What to (and NOT to) give!

I need to be very careful as to how I word this blog post as to not come off as ungrateful or non appreciative. That is most definitely NOT the case.  So I am just going to come out and say it.. “I don’t want a gift card”.  Again to qualify what I am about to explain, I appreciate anyone who chooses to spend their hard earned money on a gesture solely to make me happy however I would like to challenge gift givers to take a few moments and put some thought into the gift. Of course there are occasions where a gift card is appropriate. If a person frequents a specific restaurant or establishment or you need to buy a gift for someone you don’t particularly  know too well then of course go that route. But if you are buying something for someone you know and love, to take the time to think about something they will enjoy rather then hand over a generic cred card sponsored gift card.

I have been accused of being a “great gift giver”. I don’t think I am that revolutionary or creative. I just put some real thought into the person, the lifestyle and with a little planning as well you can achieve that “oh wow” reaction as well. Here are a few of my gift giving tips and ideals I use that hopefully you can implement. Always the the mantra “It’s the thought that counts”.

Personalization- I love a gift that I can get with the persons name on it in some way. Especially for someone like me who does not see his name in the normal stock that is in the store. I especially like personalized items for children. It helps them recognize their name, letters and have a sense of ownership of an item.

Take notes- Here is a trick that takes some thought. If a friend or family member mentions something they like, some place they would like to go or somewhere they want to go then jot it down. Put it in your phone under their name in the contacts field. For example my Dad mentioned he loved a particular type of sugar free candy. I noted this under his name on my phone and now I have an instant stocking stuffer.

Another trick to get a sense of what someone likes, what their style is, what they like to eat or where they like to travel is to join Pintrest. This is a social media site that is like a virtual pin/bulletin board. Users “pin” their favorite things to their own personal board as idea starters, inspirations etc. You don’t have to actively participate however you can look at other peoples sites who are very into using it. This is a great way to get a sneaky look into what they like and therefore what may make the perfect gift.

Homemade items- for someone who is NOT capable of the aforementioned all is not lost. Check out the site www.etsy.com. It is all homemade items by people who have made a virtual storefront selling. You are supporting mom and pops and getting a hand crafted item all at the same time.

At the end of the day I must repeat that I appreciate and am flattered by anything given to me out of love and kindness. If you want to go above and beyond use some of the tips above and happy gifting!