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A couple of months back I gave a birthday gift that hit perfectly – my friend was happy for days and kept saying thank you. I had remembered that she saw something when we walked around about 6 months earlier that she really wanted to buy. Honestly? It felt great! I can only wish that all my gifts hit so close to home.
The effects of giving and receiving gifts (whether tangible or not) have been researched heavily over the past few years. All research comes to the same conclusion, giving to others improves virtually everything in your life from the quality of your sleep, to your health and your daily energies – some go as far as saying that it lengthens your life.
Now, it’s that time of year again. We are all in a frenzy to try to find the perfect gift for our kids, for our spouses, for our friends. Giving thoughtful gifts takes planning and time, not to mention a budget. When you search the web the options are just endless, but we all know that there is nothing like giving a gift that makes someone truly happy.
So, over the past few days, we did quite a bit of homework, we searched and then searched some more and invested thought in what makes gifts great – these are our reasons, and these are our best gift lists.
We hope they will help you too. Sitting in front of the screen, or standing in an aisle – ask yourself these 4 simple questions:
Will this give someone a reason to laugh and smile?
Will the gift remind them of a special moment? Will seeing the gift make them burst out laughing? Will wearing it or putting it on a shelf will create a smile on their face? Yes? It’s a great gift! Wrap it in fun colors, and a sprinkle of sparkles, find a fun bag and ta-da – you got the perfect gift!
Will this give an experience more than “stuff”?
Give something fun, something that will put on a smile, but make it also functional and fun to use. A cook? Buy something to use in the kitchen. A swimmer? Fun pair of goggles! Theater lovers? Buy tickets for a show! Make it functional and fun! Your loved ones will be thankful.
Does this gift connect to the person?
It’s tempting to buy 10 vases or 5 pairs of the same socks for friends and family, but invest that extra minute thinking about the person, who they are, what do they like to do, hobbies, travel aspirations. Don’t buy them coffee if they only drink tea! Don’t buy them running gear if they haven’t moved in years! Show them you thought of who they are and what they love.
Does this gift add a drop of you?
While it’s important to think of what the other side would love – think of adding a drop of yourself too. Make a special card if you are artistic, write a song – make it count; gifts say something about your relationship!
Best Gifts under $25
Best Gifts for the Young Traveler