With Christmas quickly approaching, I started thinking about gift buying. I want to make sure that I buy things that people actually like and not something they will run to the store to exchange or bury it somewhere deep in their closets never to looked at again. So I started to think back at the times when my gifts were spot on or when I really loved the gifts that I received. So here are my 6 tips for selecting the perfect gift.
1. Create a Budget
The first thing you need to consider is your budget.
The reason why I think this is so important is because buying a gift that is out of your price range will leave you feeling unhappy in the end. So while it may be a great gift for the other person, it will likely make you feel resentful and angry with yourself when you try to budget for the next month and fall short.
So decide up front how much money do you want to spend on gifts and then on each person. Here is the Christmas Gift Tracker that I use and find very helpful. If you would like a copy, just subscribe to this blog and you can download this free printable to help you create and track your gifts budget (plus a copy of a Christmas Preparation Checklist).
Also, don’t forget to use Ebates when you shop online. It will be great to get some cash back after the Holidays. It is completely free with no strings attached.
2. Consider Person’s Interests
One of the common mistakes we make is buying gifts that we would like to receive ourselves. I have been totally guilty of that one! Instead, we should consider what the other person might like based on their interests. Do they like to travel? Do they have a hobby? If so, you can get them something from a specialty store that aligns with their interest, a magazine subscription, or even a gift card if you are not sure what specific gift to get (and don’t want to buy something that they already have).
3. Get Something Useful
Some people like to receive practical gifts. Something that they can use in their daily activities. Maybe something as simple as water bottle, a kitchen gadget, a great book (see my previous blog post for book ideas), scarf, or a planner. And a great tip to help you decide the type of practical gift to get is to simply ASK! People who like to receive practical gifts will likely tell you exactly what they want 🙂
4. Check out Etsy for Unique Gifts
Etsy is a great place to look for unique gifts and personalized items. Maybe you’re thinking about a picture frame with a family name incorporated into it. Or maybe you are looking for a coffee mug with a special message. This is where Etsy comes in. And they have hundreds of options!
5. Choose the Right Toys for Kids
In my experience there are two kinds of gifts that kids like to get the most:
- Gifts with their favorite character
- Toys that will spark their imagination
So if you are looking for a gift for your niece that is obsessed with the movie Frozen, you can look into things that feature the characters from this movie. This could be a purse, clothes, coloring books, Frozen characters, or even Lego sets.
And if you are looking for toys that will spark their imagination, those would include things like building blocks, doll house, kitchen set, puzzles, and board games.
Next week, I will have another blog featuring the toys that my kids play with on daily basis. So make sure you are subscribed so you don’t miss it.
6. Don’t Forget about Gift Cards and Gift Certificates
People tend to either love or hate the gift cards/certificates as Christmas gifts. I personally love them. In my opinion, they are great gifts for picky people – getting them a gift card will put them in charge of picking out what they actually like. And you can make it more personal. Write them a note stating why you chose this particular gift card. For example, when giving someone a gift certificate to a spa you can say: Dear Anna, after a whole year of hard work on your project, you deserve a little me time. Enjoy!
A simple note will let them know that you actually thought about the best gift for them and the gift is not an afterthought.