As lovely as they are to receive, choosing what to give people as a gift can often feel like a minefield. On those blissful occasions when you’re completely sure what someone wants, you can find yourself wondering why you ever found this troublesome… then another birthday arrives, and you realise the terror at finding the right gift is still right there with you.
So whatever the time of year, you may find yourself called upon to find the perfect gift for a person in your life. When you’re devoid of a sudden strike of inspiration that tells you exactly what they’d want, you can quickly begin to feel pushed into making a decision. The more pressure that you feel, the more likely you are to make an error. Here are the most common errors people make when giving gifts, so you can be sure that if you’ve avoided these, whatever you come up with should be on pretty safe ground…
#1 – You Don’t Give To That Person
It happens. Let’s say you have a friend that you know through parenting things; you predominantly only talk about your kids and motherhood, and that’s great. The power of female friendship. However, all you can think about in regards to them is parenthood and their Mum status. So when called upon to get them a gift, it’s tempting to get something that’s actually for their child, or something they can do with their child… rather than gifting to them as a person.
There’s nothing wrong with this in some ways, but on others, it can feel like you’re just going for the easy option. If you want to stick in the family sphere, you could look for a family tree gift from Little Gems Online or a photo frame they can use for an entire snap of the family – but don’t buy them something that’s just for her children, even if that’s your central connection to her.
#2 – You Give The Same Thing
So you bought your father-in-law a book once and he loved it; enthused about it in the moment, and then told you how much he’d enjoyed it after he read it. So… you buy him another book. And another one. And another one.
Unless someone is specifically asking for the same thing, it’s a good idea to vary it up every once in awhile. Even if someone is grateful for the gift in and of itself, it can start to feel like their gift is nothing but a default selection for you, which takes some of the preciousness out of you taking the time to find something for them.
#3 – You Give Gift Cards
Okay, so gift cards are helpful. People can buy whatever they want and they’re a simple solution for you.
They’re really, really impersonal though.
It’s undeniable; no matter how much sense gift cards make on the surface, at the end of the day, they’re a big signifier of: “I didn’t know what to buy you”. It’s better to go with those other faithful standbys such as flowers or chocolate than a gift card; at least they offer something tangible on the day, rather than a card that might get lost in the shuffle!