It’s a month until Christmas and if you haven’t started your shopping, now is the time. With so many of us spending extended amounts of time at home this year, gifts for beautifying and styling homes are high on many people’s Christmas wish lists. But how do you ensure you buy appropriately for the preferred style of that special person in your life, to avoid post-Christmas returns and awkward, lukewarm ‘Oh, I really like it’ statements on Christmas morning?
Here are our five top tips for choosing the right style of gift for even the most particular giftee.
1. Ask what they want
You will probably ask someone what they want before buying them a gift. According to Andy Luttrell, a neuroscience researcher working at Ball State University says that people tend to appreciate gifts more when it is something they explicitly asked for, compared to when it was something that the donor came up with.
According to the expert, gifts often assume that recipients will not care one way or another. However, it is better to ask people directly what they want. “Don’t assume you can find something good on your own,” warns Luttrell.
If you are the recipient of the gift in this scenario, ask for one thing. Don’t give anyone a complete list of things they might want. Put only one thing on your wish list.
2. Difference between recipient-centered gifts and donor-centered gifts
There is another distinction to be made when giving gifts, and it is between recipient-centered gifts and donor-centered gifts. The first is the kind of thing that expresses something about the person you are giving the gift to. Something that says, “I know you and I know what you like.”
On the flip side, donor-focused gifts are things that express something about you. If you buy someone your favorite book for Christmas, that would be a gift to focus on the donor when trying to give yourself to others.
Also read: Tips to Stick to Your Holiday Budget
“When you ask people to express what kind of gift they prefer, they often say that the gifts are focused on the recipient. Those feel more special because after all, you thought of them, ”says the researcher.
Donor-centered gifts strengthen relationships and bring people together. Form a unique connection. Think of something about yourself that you can share with another person without being selfish. Make that gift that expresses something about you.
3. Don’t over individualize gifts
People feel compelled to choose unique gifts. A larger selection can result in worse gifts. If you want to stick to your Christmas budget, the expert says that giving the same gift to several people is acceptable.
Sometimes you may feel uncomfortable giving them, but your loved ones will love receiving them. Cash, for example, is an acceptable gift, but spouses are an exception. Gift cards are an easy way to please. However, keep in mind that specific gift cards are less likely to be used.
You don’t need to give everyone something special. Sometimes when families have too many members, it becomes a bit stressful to impress everyone with a unique and expensive gift. You don’t need to be embarrassed about not getting an overwhelming reaction.
Lastly, make sure that what you are giving is well received and makes the recipient happy. The most exciting moment under the Christmas tree is spending time with the people you love and appreciate the most; that’s what really has no tangible value.