The major gift giving season is over but gift giving happens all year long. You have special holidays like Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and Father's Day and then you have those other special days like birthdays, wedding showers, baby showers, anniversaries, and tons more. How do you shop for gifts that are inspired and make a wonderful statement? In this article I give you a few ideas that I use.
First let's take a look at gifts that are truly uninspired. Flowers for example. Don't get me wrong, flowers make a wonderful gift, just not for those big dates like an anniversary or birthday. Flowers, while lovely, take no thought. You go to a florist, pick out an arrangement, pay the money and they're delivered. Ho hum. Did I say flowers make a wonderful gift? Yes I did, but give flowers when they're least expected. The same ho hum gift on a wedding anniversary makes a wonderfully thoughtful statement on a Wednesday, for no reason at all other than your spouse told you yesterday they had an awful day and you show up with a wonderful arrangement of flowers. Which do you think makes more of a statement?
Gift cards are another gift that takes no thought. Go spend some money, put the plastic card in an envelope and give it to someone. How thoughtful. Not! Gift cards are given by large companies that cannot take the time to figure out what individuals want. Gift cards are generic, not thoughtful.
So what makes a thoughtful gift? A unique gift idea, a thoughtful gift, should have three qualities. First, it should be something that the person receiving it will want or use. Argyle socks on Dad's birthday in the middle of August are neither unique nor thoughtful. If he's into gardening a year subscription to a gardening magazine you saw him looking at in a bookstore would be a thoughtful and unique gift idea. Second it has to be out of the ordinary. I'll give you a personal example. I spend a great deal of time at the keyboard.
Since I've been a programmer most of my life I've always spent a great deal of time on one. A friend of mine once gifted me with a wooden keyboard. Everything on the keyboard, keys, surface, everything, was cherry wood. It felt wonderful. I used it for years until it finally died. That was a thoughtful gift. Lastly a thoughtful gift should make the statement that you thought long and hard about this gift. Money, flowers and gift cards do not make that statement. Wooden keyboards, a hosted wine tasting party, hot air balloon rides, magazine subscriptions about a favorite hobby or interest makes a statement.
You'll notice that price range was not mentioned. A unique thoughtful gift does not have to be expensive. If you're a parent don't you treasure the refrigerator art your children make for you? You know they spent hours, and it cost very little, but that artwork is probably some of your most prized possessions.
The upcoming year is going to be filled with gift giving opportunities. Make the most of them and plan ahead. Give those you love something unique, something thoughtful, something they will use and prize for years. People usually say, "It's the thought that counts" really meaning, "I didn't have the time to put any thought into this gift." Plan ahead and do put some thought into it. When you do that it truly shows and you're appreciated for the thought you did put into it.