Military Life

The Do’s and Don’ts of Holiday Gift-Giving

Even though it’s still September, the holiday season is going to arrive faster than we think, so it’s a good idea to be prepared on time. Here are some basic do’s and don’ts you should have in mind when getting gifts for your friends and family.

Do: Give something that reflects both you and the recipient

It has been shown that people prefer receiving gifts that reflect their own hobbies and interests. However, the giver and the receiver tend to develop a stronger bond when the gift reflects the giver to some extent. So, giving your friend or family member your favorite book, or a keepsake to make them feel truly special.

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Don’t: Splurge too much

It’s not the price tag that matters the most – it is the item itself. You don’t have to spend hundreds or even thousands on something flashy and unnecessary. A much better choice is to go with something meaningful, something you know the recipient really wants, possibly even something you made yourself. It is the thought that counts.

Do: give something that will last

This especially goes for adults – your mother will appreciate an everyday item she can use for months or even years such as wardrobe staples, kitchen or home gadgets etc. rather than something that will only make a statement the moment it is unwrapped.

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Don’t: prioritize presentation

Sure, presentation of the gift is important, but it is not the priority – the priority is what’s underneath. A well-thought-out presentation could elevate an OK gift into a great one and vice versa. A poorly wrapped awesome gift can be quite a bummer. You wouldn’t put on a designer gown and cover it with a shabby coat, would you?

Don’t: put a bad gift in a fancy suit

As an addition to the previous paragraph, have this in mind as well. If you got something underwhelming, the worst idea is to overcompensate it with fancy wrapping paper and big bows. If the person that receives that gift doesn’t like it, the lush packaging will only make it worse. Not to mention that wrapping will also worsen the perception of the gift because it will build up the expectations that the gift can’t match.

Do: consider picking a gift card

At first sight, they seem like a lazy gift, but in reality, they are one of the most popular picks among gift recipients. So, if you really have no idea what to get to your loved one, get them a handy prepaid visa card and put as much money as you want on it. That way, they can buy something they really want and need and you definitely won’t make a mistake.

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Bonus tip: What to do if someone gives you a gift and you don’t have something in return

After all, you are not only going to give gifts, you will receive some as well. And most people find receiving gifts awkward, especially when they have nothing to give in return or when their gift is late. Their first instinct might be to start drawing attention to the fact that they don’t have a gift to give in return, which is a wrong approach. If you get into this situation, focus on showing gratitude to the person who gave you the gift. After all, you can always send your gift later if you want to. Just don’t stress about it.

Giving gifts is something that should make both giver and receiver happy, and definitely not something you should stress or feel bad about. The only thing that matters is that the gift itself is from the heart.



Author’s bio:

Claire is a personal and professional development expert who believes that a positive attitude is one of the keys to success. You can find her online writing and giving tips about positive lifestyle and development. Find Claire on Facebook and Twitter


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