GUIDE TO SANE GIFT SHOPPING & GIVING
You give gifts to please the recipient, right? So, it’s good to have an idea of what they want/need/like. Coming up blank? Time to think about who they are. Where do their interests lie? What does your recipient like/do/need/collect, etc.? Otherwise you might end up giving something you love. Them? Not so much.
A friend gave me a MAC cosmetic case. Nice, right? Her reasoning: every woman should travel in style with her cosmetics. Except, the cosmetics I travel with fit into a gallon baggie. And, there’s no way I’m checking the case since it will likely become “lost”. And since my laptop and purse get dibs as carry-ons, the case has a problem. Bottom line: this case has no real value for me. Its fine craftsmanship sits in a closet holding extra cosmetics that I bought on sale.
This is perfect example of someone buying a gift that they like or want. Not the point of gift giving. We’re presenting something to the recipient for their pleasure.
Here are some things to think about as you contemplate the perfect gift for your next recipient. Or, the most appropriate gift. Sometimes, it’s for someone for whom you don’t really need perfection. Like a co-worker. Or, your kid’s teacher. Still, shouldn’t the gift be a thoughtful presentation.
What kind of things does your recipient like to do, talk about doing or proudly display in their home or office? Any potential recipients love to cook? Kitchen accessories and gadgets might be just the thing. Narrow their cooking interest. Are they bakers? Closet chefs? Down home cooks? Does the beneficiary love flavor and seasonings? Perhaps a pretty gift box with truffle honey, truffle vinegar and truffle oil from Gourmetattitude.com.
Does he travel a lot? Perhaps the Jack Black Jet Set Traveler Set from sephora.com/ If she’s getting gung-ho into fitness? The Omron Electronic Bodyfat Analyzer from Bodytronics not only looks cool, but helps make the beneficiary look good, too.
Are they forever talking about great food, great restaurants, but don’t cook? Then, perhaps they are a foodie. Someone who loves trying new, different and/or gourmet food. Perhaps even reading about it. For those recipients? Check retailers like Dean & Deluca, SuperMarket Italy, Cowgirl Creamery, Market Hall Foods, Stonewall Kitchen, and similar.
Your beneficiary might be the greatest host/hostess. But, bet they don’t have the “Caviar of Salt” from saltworks.us. Fleur De Sel de Camargue, a French gourmet salt. With the aroma of violets. It comes in a picturesque container. Great conversation starter at the next dinner. A gift of the intense Vadouvan spice might please both the host/hostess, foodie and cook recipient. LeSantuaire makes each special blend fresh to
Any coffee lovers on your list? Consider the Indispensable Coffee Dispenser from Think Geek. Keeps coffee airtight fresh and dispenses 1 tablespoon at a time. Or, treat them to the Chemex. The hour-glass shaped flask needs only filters and boiling water to deliver odor and chemical free brew. Eco-friendly, too.
Are they nostalgic? How about a framed Jimi Hendrix print from retroplanet.com? Or a Beatles Sgt. Pepper cover alarm clock? Or a Nostalgic Candy Gift Basket from Gourmet Gifts? Perhaps it’d make Dad’s day to get a pocket watch like the one “someone” broke?
Would your beneficiary rather be in a tent than in the house? Consider keeping their feet warm with ThermaCELL Heated Rechargeable Insoles from Bass Pro. Or give a solar charger for their gadgets.
Bug and the great outdoors might freak them out. They’d rather be surrounded by pretty, pleasing things, like a collection from Victoria’s Secret. After all, there are plenty of people who would have loved that MAC case.
Perhaps, they’re into altruism and would appreciate a gift card for a KIVA loan that changes lives. A gift your recipient can keep giving with as each grantee pays it back. Or, they’re eco-minded and get excited about gifts that help the planet. Speaking of eco-friendly, if your “giftee” is of that mind, check out the gift suggestions for the eco-minded.
Think about the things they often talk about. Could be lots of gift ideas there. Even better, start to listen to things they wish they had or would love to have. Is there a particular thing they’ve been eyeing/talking about incessantly? A thing he/she loves that’s worn out? Listening isn’t just for children and successful business interactions!
The point is to take a moment before you spend your money. Take a moment to consider the recipient’s interests and demeanor. Still no gift ideas come to mind? No problem, check our recommendations here, or some of the other posts, to find a fit or get some ideas.
Might this take some effort? Sure. If your recipient isn’t worth the effort, why are you giving them a gift? Make it a meaningful presentation. Unless it’s an obligation. Still, do you really want to throw any old thing in a gift bag that has your name on it?
And, there isn’t any reason it can’t be a Frugalista Gift and still be a perfect fit!
Happy Frugalista shopping!
Come back for more tips on eliciting genuine delight from your gifts.
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