Thursday, March 13, 2014

Gift Giving: An Art of Love and Kindness that You Can Easily Master

Gift giving is not as easy task – just ask the psychologists who spent time researching how to choose the perfect gift. We’ve done a little thinking on this topic too, and we’ve come up with six tips that will hopefully help your to choose the gift your special someone will really appreciate, and that will show just how much you love, care for and understand them.

1. Observe your Recipient / Listen for Hints: Matching your recipient with a gift that doesn't fit their personality can be a real doozy. But getting a good feel for what your "giftee" enjoys is a sure-fire way to avoid that. That co-worker who manages to fit in a morning run and still get to her desk on time might appreciate a gym membership, while world travellers will delight in a cool backpack or some creative luggage tags.

2. Give According to a Hobby or Particular Interest: Your friend with a green thumb, your uncle who’s always hunkered in his basement assembling model cars, your dinner-party regulars have perfected pairing their meals with wine...these are all easy clues for spot-on gifting. A herb growing kit, a racing car kit, a bottle of good wine… friends and relatives with specific interests are perhaps the easiest people to buy for.

3. Give and Experience or a Downright Adventure: Non-material gifts are not only unique, but they are inspiring. You can go as crazy by gifting a water-rafting weekend, skydiving or hot air balloon ride. On the calmer end of the spectrum, a cooking class that both you and your recipient can take together shows you not only care but enjoy spending time with them. A museum or yoga class membership can have the same effect.

4. For the One Who “Has Everything”: These gifts are the ones we cringe at having to find. But with a little thinking outside the box, you’ll find this task less stressful. For starters, nothing says “I care” more than giving your time. A recipient strapped down with kid-duty, will relish a coupon good for free time to indulge in a mani/pedi and an evening painting the town red.

Another idea is a gift given in honor of a cause close to the giftee's heart like a donation to the American Cancer Society, or a membership to a volunteer organization to launch their to participate in a project like teaching children in Africa. These volunteer projects can be pricey. But with your gift, not only will you help your friend, your graciousness will radiate around the globe!

5. Get Creative – Give Something Homemade: Say “I care about you” by taking the time to craft something on your own. It shows you care enough to take time out of your own busy schedule to put something together in honor of your friend. Food is a great place to start. Special seasoning blends, jars of chutney or jam, baked goods…these are all wonderful gifts. They can be spruced up with creative packaging: include a special tag/card that reads a loving message and the recipe for what’s inside.

There are other DIY projects that suit this category like making a mug out of pottery for your coffee-addicted friend, or assembling a collage of pictures and other memorabilia symbolizing how much you treasure the memories you've shared with your recipient.

6. Match your Gift According to your Recipient’s Birthday or Astrology: The sky’s the limit when you consider your giftee’s special day. Your creative, edgy Piscean friend would appreciate a journal to write and draw out her wild ideas, while your aesthetic-obsessed Libra boyfriend will appreciate an inspiring piece of art to add to their collection of wall décor.

Even if the occasion is not a birthday, a gift related to that special day is always a hit. Jewelry embellished with birthstones are unique to your recipient, showing that you put true thought into who he or she is. February babies will cherish a set of studs set with glimmering amethyst while June-born friends will blush to receive a pearl bracelet. You can include a card with a loving message and a blurb about what each stone symbolizes since many carry special properties in the way of healing, prosperity, luck and more.

There are no tricks to mastering the art of gifting. It’s simply a process that requires some investigation. Meaning is key to giving. Moreover, gifting is suggested to be done from the heart; giving out of guilt or in hopes of getting something in return is not the way to go. Give purely to experience the joy that comes from giving, and you can’t go wrong.

This article was written by Corina Mentink, Director of, a leading online provider of Gifts and Hampers in Australia. Connect with Corina on LinkedIn.

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