I am one of those people who loves giving gifts to people, but sometimes really stinks at it. I left the store the other night with shopping bags filled with goodies for three of my friends. I was beaming at the thought of mailing/giving these gifts to people I really wanted to know that I care for them (although honestly, I might have just been proud that I didn’t buy anything for myself). Afterward, I went home, turned on the lights to my Christmas tree, and played The Nutcracker audio book as I wrapped loved ones’ holiday presents. It was a good night.
As I was in the store, though, I had a mini panic attack at what I wanted to get my friends. I was walking around thinking what do they want? What do they like? Do they like anything? OMG they’re going to hate their presents.
Finding the Right Gift
It's important to remember who you are shopping for. My closest friend is an electrical engineer. She always looks cute, but fashion isn't her thing, so shopping here at Sophie for a gift wasn't the best idea. I know she loves games, wine, good food, and cool gadgets. Knowing those things about her helped me to pick the perfect gift for her. Knowing my budget helped me to narrow those choices.
This is important too: figure out the total amount you want to spend on Christmas gifts this year, and divvy out amounts per gift. When shopping, I have to keep in mind gifts to my family, friends, a coworker (for secret santa), and boyfriend. With the budget I set for myself, I couldn't buy a $50 gift basket filled with wine, chocolate, and games for my friend, so I got her a nice game that she can play with her husband and other friends (since she lives in Minnesota, she can't play with me *sad face*).
And remember this: you are not shopping for yourself. It's tempting to think that way because your eyes, hands, and wallet steer toward those shiny things you love. But does your friend/sister/coworker love those things? This is their gift. Buy for them.
At this point in the game I know it's a little late, but I will also point out that a good memory is key to good gift giving. Last year, I brought up to my boyfriend my desire to be better at art. I had always had (some) talent, but with school I didn't have much time. I knew that with his busy schedule in medical school, I wanted to have a hobby that didn't entail sitting on the couch. I mentioned this to him during the summer, and didn't really bring it up to him after that. For Christmas, he gave me this wonderful painting set with books on how to use different kinds of paint, canvas, drawing pads, dozens of paint brushes and paints, and an easel. I cried. Not only was the gift fabulous, but he remembered something I had said and went above and beyond to really help me fulfill that wish. If your loved ones mention something they need or want. Write it down somewhere and remember.