I’m not the classiest individual, so this post won’t contain any advice on gifting etiquette. What I am is a lifelong giver of good gifts. As we’re halfway through the ChristmaHannuKwanzaaKa season, I figured I’d do the solid of sharing my tips for giving a good gift. By no means am I the first to post these. They’re probably on someone’s top 10 list, somewhere. These are my 4 go to questions when I want to buy someone an original gift and not spend all day in stores (which is always). This list was written with the holidays in mind, but also applies year-round gifting.
1. What do they complain about?
In The 5 Love Languages, Dr. Gary Chapman uses this as a way to indirectly pinpoint someone’s love language. For gifting, this question feeds two birds with one worm. Firstly: you might be able to find out the intended recipient’s love language. As long as it’s not Gifts, figuring that out might enable to you to save money by speaking love to them instead of buying them a present. Secondly: it can help you figure out what kind of gift to get them to reduce their complaining. A gift that results in less complaining is a gift nailed.
2. What problem do they need solved?
Disclaimer: I’m not telling you to stage an intervention or buy someone a trip to rehab or a diet plan. If you do and that works out, let me know. I want those deets. An example of what I’m talking about: I’m a slow cleaner. I have to put everything in its place as I go. My sister flies through cleaning by tossing shit around. In the past, I’ve paid my sister to come over and put like items in piles for me when I ‘d find I’d accumulated clutter after a particularly busy week. She solved my slow cleaning problem with her help. You could also accomplish your version of this with: books, tickets somewhere, meal prep, or a gift certificate for a consultation or service. The resultant gratitude will be a sign you’ve nailed it.
3. What do they wish for?
Wish statements generally start with some variation of the following: “You know what I wish?” “I sure wish…” “I wish a bitch would!” Basing a gift off of wishes not only helps you pinpoint a gift. There’s a built-in story to explain why you picked it out and it gives the gesture more significance than giving them the latest Sharper Image gadget. The gift can be as serious as silly as you wish. For example: “I wish a bitch would serve me a steak that rare…. You know who makes good steaks?” turns into a gift card to your friend’s favorite steak house. “I sure wish the dryer would quit eating my dress socks” becomes a package of Sock Tabs or sock-of-the-month club gift subscription. You see where I’m going with this. The opportunities to nail it are endless.
4. What do they often run out of?
My best friend can never figure out where her toilet paper goes and says so out loud. The 12-pack that lasts me 3-4 months lasts 2 months if she’s lucky. Provided she could store it, a 36-pack of toilet paper would be miraculous to her. Figure out what someone else’s toilet paper is (something that they constantly run out of and either forget to buy or that it takes them forever to get around to refilling) and you’ll have a happy gift recipient. In other words, you’ll nail it.
The suggestions above are general guidelines for happy gifting. They were given with the assumption that your intended recipients aren’t shallow douches that want mantle gifts (gifts they put on display that don’t get used). If that’s the case then go ahead and try, but you might actually be on your own. Sorry! For everyone else, I hope this helps.