
So, the minibreak may be very well received, but think about the expectation when it’s your turn to get a gift. This escalation of gift-giving can present a massive problem, particularly in prominent families where some parity of giving is required, but when there will, is someone who always risks. Is it generosity, or is it grandstanding? Either way, my advice here is to agree on a standard at the outset, so nobody massively oversteps the mark and creates an awkward situation or an obligation on others.
Is It Sustainable?
Provenance and sourcing transparency are top of the list for a truly exceptional gift. Nobody wants to support poor working conditions, child labour, deforestation, or any of the bad practices currently afflicting our planet.
Fortunately, smaller brands are becoming far more common to give insight into where their raw materials come from, where things are made, and even the finer details of transportation. It certainly does add an extra dimension to a gift if you and the receiver know that, at the very least, no harm has been done. Still, at the very best, you are supporting a worthwhile endeavour, paying fair wages, supporting gainful employment, and spreading joy with your generosity.
Might They Already Have It?
This is dangerous if you buy items such as books, anything that is very of the moment (think polar bear ice trays) or even something useful like a lemon press. This one is hard to gauge and might require a bit of detective work, but the effort will be worth it when you discover that you have chosen the perfect present or that they already have three.
Personalisation could give you the edge here – an engraved pen to help in the new job they’ve just started, some chocolates with a picture of your holiday together printed on them, or something you have made for just them, which will always be the most original gift.
Food And Drink?
The best gift for people who don’t want to accumulate “things” or are in full-on declutter mode. I think that all consumables make a wonderful gift, but you need to know their tastes: don’t get spicy if they don’t like spice; don’t get alcohol if they don’t drink; be cautious of the wild and wacky or obscure products that are fun but possibly not consumable (think avocado tea), and certainly don’t give them gifts that have been too obviously given to you or God forbid are beyond their sell-by date. I say this as someone who was given a “Winter chocolates” box in June!
First, if you give someone something that smells nice, it doesn’t mean they don’t!
However, it is essential, like with food, drink, jewellery, art, or anything that involves personal taste, that you know that they love lavender or enjoy a gin and tonic-scented bubble baths. Again, call it detective work or thoughtfulness, but you need to understand who you are buying for and what will make them happy. Suppose you have friends who are either allergic to or intolerant of perfume. In that case, you could find an alternative gift, such as a Perfino natural scent jewellery set, so they can smell great without putting any of those pesky chemicals on their skin.
And It’s A Wrap
Packaging and the delight of unboxing are universal so never skimp on this. Everyone loves to undo a ribbon, rip through the tissue paper, and lift the lid off a box. So, make sure that the experience starts with the packaging. Even if what’s inside does not hit the mark, you will have scored points here, which is not very hard to get right. So, take the opportunity to add that extra special moment to your chosen gift.
Unless specifically requested (or strongly hinted at), sexy underwear or perfume is a bit of a cliché – it can convey a complete absence of understanding or thoughtfulness akin to an ironing board or kettle gift. In certain circumstances, money or talent vouchers also show a lack of imagination.
Above all, whatever you choose as a gift, should demonstrate that you have thought into understanding what the person you are buying for likes, enjoys, and does not currently have in their life.
I hope you enjoyed that.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kim Brookes is the founder of Perfino, an innovative natural scent jewellery brand. Perfino combines expertly blended, 100% natural, pure essential oils with exquisite jewellery so you can wear the scent all day long without any chemicals touching your skin. The solid recycled silver and 18ct gold vermeil, the artisan-designed pendant comes with six lava stones and 10ml of carefully blended natural essential oils – all sourced from sustainable growers. One drop of oil on the stone in the pendant will give you a delicate fragrance that can last for days.
There is so much waste with consumer products. The packaging is ridiculously etravagant. My gift list is very small due to this.
I am all about choosing gifts carefully. There is so much waste in this world, and I don’t like buying things that are wasteful or just material without a purpose. Great tips!
It can be so hard to find a great gift for someone, I have to constantly remind myself “is this for you or for them?” Great tips to keep the focus on the person and what they like/need/want.
I can sometimes take forever to find the perfect gift for someone. This list gives me helpful ideas to make a decision.
This is so true. I love combining little bits of me in others gifts. It makes it a little more special in my opinion.
Heather @ US Japan Fam
This is a great think-through list! I struggle with gifting SO badly. Especially between my husband and myself, because we share finances so it’s like, if either of us really wants or needs something, we buy it for ourselves. So gifts have to be very thoughtful, like what does the other person want but doesn’t have the time to shop for or doesn’t feel they “deserve” it. I think often an experience is the best gift (indoor sky diving, a dinner cruise etc), the memories will keep on giving!
Wow what a great article! Gift giving can be so challenging especially with people not in my own generation. Thanks!
I definitely have to ask myself “is this for me or them?” when I’m choosing a gift.
Life With Sonia
same as me hahaha..