The Art of Gifting | How To Know What To Buy For Someone As A Present

by Alouise Love

Unless someone specifically tells you what they want as a present, figuring out what to get someone can be quite daunting. We have all been in a situation where buying the right present became an uphill task. Luckily, there are a few simple steps/guidelines you can follow to master the art of gifting.

Two rules books, one black and one brown placed on a table next to a courtroom hammer with the blue book placed on top of the brown one.

Before we dive into the guidelines of purchasing a gift that will be greatly appreciated by the receiver, a great rule to follow is to never ask someone what he/she wants. Why? It may seem as though you lack interest and your present won't come across as being thoughtful.

The goal is to find something that will be greatly appreciated and awaken positive emotions in the receiver such as joy, happiness and a sense of being loved. 


Step 1: Define the Relationship

One of the most important guidelines to follow. As the name implies this is simply knowing the nature of the relationship you have with the person you are buying a present for. This can be a lover, friend, daughter, mother, brother, sister, co-worker just to name a few.

The important thing to note is how close or not you are to the individual. Are you quite open with this person and vice-versa or does the relationship have hard to cross boundaries? 

Why is noting this crucial? 

It speaks about the appropriateness of the present. You wont gift your co-worker or boss underwear, unless you are looking to get fired in a spectacular way or have no regards for personal boundaries.

White under pants pinned on a line with the bright blue sky in the background

Keep your present in the realms of respectfulness. 


Step 2: Know The Individual

This step evaluates your attention to detail and seeks the answer to the question: What have you observed about the person you are buying a gift for?

Pay attention to their routine or the way they do everyday things (may not be applicable to everyone). Take note of the things they are passionate about as well as their age and maturity level. 

Black and blue Automatic Rechargeable Espresso Maker displayed on a dark grey background

For instance; Your sister is an avid espresso lover, who drinks coffee roughly three times a day. However, you know she operates on a busy schedule and needs the energy to complete her daily tasks. A great present for her may be a portable coffee maker or a to go tumbler. 


Step 3: Focus On The Occasion

Get the right gift to match the occasion. Make sure your gift is suitable and ask yourself; what is the purpose of the present? 

Is it a birthday present? An engagement gift? Whatever it is take note of it and buy something suitable for that purpose. 

A thank you gift is generally different from a Christmas present in that it cost way less and more times than not it's simply a card appreciating the person for their generosity. 


Step 4: Make It Useful

The most vital rule of them all is to give something that the person has use for. It's better to gift a simple everyday present like a coffee mug than to present the person with something that will just sit in the corner of a house or be tossed to the side.

A useful present is anything that is beneficial to the person and will be used more times than not.

A young lady dressed in a red shirt and blue jeans with a small gray knapsack is leaning on a tree taking a photo of the woods

For someone that loves photography, some useful gifts may be a camera, a camera stand, a photo album, and so on. You get the point, right? 


Step 5: Keep It Simple

There is no need to be extravagant. There is always beauty in simplicity

You don't have to go overboard just to prove a point. Remember gift gifting is not a competition but rather a way that you can show how much you appreciate someone and his or her value to you. Your aim should be making someone feel and express emotions of happiness and appreciation

Did you know that simple gifts are actually the most treasurable presents?

A brown wooden waiter on a bed holding an enamel cup filled with creamy coffee, a small bowl of syrup and a white plate with a waffle in it

Your gift does not even have to be something tangible; for some people your presence alone is the gift. It's beautiful isn't it? Just knowing that you are there can be enough. However, this isn't what we are aiming for, it's simply something for you to keep in mind. 

A great intangible present can be providing a wonderful experience for the person which can create memories that last a lifetime. This can be anything from breakfast in bed to a wonderful spa date.


Step 6: Stay Within Your Budget

A beautiful gift does not have to be costly. Keep it within your budget and be satisfied knowing that it's the thought that counts

Before going gift shopping make sure you have all your expenses covered or plan ahead and save accordingly towards the gift you want to buy. You should never put yourself in debts. Focus on something that's affordable to you and would be meaningful to the person that's receiving the present. 


Step 7: Shop For Quality

No matter what you are planning to give someone always and I mean ALWAYS shop for quality. Whether that is an experience or something tangible, ensure it's worth it.

A cartoon like image with 5 stars and a finger pointing at the fifth star outlined on a blue background to represent quality

Shopping online can be a bit tricky in knowing the exact quality of something. A good tip when shopping online is to evaluate the products' details or descriptions and look for certifications. Take note of which governing bodies have approved products or services. Another tip is to read reviews (this can sometimes be misleading because some reviews have nothing to do with the product). Also, avoid buying something based on a photo or video. 

Keep in mind that quality has a strong bond with value but not necessarily price. The value can be the features or attributes of the product or service.

Don't be afraid to look around, review different stores until you settle at something valuable. 


Bonus Step: The Element OF Surprise

Don't be afraid to utilize the element of surprise. Surprising someone in a beautiful way by giving or doing something unexpected for him or her is truly amazing. 

A young lady standing behind her grand mum who is sitting on a chair covering her grandmum's eyes in the hope of surprising her

It awakes the happy emotions, and watch them gratefully thank you for it. Think about how you feel when someone does something out of the ordinary for you. Doesn't it make you feel special and show how much you are loved?

A surprise can range from presenting a gift on a time that someone least expects it, to planning a surprise party for him or her.

Be cautious in your surprises and do review steps 1-3 before you attempt this step, as some people do not like surprises


I hope these steps can foster wonderful gift ideas for  you.

Keep in mind that the intent to give someone something has to be sincere. You are not obligated to, but when you do, make sure it's coming from the heart. 

Gifts must add value to the person's life in some way or the other and should evoke feelings of thankfulness, respect and love. Remember your goal is to find something that would be appreciated. 

Share your thoughts with us, leave a comment below and let us know if this guide was helpful to you.

    1 comentario

    • Prince Keel

      Really understandable article, I will try to follow the pointers because I just buy random things for people or nothing at all. After Christmas I will let you know if this post helped me after using the steps. I ain’t buying nothing for anyone’s birthday or thanksgiving, and if they are lucky they might get a lil something for Christmas, so yeah I will check back around Christmas time.

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