How To Choose a Thoughtful Gift for Family and Friends

How To Choose a Thoughtful Gift for Family and Friends

Gift-giving seems to be a lost art with more and more people relying on gift lists instead of being able to come up with unique ideas on their own. While it’s wonderful to get someone you love exactly what they asked for, it’s also wonderful to choose something that you know they’d enjoy because you know about their interests. Here are some of the best tips to help you choose a thoughtful gift for any occasion for your friends and family.

Think About the Recipient’s Interests and Personality

For example, if you know that your friend loves to travel and you have been invited along on several trips, consider gifting them something related. For example, a book about the history of New York City or a map of Paris could be thoughtful choices. If you know someone who enjoys a minimalist lifestyle, then giving an experience gift could be more appropriate as well. Gifts can be handmade, bought from a favorite store, or given digitally to those who live far away.

Choose Something That Will Remind Them of a Trip They Took

Perhaps your friend or family member spent a year backpacking around Europe or they spent a semester in Tokyo. A gift like a Japanese sweet box or even a Lego architecture set with one of the landmarks in Europe would make a great and thoughtful gift. Reminding them of something they enjoy sharing stories about can show that you heard them and that you want to help them remember fun times they had.

Turn to Social Media

Look at the person’s social media posts and check out their recent blog posts or articles they’ve written. This can give you a good indication of the types of products they like to buy and even the activities they enjoy doing. Social media makes it easy, especially for those far away. Look for common themes in their posts. Do they frequently post about a particular passion? If so, consider that passion when choosing a thoughtful gift for them.

For example, if the person you’re shopping for is always posting pictures of their adorable pup on Instagram, consider getting them dog clothes or another dog-related item as an option. Or if they talk about how much they enjoy gardening or cooking on Facebook or Twitter, then think about getting them an herb kit or a set of seeds for the next season.

Peek Around Their House

You can also take a peek inside their home, or ask a close friend or relative what they like to do or talk about. This is one of the easiest ways to get inspired for gift ideas for others. You might discover that they love to decorate with vintage music posters and have a vinyl record collection. Your gift could be a great addition to their collection.

Listen To the Person’s Stories and Look for Common Themes

Have they been telling you about their love of travel? Look for gifts that will help them take advantage of this passion, such as travel guides or luggage tags as well as other practical items. Is there a certain job they talked about doing? Consider buying them something related to that area of expertise, even if it seems like an odd choice at first glance. Buy them a great business book if they are planning to start a business. These can all be great choices when you’re looking for gifts for friends or family. Be supportive of their hobbies as well by purchasing a gift card to a store where they can buy new supplies for it.

Gift Experiences

Some people love trying new things. Maybe a cooking class to learn how to make authentic Thai curry or a museum pass for someone who loves to look at art. These are gifts that are more about learning and experiencing something versus just getting an object. Learning how to make food from a culture different from your own is something that will stay with you forever versus buying a set of hand towels that will wear out. Experience gifts make memories and some of those memories will be treasured in the future.

Make Notes

When searching for a meaningful gift, it’s important to consider what the recipient has talked about in the past. If your friend or relative comments on something in a conversation you have, make note of it. You can use apps on your phone to easily store these ideas and search for them later. Some parents make gift lists for their kids throughout the year to have ready for big holidays and birthdays. They search for their child’s name on the list and choose something from the ideas they’ve gathered for months.

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