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How to Give: A Holiday Gift Guide

Give the perfect gift this holiday season. Here is the ultimate gift guide to help you decide the best present for your loved one(s).

By Lee Rubin, CEO & Founder of Confetti

Struggling to find the perfect present for your loved one? It happens to the best of us, especially come the holiday gift season. 

Even under pressure, I consider myself a pretty good gift giver. 🥳 To make sure everyone gets the best present ever, I thought I’d share some useful gift ideas and tips. Read below for a complete holiday guide to gift giving!

silver scissors beside orange leather shoe
(source)

🎁 3 Types of Presents

There are three gift categories I like to stick to when doing my shopping: gag gifts, sentimental gifts, and big presents.

Let’s get into the thick of it 👇

     1. Small or gag gifts which are typically small items that remind you of someone. Tchotchkes, t-shirts, and more. Not always funny, but not a serious gift either. These gifts are affordable (so affordable, it’s a gift that may not get used at all). That’s fine by you because the main purpose of this gift is to let someone know you thought of them when you saw this thing.

     2. Sentimental gifts which hold a personal value to you others may not see, but your loved one can appreciate. You know, like grandma’s fine china or the baseball from your first MLB game. It’s important that you let the person know why it means so much to you for them to have this thing (that way they won’t accidentally throw it away or exchange it)

     3. Big gifts which are your grander gestures. They’re typically practical and answer a person’s wishes or reflect their identity. Here’s a little more detailed breakdown:

             a. Practical: No, it’s not a boring gift. It’s the gift someone wouldn’t necessarily buy for themselves but really needs or wants. Think of the designer bag they adore, but never pull the trigger on. Or the new kitchen knife set because they love cooking, but their current cutlery is old and dull.

            
b. Reflection: If someone doesn’t express their desires, then show them you understand who they are. Tap into their core passions. Your best friend may work in the corporate world, but she’s also a talented artist. Consider a nice brush set with a matching sketchpad, an NFT you think she’ll love, or a piece from her favorite indie artist.

man in grey sweatshirt and brown backpack standing beside green wooden shelf

The category I decide on depends on my relationship with someone and the situation the gift is for. For moments like the holidays, you can have a mix of all, or you can sprinkle each category throughout the year. You can use your best discretion here. But without calling anyone out, I’ll just say I wouldn’t recommend buying a funny t-shirt for your girlfriend’s birthday...👀

📝 Tips on How to Find the Best Gift

Now that I’ve covered the types of presents, let’s look at these tips on how to pick one:

      Actively listen for what a person wants or needs. What do you think is on their holiday wish list? They may not outright tell you, but you pay close attention to when they say they want, need, or wish they had something.

      If you’re not sure what to get, ask questions, but keep it discreet. For the holiday season, call them up and ask how the holiday season is treating them. Or even invite them to go holiday shopping together and pay attention to what they oo and ah over. Opening yourself to their thoughts is bound to give you ideas of things they wish they had. Are they stressed out? Maybe get them a nice pampering massage or spa day.

     ❣ Think of what will capture a person’s identity. Trust me when I say your super-smart friend who is 30 years old will not want a teddy bear. Do they connect to their religion? Or really love crypto these days? Get them something revolved around that thing they see themselves as part of.

      Don’t be overly practical. So yes, practical gifts can be great, but do you really want someone else to buy you socks? Similarly, try to avoid things like clothing unless you’re 100% sure of a person’s taste and size. If they sent you a photo of something saying “love!” that is a good place to start 😊

      Think about them, and don’t go overboard on creativity. When you get too creative with the idea, your gift can reflect yourself and not the other person. You want your gift to be appreciated (especially if you’re going to drop a good amount of money on it) – which means putting yourself aside and thinking about them first.

      Make sure your gift makes sense. Don’t give for the sake of giving alone. Your gift should make sense to that person and is meant to be enjoyed. Put the things they want for themselves, first – and the things that you want for them, second.


person holding box
(source)

🤔 When In Doubt...

Listen – gift-giving isn’t easy. If it were, I wouldn’t have made this handy little holiday shopping guide. Even if you know a person, even with all the active listening in the world, there will still be times where you’re uncertain about what gift to get someone. 

When you’re in this situation, there are three solid options to turn to: 

Wait It Out ⏳

That’s right. Lightly delay your giving (assuming your relationship dynamic allows it). 

Write a meaningful card to let them know you haven’t forgotten. Tell them you have something in mind, but you want to ensure it’s perfect, so you need a little more time. 

There’s nothing wrong with a light delay! It gives your loved one something to look forward to and gives you the time to get it right. If the idea of holding out makes you nervous, give a placeholder gift for the time being. 

Give An Experience 🤸‍♀️ 

When we were building Confetti, we dove headfirst into the science of bringing people together. And we found what we thought to be true was! Shared experiences are more memorable than an object. Humans are social creatures above all else, and studies confirm we want to be together. 

If you’re stuck, try shifting gears. Create memories with one another instead. Book a weekend getaway, schedule boozy painting lessons, try horseback riding – any experience that speaks to your loved one. You can keep it between the two of you or allow them to invite someone they love along. 

You may find curating a whole lived experience for your loved one much easier than locating the perfect material object. 

Give Greenlight to Return 🔙

As I mentioned, gift giving ain’t easy. If it’s not sentimental, it’s important that you tell your loved one that if they don’t like your gift, they’re welcome to return it. After all, you ultimately want them to have something they love. 💞

💌 ‘Tis the Season of Giving 

So, there you have it – the ultimate guide to giving gifts. I hope my little nuggets of wisdom can help you find the perfect present for your loved ones. And if you think they need a little help shopping, feel free to pass along my advice. 🎁 Also check out our guide on corporate gift giving! The process is a little different, so we wanted to give some insight there too.

Happy holidays, everyone! Wishing you and yours all the best. ❄💙

P.S. If you’d like to give your employees a present, consider an event with Confetti. Browse our experiences or reach out to plan@withconfetti.com. We’d love to give you a wonderfully memorable experience.

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