It has been scientifically proven that giving presents to others can often be more therapeutic for us and makes us happier than buying things for ourselves. There is simply something about seeing a person smile when we give them a present and about watching them being delighted and amazed when they discover they simply love our gift.
However, there's another side to this. Before we enjoy giving presents to others, we usually spend a lot of time being frustrated and anxious about what the perfect gift will be. Let's be honest - it can be really hard to get it right with your mother-in-law or with a colleague from work you don't know that well but you are their Secret Santa.
Luckily, there are useful methods what could be a perfect gift for a specific person.
1. Make a list of the person's interests
Spend at least two minutes on making a list of all the things that person likes, enjoys or collects. You can probably write down at least three things.
Next, add one present as an idea to each of those interest. Of course, some of the ideas could be pretty expensive but the point is to put your ideas out there in the open. When you take a look at them, you will definitely pick out one or two that could work. It will also show that person that you have really given some thought to the whole thing and that you have noticed what things they like.
2. Make a show out of it
It's not just about the sole present; it's also about the way it has been given or the way it is wrapped. First of all, you can make the person look for the gift - create a scavenger hunt for them! If you bought a gift card, don't just give it to them but hide a secret message in some of the items they use every day that will lead them to the right spot. If you're any good at sewing, you could saw the present inside a big stuffy animal.
And never underestimate the joy of unwrapping - the more time they have to spend unwrapping the present, the more they will enjoy and get excited - don't take that feeling away from them.
3. Remind them of their past
People cherish memories. All of us have some special events in our lives that we enjoy remembering. So, why not be the one who reminds them of their college days by framing their diploma? Why not make a beautiful picture frame for the photo of their beloved pet that died? There are many items from anybody's past that could be given new life if you think of a way to lift them up. It's not about getting new things - sometimes, it's about emotions, memories and gentle nostalgia.
4. Mix and surprise
Great presents are those that are a weird mix of two things. For example, if somebody enjoys chocolate but also loves flowers, then chocolate bouquets could make them laugh and show them how creative you can be when it comes to giving them a present. Sweets are always welcome. No reason not to get creative with chocolate hampers or animal-shaped candies. Similarly, if the person enjoys art or loves scarves but also enjoys when someone makes a personal effort, then you could make something on your own, like write a funny song or paint something just for them and frame it. Or you can knit them a scarf, at least a basic one - effort will be the biggest gift.
5. Think about what the person needs
A present can also be useful, helping the person who got it to be more effective at their job or to achieve a certain dream. Every type of profession has certain items that can make their lives easier - a practical gift is a great gift, too. On the other hand, if you know that a person would like to write a book one day, then buy them a couple of items every writer needs to have to inspire them to start. If you stop and think for a bit, you will definitely think of something that the person desperately needs in their everyday life or a goal they want to achieve.
6. If everything else fails - stalk
This may sound a bit crazy, but this isn't about following the person through dark alleys or breaking into their Facebook account. All of us leave traces of what we like and want on visible places if one only know to look carefully. For example, if you visit the person's Facebook account, you'll be able to see their history of likes and comments. With just a bit of luck, you'll notice a comment like "I simply love it!" or "I want one, too!" under a certain item. Pinterest is also a useful source of information. It's easy to check the person's preferences on it without poking into their personal life, while the information you get could be incredibly useful.
However you choose to approach the task of giving a perfect gift, the important thing is to really make an effort. When you pour your heart into it, it will be visible in the present itself. And that's really the best gift of all.