The gift of having to give is a misfortune for those who are terrible at selecting items for others. The misfortune is double-edged considering those receiving must feign appreciation while having little to no use for age inappropriate, impractical, and last minute items. If you really want to make a good impression, avoid the common mistakes of givers.
Freezer-ready beer mugs and shot glasses are great for a college grad but a bit inappropriate for a middle school preteen. Moreover, grandma is likely to look better in a ‘World’s Best Grandma’ tee than one featuring Miley Cyrus or Justin Timberlake. Be sure the gift is age appropriate, which means considering what’s ‘cool’ and ‘hip’ according to one’s years rather than current media rave. The latest iPhone gadget, loved and operated by today’s teenager may be difficult for a senior citizen inexperienced in working mobile devices.
A ‘gag’ gift, such as an exploding cigar or trick gum, is great for garnering an immediate effect and laugh from a gathered crowd but has no subsequent value. Consider the practicality of your gift. A samurai sword is a unique yet unneeded by a dad of three small children who may get hurt playing with such a weapon. Moreover, booking cooking lessons for an aunt who hates to cook may be received as an insult rather than sentiment of generosity. Consider the practicality of the gift before giving.
Sure, “It’s the thought that counts,” but let’s be honest in admitting the difference between a well-received and blatantly disliked gift. A giver’s ambition does not compensate for a last-minute endeavor. For example, a gift card to the mall could be great for an office cohort but not for a girlfriend of five years. The latter party is likely to feel unappreciated due to the minimal thought and effort put forth. Plan ahead, and let the shadow the intimacy of the relationship. Start planning birthday gifts for 2015 as early as possible; don’t be a gifting procrastinator in 2015!
Consider the presentation’s effect on the receiver. For example, receiving earrings from Macy’s wrapped in a Tiffany’s box may tease and ultimately disappoint the receiver. Moreover, presenting a child with a huge box that holds a small-sized gift is recipe for disappointment. If you really want to surprise the receiver, consider the shape of boxes and how easy it is to guess a wrapped present is an article of clothing, DVD, book, etc. Don’t deceive yet don’t give away the surprise with the wrapping job.
Don’t be a vicarious gifter; don’t buy something you would like without considering the reception of the receiver. You may love those shoes and think the pair would look fabulous on you, yet the design and style could be completely wrong for the receiver. Sometimes, buying for others inspires moments of selfishness; be sure you’re buying for them and not you.
Corina Mentink is Director of Boxt.com.au, a leading online provider of Hampers and Birthday Gift delivery in Australia. Connect with Corina on LinkedIn.