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8 Tricks To Finding The Perfect Gift Ideas

Is gifting on your mind? Do you have a loved one’s birthday or special occasion coming up? Are you visiting friends and family? Did you spot something great in a store window that simply calls out to you? Or is it a “Just Because” present for a nice neighbor?

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Whatever the reason, gift giving is an art that’s not very difficult to acquire. All you need is practice! The more you give, the better you get at it. 

It is a special connection that you make with the recipient, and creates a memorable moment. 

Do Gifts Have An Impact On Your Mind?

Gifts touch the heart, but there’s more to them. Neurologists and psychologists have studied the impact of giving and receiving gifts. They have found that the act of giving – whether to people or to your favorite charity – promotes a sense of immediate well-being and happiness. It affects the areas of the brain that feel pleasure from social interactions. You may have noticed that pleasurable warmth you feel when you have given or received a gift. This is because of the release of oxytocin or the “cuddle hormone” that is associated with nurturing, love, trust, connectedness and feeling safe. 

The interesting thing is that the oxytocin effect is not limited to the mere act of giving or receiving. It is activated from the time you plan to get the gift, to getting it, wrapping it, giving it and experiencing the response from the recipient. This is a longer and more sustained experience and that is probably why we value it so much. 

There are other neurotransmitter hormones involved in this experience, and they include dopamine and serotonin, which are also associated with pleasure and happiness. A thoughtful and mindful gift increases the connection between people and helps you to feel connected to them. 

Gift giving implies thoughtfulness and the reassurance that you have been in someone’s thoughts, however briefly. It helps you to demonstrate your appreciation or gratitude. Gifts are keepsake memories, even if it’s a box of candy. They boost the recipient’s self-esteem and indicate the possibility of a longer term connection. 

Tips and Tricks For the Perfect Gift

Some of us experience high anxiety when buying gifts. We imagine the gift to be a true reflection of our status, attitude and knowledge of the recipient. As a result of this stress, we could end up buying something that doesn’t sync with our true selves, or our authentic feelings. 

  1. Relax and Reflect: Avoid feeling pressured into buying wildly expensive stuff simply because you feel that it shows you’re classy or wealthy. On the other hand, you don’t want to appear like a tightwad. Sync your gift to the occasion, the profile of the recipient, and the message you wish to convey. Once you have these ideas ticked off, write them down for future reference. 
  2. Useful vs Indulgent: This is a common conflict that we feel when we plan a gift. A pair of warm hand-knitted socks or a bunch of exotic orchids? It depends largely on your personality and that of the receiver. Some people love giving gadgets, and some people enjoy receiving a silk scarf. 
  3. Hampers: On a scale of 1 to 10, gift hampers would feature pretty high up. They are fun to put together, and exciting to receive. You can create your own themes, package them attractively and give for almost any occasion. Rest and Digest self care hampers are the perfect option. 
  4. Be Creative: This doesn’t mean just picking out a quirky gift and expecting it to be appreciated. Use your knowledge of the person’s lifestyle, needs and preferences to select something that they may not have encountered before, or a more deluxe version of something they need, or a gift that acknowledges something interesting about their personality. 
  5. Gifts For Acquaintances: You may think that these are easier to buy, yet they need to be mindful and of good quality too. However, you don’t need to get over-anxious about these gifts. Instead, focus on finding something that’s reasonably priced and shows that a certain amount of thought has gone into it. While flowers, wine or confectionery seem the easiest options, take a moment to look beyond these “neutral” gifts to find the perfect one. 
  6. Keep Lists: Experienced givers will tell you that it’s important to remember what you gave, when and to whom. You don’t want to end up repeating the same stuff – this could show that you don’t care enough. If you don’t trust your memory, make a note in your diary or on your phone so that you don’t embarrass yourself. 
  7. Is Cash OK? There are two opinions about giving cash. Some people feel that a gift of cash conveys the exact value you were willing to spend. The other school of thought opines that it’s always good to give cash so that the receiver can buy whatever they want. There’s no doubt that cash is useful, but it’s also a lazy gift!
  8. Pain Points: Put yourself in the shoes of the receiver and ask yourself whether this is something that you’d like to get as a gift. Some gifts make more work for the recipient, or they need to be used within a certain time frame (vouchers and gift cards).