How To Give The Perfect Gift Every Single Time
When it comes to giving the perfect gift there really is a formula to making sure that every single time you give a gift it is well received — hint hint, it starts with your intention for gift giving in the first place.
Giving the perfect gift — it sounds like a lot of pressure doesn’t it? So often when the holidays, birthdays, or other events come around there is this unspoken stress that comes with gift giving.
What do you give your friend who is a minimalist? What do you give the person who has everything? And Dads — there are only so many wallets, sweaters, and watches you can get your Dad am I right?
But what if I told you that there is a formula to giving the perfect gift every single time. What if you never had to worry about what you were going to give again? Would you believe me?
Well as a semi-professional gift giver (I pride myself in my gift giving abilities) I have over the years perfected how to pull off the perfect gift every single time, and it starts with your intention for gift giving in the first place.
While the holidays can come with a lot of unnecessary consumption and waste, it isn’t the act of giving that is causing these issues, and I wouldn’t want to see a world where people were encouraged not to give to one another. Instead I believe that today the thought and intention behind what and why we give is what has changed, and is what we could improve upon.
why do you give
Have you ever received a gift that you felt was somewhat of an after thought? We’ve all been there (and we have all probably given them) and if there is one thing I know for sure is that these kinds of gifts don’t feel good for the person giving or receiving them.
So I’d like you to think about something for a second. This holiday season why are you giving gifts? What is your purpose behind the act of gift giving? Is it because you feel obligated? Is it to make an impression? Is it to show someone that you love them? What is the why behind your gifts?
I think we all need to do some reflecting when it comes to gift giving, and start thinking much more deeply about why we are choosing to give a gift. Often I find that the most wonderful gifts I have ever received are the ones that were given to me from a clear place of thought and intention. For instance, for Mike and my engagement one of my best friends gave us these beautiful love letters that had been printed on cotton tea towels. While they were so simple, I still think about how special that gift was, and how well she knows me as a friend.
So the next time you go to purchase a gift I want you to think about why you are doing it. What do you want your friend or family member to feel when he/she opens it? The point of gift giving really isn’t about giving the perfect gift — it’s about creating an emotion, and letting those close to you know that you have been listening and that you care about them.
Becoming A Better Listener To Become A Better Gift Giver
Often I find that the “best” gift givers are also the best listeners. These are the people who listen to what is going on in the lives of their friends and family and give based on their needs. Sometimes this is as simple as a card in the mail, or a book that is relevant to what they are going through in their life in that moment.
We make gifts so much more difficult than they need to be. We make them about the impression of the gift itself, which usually means that we miss the point. So if you want to become a better gift giver you have to start by becoming a better listener. Start jotting down little notes about your friends or family after spending time with them or talking to them on the phone. I especially like to write down important dates for my friends/family so that I know when to send them a little love.
Stop Giving To Impress
For as long as I can remember I have always loved giving gifts, but while in the past my gifts used to be more about how impressing my friend or family member, now my gifts are rooted in intention and my desire to create a feeling for the ones I care about. While giving expensive gifts isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I believe that this notion that good gifts are impressive/expensive gifts has clouded the reasons why we give in the first place.
So when it comes to giving the perfect gift every single time you have to stop giving to impress. Instead start to listen to that intuition in your gut that allows you to choose something for your loved one that is based on their needs. For example, right now I have a friend that is going through a really hard time and when I thought about how I wanted my gift to make her feel everything that kept coming to mind was that I wanted her to be able to relax. I wanted my gift to be something that made her feel loved and a sense of peace, even during a hard period of her life.
Every single person (yes everyone) has a creative side them — just some people are able to tune into that creative side more than others. And when I say creative I don’t mean that everyone is a DIY guru that can magically transform anything he/she touches into a work of art. No, what I mean when I say that we are all creative is that each and everyone of us has the capacity to think creatively about how we want to approach life.
So often today I believe that our real consumerism issues lie in a lack of desire (or practice) to think creatively. We have become so accustomed with immediate gratification, and the process of thinking creatively about something as simple as a gift, or how to repurpose an item in your home can feel overwhelming.
This is why I think it is so important to embrace creative thinking when it comes to gift giving. While that doesn’t mean that you all of a sudden need to become a handmade DIY gift giver (although handmade gifts are amazing), it does mean that you take the time to allow your mind to think outside of the box. It can take practice but with time I believe that the more you allow your mind to think creatively, the better you will become at giving gifts, or creating special moments for the people that you love.
The Intentional Gift Box
But let’s just say that you want to try your hand at this whole handmade/DIY/curated gift giving thing and really push your creative gift giving mindset. I’m going to walk you through how to pull of the perfect gift box that is guaranteed to be a hit every-single-time. By using the tips I mentioned above and the steps below, you too can pull off the perfect gift or homemade gift box for the special folks in your life.
Pick A Theme: When it comes to creating a really special gift box I think it is good to pick a theme. So for example for the gift box above I wanted the theme to be relaxation since that is the feeling I wanted my friend to experience when she opened this gift box.
Choose Items That Work Together: Once you have your theme in mind it’s time to choose the items in your gift box. Personally I like to choose between 4-10 items to go in my gift boxes, but each item needs to have a purpose — we’re not about adding “things” just for the sake of adding “things”. So for the gift box above I decided to think about all the ways in which I could evoke feelings of relaxation for my friend. That ended up with me creating a custom tea blend, picking a crystal that I thought she would love, and a candle that would help her relax.
Choose Gifts With Intention: When it comes to actually choosing the items that will go in your gift box it is important to choose things that resonate with your theme and are intentional. So for instance for the gift box above I decided to source some fair-trade/organic tea from Arbor Teas my favorite tea company.
While I could have chosen any tea, I opted for this tea specifically because of the giving mission behind the company. I believe that when we give gifts we should also be thinking about the companies we are supporting with our money, and Arbor Teas is one company that represents exactly what I was trying to evoke with this gift box.
The key to a really thoughtful gift box isn't about the number of things in it, or how expensive those items may be. It's about telling a story and evoking a feeling and emotion. To do that you have to be incredibly intentional with each and every item you choose to add to your gift box. For the gift box above, even the intention to add a little dried lavender from my garden, and a few vintage tea towels made this gift something really unique and curated, versus any other gift box I could have bought at the store.
You can't order intention, that is something you have to create all on your own.
I hope these ideas helped you reshape the way you think about gift giving, and that you feel more confident in your ability to give amazing gifts every single time. Remember that when you go into gift giving with a strong why behind what you are doing you are so much more likely to give your loved one exactly what they need — even if what they need is as simple as a love letter in the mail.