Here at The Gift Monk, we pride ourselves as being thoughtful gift-givers. Is every gift we end up gifting a home run? No, of course not, but we’d like to think that each one showed thought and left a smile on the recipient’s face. With that said, this was not always the case. Great gifting is an art and finding the right gift ideas take time and preparation. We’ve had our share of situations where our gifts have been re-gifted, returned, or just sat there and collected dust. However, over time we’ve picked up some tips and practices to help make each gifting opportunity as successful as it can be. Without further ado, below are 4 tips to help you become a better gift giver.
Tip #1: Start Early
One of the biggest problems people face when trying to find a great gift is simply that there isn’t enough time. The easiest way to wind up with a mediocre gift is to wait until the last second to start thinking about what you’re going to get. The best way to avoid this is to give yourself a longer window of time to find the best gift. We recommend that you give yourself at least a month of time to brainstorm gift ideas, do your research, and make a decision. Now obviously you don’t need to spend a month thinking about every single gift for everyone on your gift list. But for the important people in your life and special occasions, take the time to get it right.
Tip #2: Pay Attention to Your Recipient
This one may seem like a given, but it needs to be said. Some of our greatest gift ideas of come from just paying closer attention when spending time with your recipient. Look at what they’re wearing to get a sense of their style preferences. Listen to them when they talk about their hobbies or what they’re currently interested in. If you happen to be shopping with them, note the stores and items that they stop to look at. The recipient may even drop inadvertently drop hints in the form of “Wouldn’t it be so cool if I could…?” or “I wish I had…”. We’ve found that if you just look closely enough and pay attention, you’ll find clues for ideas.
Tip #3: Be Resourceful
…And we don’t just mean do a Google search. During the holidays, many websites (like our own) publish curated gift guides which are packed full of the hot ticket items of the saeson. Outside of gift guides, you can visit retailers’ websites directly like Amazon or In today’s age of social media and constant sharing, gift ideas are just a few extra clicks away. Scan their Facebook activities they’ve participated in our for a list of their hobbies. Browse their Pinterest to see the type of things they pin (seriously – these are gold mines for ideas). Maybe they have a blog – read it and see if there are any gift ideas that are relevant to its topic matter.
Tip #4: Ask Around
Don’t be afraid to ask around! Some of the best gift ideas we’ve ended up with have come from friends or family of our intended recipient. Who better to ask than the siblings they grew up with for 18 years or the college roommate who they partied with during their early adult years? Toss your idea at your recipient’s best friend and see what they think. Two heads are better than one and utilizing the people around are a great way to come up with and validate gift ideas.
Tip #5: Explore Experiences and Services
A gift doesn’t have to be a physical thing. Sometimes the best gift ideas are experiences or services. You could plan an impromptu weekend trip to a bucket list destination, a helicopter tour of the city, concert tickets to their favorite band, or even just offer to babysit so they can spend a fun night out. The possibilities here are endless.