Most of us love a good party. Celebrating a friend or loved one’s special day is a great excuse for a well-deserved catch up, a few laughs and a glass or three of bubbly.
However, a celebration often comes with the nerve-wracking tradition of gift giving. Let’s face it: no one wants to be the one that gives the dud gift that leaves the host forcing a grin before they chuck it aside.
Fortunately, even if choosing presents isn’t your forte, all is not lost. We’ve rounded up five tips to help you master the art of gift giving.
Go With a Theme
A fail-safe way to choose a gift the host will really enjoy is to stick with a theme. For example, if you’re headed to an anniversary party, you can use the couple’s anniversary year to help you select a present.
If they’re celebrating their first year together, their traditional theme is paper, as paper represents a delicate, blank canvas for the new couple to write on. A thoughtful gift for this theme might be a journal the pair can write their favourite memories as a couple in, or a scrapbook for recording their travels together. For more couple gift ideas, here’s a simple but comprehensive guide to anniversary theme years.
Consider The Recipient’s Personality
Think about the worst gift you’ve ever received. The chances are, it fell short because the giver didn’t know enough about you.
The best gifts are often things the receiver would love but would never buy themselves. Practicality is overrated—don’t be afraid to choose gifts that are usable but not necessary. For example, if your quirky best friend is just getting into cooking, avoid the obvious choice of a fundamentals cookbook and get her one that focuses on an obscure theme, like one that’ll help her recreate meals from her favourite series. Practical? Not really. Fun and memorable? Definitely!
Realize It’s Okay to Ask
Many of us have been taught that it’s rude to ask someone what they’d like for their birthday, housewarming or wedding. But this particular piece of etiquette is no longer as relevant as it once was. With more and more demands on our budgets, we often have a list of things we’d love to buy but will never get around to purchasing.
Sometimes, the best way to show that you’re a good listener and a great friend is to quiz your giftee on what they’d like and buy accordingly. It’s also a good way to avoid being the third person to buy them a toaster when what they really wanted was a smoothie maker.
Choose Something Personal
The best gifts come from the heart. That’s why it’s almost impossible to go wrong with a gift that’s personal to you both. For example, if you met through your love of a certain band, you could assemble a scrapbook of photos you’ve taken together at concerts, interspersed with lyrics and other memorabilia. On the last page, stick a couple of concert tickets to really wow them and give the promise of a brand new memory together.
Give an Experience
Does the recipient already own everything under the sun? Consider giving an experience. Does the person have a favourite restaurant or performing-arts centre? Maybe your friend loves music and would enjoy seeing his top band in concert. A material gift might break or get lost over the years, but a skydiving adventure or a cooking class with a famous chef will never be forgotten.
Giving a great gift isn’t as hard as it might seem. By following these five simple tips, you can avoid giving a gift that leaves the receiver wincing.
What’s the worst gift you’ve ever received, or the best?
Midlife mum from Cardiff. Wine Imbiber. Likes glitter, fluff and olives. Approaching tweendom with Caitlin (11) and Ieuan (10). The husband is hiding in the loft.
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