5 Tips to Refresh Your Gift Giving Habits
- JUNE 14, 2012
- By Selena Kohng
You’ve been doling out presents ever since that first popsicle stick picture frame you made in preschool. Even experts, though, could use a bit of fresh advice. Here are a few quick tips to get you started on the right foot:
Start Early. Sure, that birthday/housewarming/holiday is weeks away, but nothing good ever comes from waiting til the last minute. Ever. Give yourself time to browse selections, factor in shipping time, hunt for coupons if necessary, or put some good old-fashioned thought into it. Don’t catch yourself rushing to the drugstore at the eleventh hour and digging desperately through generic last-minute knick knacks. (Contrary to what Grandma says, that Glade plug-in you got her last year isn’t what she always wanted.)
Keep a gift closet. If you come across something you know several people on your list would like, go ahead and buy multiples. When popular gift items go on sale, stock up. This works especially well if you have kids who attend a lot of birthday parties or have teachers, babysitters, or fellow car pool moms whom you’d like to thank. This way, you’ll always have something on hand for those last-minute moments (which, let’s face it, happens all the time.)
Keep an open mind. You’d be surprised at how many modern, tasteful baby blankets blend seamlessly into a living room as a throw blanket. Or at how a lacquered tray meant as a bathroom countertop accessory works in the dining room. Think outside the (gift) box and beyond the ways an item is marketed.
Tag team when possible. Chip in with a friend or coworkers to boost your gift-giving power. Chances are that newlyweds would prefer that new barbecue grill they’ve been eying instead of a dozen towels.
Give from the heart. It might seem to go without saying, but it needs to be said. Giving is an act of generosity, a way to express love, gratitude, friendship, or kindness. Don’t let it devolve into a commercial endeavor or a transaction. Why and how you give is more important than the what, and are gifts in and of themselves.