Looking for the Perfect Gift?

What do expensive cheese, crates of jam, an ugly art vase, and a helmet all have in common? They are all gifts that our interns received and deemed the worst gift. Nothing says, “I forgot about this celebration,” like a gift card stuffed into a generic card or a helmet when the recipient doesn’t even own a bike. Overbuying, underbuying, regifting, last-minute gift cards, and virtual gifts rank high in awkward gift exchange experiences. 

Today’s commodification of holidays turns the season into an elaborate ploy for consumers to buy color and season-themed stuff. Standing in CVS in January, leftover Christmas candy, boxes of paper Valentines, and chocolate eggs were all laid out in the same aisle. Aside from designated holiday seasons, the spotlight on trending and must-have gifts from Amazon constantly occupies social media platforms. Not only do gift cards and commercialized holidays produce tacky gifts, but in the long run, they are harmful to the environment.

Gift-giving deserves to be a delightful experience for two (or more) people. Gifts are expressions of your love or appreciation for the recipient. Concert tickets, trapeze lessons, a dog, and a special edition of Alice in Wonderland are some of the most thoughtful gifts our interns have received through the years. 

Some people tend to put themselves forward through the gift, instead of concentrating on the recipient. This is where gifting etiquette becomes crucial. Some helpful tools for a smooth exchange includes setting a price minimum/maximum for how much each person wishes to spend. This cuts out the over or underbuying that leaves some disappointed. If gift-giving is your “love language,” let your friends and family members know ahead of time so when you see something in your favorite store, and give it to them, they are not left with the anxiety of needing to give back. Gifting and receiving should feel natural, not burdening. 

After scrolling through the internet or strolling down Main Street you may not still be able to find a perfect gift, here’s some help. Pay attention to a reading list, colors worn, cooking adventures, details in their home, or slight comments about something they need. A conversation about a new coffee maker in September could spawn the perfect birthday gift. Still stuck on what to give? Try giving an experience, like basketball tickets, a cooking class, or a tour at a local museum. Ask them about preferred brands or look at their getGFTD wishlist to ensure they receive something they will love.  

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