Sunday, November 15, 2009
Holiday Gift Buying: Part 2
If you had a chance to read Part 1 in this two-part series on Holiday Gift Buying, you know that I emphasize the importance of planning ahead when it comes to buying holiday gifts for your loved ones. On the other hand, Part 2 will focus on content – the actual gifts that you buy for those close to you so that you present them with the most meaningful gift possible.
When it comes to giving gifts that are truly meaningful and memorable, you must take a little extra time to think about your loved ones, including their interests, hobbies, and values. Buying your loved one a gift is about what he or she likes, not what you like or want him or her to like. Sounds pretty basic but you’d be shocked to see how many people don’t stop to think about this.
For our purposes, take a moment and think about someone for whom you’ll buy a holiday gift this year. Once you have that person in mind, think about what makes him or her the happiest – is it relationships, gadgets, or hobbies? You can start here and work your way down through a decision tree. If you’re buying for someone who has everything he needs, he may most appreciate the relationships in his life because he has all the objects a man could possibly. For such a person, buying a gift that he can share with someone he loves might be the most meaningful gift. If you’re buying for someone who is a techie or gadget person, spend a few minutes poking around on the internet for sites that appeal to these interests. You might be able to find something unique with only a few extra minutes of work.
Another helpful hint when trying to find a meaningful gift is to replay the various conversations you’ve had with that person throughout the year, picking out specific instances in which that person told you he particularly enjoyed an event or a certain occasion. These remarks should be mentally highlighted because they provide information about what kind of gift your loved one would appreciate from you. When you give someone a gift based on something he’d said earlier, remind him of what he said earlier in the year. In doing so, you not only provide your loved one with a gift but also send him the message that you truly listen to what he has to say and are genuinely interested in making him happy. At the end of the day, this message is more meaningful than any store-bought object.
When you consider what to buy your loved ones, give yourself permission to try something different this year. Go the extra mile and avoid the compulsory purchases when you’re simply meeting a gift quotient. Instead, make something yourself for your loved ones or do some extra digging when it comes to their interests and values so that you find something special. In fact, you can even turn this experience into a challenge, finding or making a gift they absolutely love and that they never would have expected from you. Ultimately, the purpose of gift giving is to convey your love and appreciation for that person, and time spent thinking about, preparing, or obtaining the gift will send that message loud and clear.