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my name is Genny Chia.

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Mastering the Art of Thoughtful Gifting for Any Occasion

etiquette lifestyle Nov 16, 2022
Women receiving a gift expressing gratitude

Hi there,

When was the last time you received a thoughtful gift that made you feel cared for?

The season of giving and celebrating is coming soon, and you may be spending some time thinking about the best gifts to give to families and friends in the next few weeks. In this blog post, let's discuss giving meaningful gifts that convey love, appreciation, and thoughtfulness while ensuring gift recipients appreciate your heartfelt sincerity that helps strengthen relationships and builds strong connections.

The Essence of Gift-Giving

A thoughtful gift comes from the heart, with a clear understanding of the recipient's "needs" and "wants". A well-considered gift helps to express your thoughtfulness and how much you care about your relationship with the recipient. A gift doesn't have to be expensive, flashy, and top-of-the-line, only meaningful to the recipient and one they can appreciate the effort and thought you'd put into the gift.

Giving gifts is about understanding the recipient's feelings, thoughts, and preferences. The happiness we get from gift-giving comes from the recipient's happiness and appreciation of our presents. Why gift an expensive wine when the recipient doesn't drink? Or giving someone something which they're not going to use. 

Thoughtful gifting reflects our efforts and understanding of the recipient, knowing our present will be invaluable to and cherished by the receiver.

So, what makes a great and thoughtful gift?

A Great Gift

There are no hard and fast rules about what constitutes a great gift because everyone is unique and has different personal needs and likings. In my opinion, a great gift reveals thoughtfulness. Hence, determining the most thoughtful gift boils down to the following factors considering:

  • Who are you gifting to?
  • What does the recipient like?
  • What does the recipient value?
  • How will this present impact the recipient's life, and would the gift be put to good use?

Be observant and get as many clues as possible to answer these questions. Listen intently when your friend talks because subtle messages exist in every phrase.  

Giving a Thoughtful Gift

Although active listening can provide clues about a potential gift recipient's "wants" and "needs," it is sometimes not enough. If you put yourself in the recipient's position and see it from their perspective, would you be happy about what you'd received? Does it convey thoughtfulness and care?

To help you pick a great gift that reflects your thoughtfulness, read on to learn the 5 tips for buying a great gift that wow.

5 Tips for Buying a Great Gift:

1. Focus on functionality. 

The joy of gifting is seeing recipients' faces as they unwrap their presents before your eyes. Their reactions are indeed priceless, making gift-giving all the more worthwhile.

While it helps to wow your recipient with a fancy and expensive gift, the joy of unveiling will only be temporary and brief. Hence, the focus should be placed on buying a gift that provides some sort of functionality and serves a purpose.

Will your loved one or friend put the gift to good use? Do you see them cherishing your present several months from now? Try focusing on practical and sentimental things. It could even be something your recipient can use in the near future.

2. Share the story behind the gift. 

"It's the thought that counts," is what many people say when gifting someone we love or value. Sadly, most recipients don't know how much we go through to find the best possible gift for them.

You don't need to brag. You could always tell your story about finding the gift, or it is an item you had found useful. Your gift need not be extravagant, but your actions convey thoughtfulness that recipients will appreciate.

3. Into the shoes of your recipients. 

Gift-givers may sometimes doubt the thoughtfulness of their presents when deciding on the appropriate presents. And it's okay to feel this way. However, such a mindset could hinder your ability to gift thoughtfully.

Consider yourself the gift recipient, would you feel happy you received this gift? Would you think positively about the gift-giver? Would you find the gesture unexpected?

Being grateful and happy about receiving a gift opens your eyes to an inescapable fact: most people consider it a privilege to be the subject of others' thoughts and efforts. It doesn't matter what you gift them. They'll accept it wholeheartedly.

4. Consider monetary gifts.

Although most gift-givers shun the practice of giving vouchers, fearing that it may appear unthoughtful and lacking sincerity. However, gift vouchers make more practical sense when we are unsure of the recipient's preference and needs.

While some may prefer the element of surprise and want to buy a gift no one else expects, giving monetary gifts presents your recipient choices when your present is an instrument for getting what they truly want.

Nonetheless, it takes some understanding of your recipient's preference and lifestyle for this to work. I was once gifted a $50 voucher from a high-end retail store. While being thankful for the kind gesture, I've got to get something fast as the vouchers were expiring. At the store, I couldn't find anything I needed and ended up getting a can-opener for over $80. Oh well, you get the drift.

5. Gift when least expected.

Everyone gifts others on holidays and special occasions, such as birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, baptismal celebrations, and more. People already expect presents during these times.

Consider out-of-the-blue gift-giving in the form of time and effort to highlight how much you genuinely care for your loved ones. Be it some random act of service with kindness, such as cooking, baking, or scrapbooking, that showcases your journey and highlights significant milestones with your loved one.

An unexpected gift conveys thoughtfulness and how much you value them. Time and effort are the best presents anyone could present to their loved ones, and doing so will undoubtedly make somebody feel cherished and appreciated. 

What This Means for You

Gift-giving is more enjoyable when you realise that recipients appreciate a present's thoughtfulness more than its monetary value. The art of thoughtful gifting is all about valuing love, friendships, and relationships we have with others. We gift because we appreciate and value their presence in our lives. Make it count. Show your love and that you genuinely care by being thoughtful.

I hope you find the gifting tips useful in getting gifts that are meaningful and thoughtful to your friends and families, at the same time, sustainable for our planet earth.

Do you have a topic that you would like me to talk about in my blog posts? You may write to me using the form below.

With gratitude,

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