The Art of Good Gifting


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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and after being flooded by requests for gift ideas each year by a zillion of my friends; I’ve decided to blog about it! Mind you, these are generic tips so use your creativity and apply away to any gift occasion.

Now I get it, choosing the right gift for that special person can be a real chore. And ironically, I hate shopping. But as the official go-to personal shopper in my family, I advocate the practice of Good Gifting—not socks and jockey shorts for your loving dad, weight loss pills for your honey on your golden anniversary, or educational study charts for your thirteen year old kid on his b’day—I’m talking the “OMG! I just LOVE it!!!” type of gifts.


To achieve this level of great gifting-ness I advise that you do a background check of the giftee in question and follow these simple tips:


1) Price range- determine how much you want to spend based on how fat or skinny your wallet is and how special the person or occasion is to you—if you care and can’t spend more, make it up with creativity. DIY gifts are great substitutes  for store-bought items, and there are tons of options to choose from based on your own unique talents. Go to for the mother-load of ideas>>> baked goods for the culinary gifted, pottery/paintings/ framed sketches for the artistically inclined, cute embroidered/ crotched items for those steady with needles… those pins cover everything! 


2) Occasion- make sure your choices are appropriate to the event. Themed gifts are nice ideas but can be cliche and overdone, so try not to fall constantly into this category (chocolates and flowers every year for Valentines’ Day anyone?)

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3) Personality and Interests:  if you’re on familiar terms with the giftee, this should be ‘suck-eye’. Is the person introverted/extroverted, logical/emotional, practical/dreamy, adventurous/unadventurous? These cues will help in your selection as you pair personalities with items…for instance introverted folks usually like quiet time for reflection so try a customised journal gift set, but on the other hand, adventurous folks like venturing into new places so hiking gear might be appropriate. Also, make sure you choose stuff related to the giftee’s interest- tools for the car fanatic, glam for the diva, garden tools for the green thumb…the list goes on.


4) Practicality or novelty?– getting gifts that are needed are usually big hits. Make mental notes about needs or wants you may notice (or do some ninja-like snooping) and gift away! On occasions when the giftee may have all needs fulfilled (yeah, you know the type), novelty items such as collectibles or sentimental, humourous and gag items may be a good idea. Gift certificates are also a super-useful idea, but for it to be a success it has to be matched with something the giftee really likes.


5) Demographics- keep in mind the giftee’s age, gender, education level, income level, marital status, occupation, religion, family orientation, and living conditions. These cues would help you to select appropriately—no black, lacy, mid-drift tops for ten-year old girls or winter apparel for tropical climates please!


And what about those peeps you aren’t so familiar with–like your boss, client or potential mother-in-law? A good idea is to avoid the too personal and go with something suitable and tasteful, generic and useful, or novel and collectible. Good giftings may include professional corporate gifts such as calligraphy pen sets, desktop clock-calenders, cool coffee mugs and accessories, beautiful potted peace lilies/lucky bamboos, good inspirational books and so on. And for that potential mother-in-law, we suggest you do plenty researching (and lots of praying!) before you select tasteful home decor pieces or novelty items.

So there you have it young grasshopper. You are now empowered with knowledge of the art of good gifting. Use this power well, and go forth and spread gaiety with your kind giftings



3 thoughts on “The Art of Good Gifting”

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