It’s such an amazing feeling when you give just the right gift and the recipient is thrilled with it. It really makes your friend feel appreciated and shows that you have a great attention to detail and care for them a lot. It’s important to think ahead so you can find the perfect gift.
Here’s a checklist for giving great gifts:
1. Start Early
How many times have you waited until the last second to get a gift and either spent too much money or settled on something that was convenient but might not have been the best idea for your friend? If you started early – this wouldn’t happen. Start thinking about friends’ birthdays or events at least two months beforehand.
Once a month I go through my calendar and see what events or birthdays are coming up in the next few months and I make a list in chronological order.
Then I start to brainstorm for each person. Think about what that person likes, needs or has been talking about. What would really make this person smile? This list should be an ongoing one that you can add to at any time. You can even save ideas for other events like Christmas or anniversaries. This helps to reduce stress when those milestones pop up.
3. Do Some Research
Once you have your brainstorming list – you should start researching. Sometimes I take trips to different stores or websites and just take notes on items that I think my friend might like.
4. Keep a Log
I write down past gifts that I’ve gotten people in a notebook so I don’t gift the same thing twice. That’s unless the person really likes a certain gift — but mostly no one wants a gift basket year after year. How many times can you get your dad a tie? He will love anything you give him –but really? If you have a gift log for each person you typically buy gifts for you can remember easily and avoid repeat gifting.
5. Stay on Budget
It’s easy to get out of hand if you find a gift you really love or if you’re pressed for time. But just because you spent more money doesn’t mean you got a better gift! Set a budget for a particular gift and stick to it. You’ll be happier in the end.
Let’s say I see a book in a bookstore that I know my mom will love – I write down the title and try to get a better deal online if I can. When you have the luxury of time – because you started early –you can shop around and save some money.