When thoughtfulness meets practical sense, you have a sure-fire formula for sound gift-giving. No matter how good it feels to make someone else happy, the value of gift-giving should not be measured based on the amount fetched for it, but on the intent for which the gift is given – and the purpose it will serve the recipient. A gift worth a thousand dollars can spellbound for a while, but just like any spell, the magic will soon ebb away. In the final analysis, the gift that matters is one that touches a chord on someone’s heart, pastes a smile on the lips and lifts the spirit.
You have the power to make a difference in your gift-giving, in fact, it does not take much to make an impression. Below are tips gathered from various experiences, those that have succeeded to please – without putting so much dent on the wallet. For isn’t it, that most of life’s pleasures come free, they only become difficult to achieve when we put a price tag to it?
- Save on time.
- Choosing a gift should not be done in haste. “Haste makes waste” is a popular adage, and it applies on gift-giving, too. Before you set foot outside of the house, you should have a mental image of the gift you want to get for a specific person, otherwise the running around will tire you needlessly, and will rob you of the fun and excitement that go with gift-giving.
- PLAN AHEAD OF TIME. This is perennial as the sun that rises in the east. Nothing saves more time, effort and resources than planning.
- The internet hosts a wide array of online stores that will serve as your best stop, without leaving home. Make use of technology to deliver to you the gift that best describes your emotion, in your utmost convenience, and at a price you can afford.
- Keep a list.
- Maintain and regularly update your list of people – family, friends, relatives, close associates that you prefer to give gifts to. Keep a calendar of family events like birthdays and anniversaries, as well as milestones in other people’s lives, whose happiness you treasure. This will help you plan in advance the best gift for the occasion.
- Additional tips:
- Choose an item that comes in a variety of colors or styles and give this to several people; buying in bulk can save you dollars.
- For families, one item that they can collectively enjoy such as a board game, an appliance, or an exercise equipment will go a long way to making everyone happy.
- Find a substitute.
- When a particular gift you have in mind is not available or is costly, find a suitable but cheaper replacement or substitute. Exercise your imagination without loosening your grip on your purse strings.
- For a housewife, an occasional shopping spree, may sound just as costly as any kind of shopping. But a candlelit dinner for two may not only sound romantic, it can also put fun within the budget.
- Create a “fit”.
- The receiver and his gift. Gift-giving is all about the other fellow who receives the gift, what he likes. This is the charm of gift-giving: nobody is old enough to appreciate the gift, or young enough to take it for granted. Everyone just loves a gift! The trick is on how to make a “fit”.
- To effectively give a gift, be genuinely interested in the person for whom you wish to give a gift: what does he want, or need? Oftentimes, this information is communicated to us when we least expect to listen to it, or acknowledge it. Jot down any information or detail you can gather. This will serve its purpose later.
- Create a budget.
- Gift-giving need not be expensive if you know how to face up to the challenge of buying gift items, within your limits.
- To ease up the challenge, a list of gifts to buy can set up your focus, and an estimate of how far your budget can stretch. And stick to it!
- Shop regularly.
- Perennial gift-givers have a novel and practical approach to gift-giving. They refuse to be smitten by the “spur-of-the-moment” bug, instead they shop regularly, and in constant look-out for bargain items they can save up until the moment comes.
- This is the more subtle way of “gathering up” for bigger celebrations like Christmas and birthdays. Buying items this way does not impose a load on the budget, instead it sets up the discipline of saving for the long haul.
- 8. Set a gift-giving fund.
“A penny saved is a penny earned”, that is one of the many credos
we grew up with, and soon forgot. Setting aside an amount for gift-
giving, on regular basis, will guarantee that when an occasion
calls for it, we are ready. A small amount saved each month will
add up overtime. With a budget to work with, gift-giving becomes
a more pleasurable exercise.
9. The shortest way to anyone’s heart is still through the stomach.
- Food. There is something comforting in a good meal. No wonder, people from all walks of life appreciate a home-cooked or personally prepared menu. Discover your loved one’s favorites and whip up a meal that suits his tastes. Few men can resist the temptation of good food served in a platter of feminine charm, laced with intelligently carried-out conversations.
10. It’s the thought that counts.
- When you are given a gift, show courtesy by sending back a “thank you” card. Oftentimes, the thought counts just as important as the gift itself.
Don’t be fooled by the notion that the gift encompasses everything
there is in gift-giving. The gift is only the physical manifestation;
what is more valuable is that which is unseen.