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Jewish Journal

How to give a great gift

by Harry Roberts

July 17, 2014 | 10:54 am

Image via Shutterstock.com

Trying to find the perfect gift can be quite a challenge for many of us. Even if we are somehow able to choose the right Valentines gift, there is still a significant other's birthday, your anniversary, and Channukah to deal with. If you somehow manage to choose a great gift for each occasion, you still have to repeat the process all over again next year!

Whether you are getting a gift for a significant other, or for a close family member; the same general rules apply. You are constantly aiming to give a gift that the recipient will not only enjoy, but will actually put to use. When you find yourself stuck and out of new ideas, here are a few thoughts to push you back in the right direction.

Brainstorm

Consider the type of person that you are purchasing the gift for. Are they older or younger? What are they interested in? What types of hobbies do they enjoy partaking in? Brainstorm all of these questions to help you narrow in on a few extremely personalized gifts.

If you cannot brainstorm specific items, your goal should at least to brainstorm enough until you can hone in on a few specific areas of interest. Deciding to get a gift for your brother pertaining to basketball, is significantly easier than thinking of a broad topic like "athletic" gifts.

Investigate

This gift hunt does not need to be done on your own. Employ the help of close friends and family members to learn more about the likes and dislikes of the person you are trying to buy a gift for. Going to a significant others sister is a sure fire way to get some great ideas on possible gifts.

Personalized gifts also add a nice touch to the gift giving process. Creating something on your own, or simply Googling ideas on the web will pull up quite a few sites that specialize in creating one of a kind gifts. Create a personalized love story, or put together a custom made photo album. While "I Heart Dad" mugs are used a little too frequently for my taste, keep in mind that items like that still are options.

Get in touch with your creative side

A good gift is not always determines by the number on the price tag. I have seen my grandmother break down and cry upon receiving a handmade gift from my mother on her birthday. What was this gift you ask? It was simply a picture in front of the house that their family used to live in. The picture was the last one taken of all 5 of them alive and well.  My grandmother had forgotten this picture existed, and always lamented not having a picture of the whole family together.

My mother simply went digging through old photo albums and was able to leave a lasting impression with her gift; an impression much more meaningful than a new Coach purse would've left. While photos may seem like the easy way out, get creative. Adding personalized touches to picture frames works well; I especially love to have my kids help with the wrapping of all gifts. It just adds that extra sentiment that this was a gift done by everyone in the family.

Just Listen

You will be surprised if you just listen to the things people say, how easy it is to buy gifts for them. The amount of times friends will drop lines like "I wish I had this..." or "Wouldn't it be great to try that..." will blow you away once you start listening for it. Seriously just take a whole day to listen carefully for sentences like the ones above and I can almost guarantee you will come up with at least 5 gift ideas that same day.

What I like to do in these situations is jot the ideas down in a memo pad on my smart phone. I have an actual notepad list on my smart phone that says the person's name, and then gift ideas typed in below it. This does take some getting used to, but once you get into the habit of it; the tough part will now become choosing a specific gift from this huge list you have compiled.

Think of You

The last way to think of gifts that you can get other people, is to think of the recent gifts you have really enjoyed. This does not work as well when buying a gift for a birthday or anniversary; but this does work great when dealing with wedding or baby shower gifts.

Think about the top 3 gifts you received at your wedding or baby shower. Gifts that till this day you still use. If you loved every gift you received, think about the gifts that you loved, but did not put on your baby registry. The gifts that you never thought of but when you opened it, it just completely blew you away.

It is completely understandable to get stressed out when trying to come up with the perfect gift, but hopefully a few of these tips will get you moving in the right direction. 

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