Thursday, July 29, 2010

Buying GREAT gifts!

With Christmas around the corner and birthdays popping up throughout the year,  now is a great time to learn how to choose and buy the perfect gift for that special someone in your life.

“A gift should represent an individual expression of you and the recipient.  Know your audience and approach every present as evidence of your thoughtfulness, creativity and talent.  If you pay attention to your day-to-day conversations with friends and family, they will divulge information about what they like and need.  This is the first step in finding the perfect present.”1

Hollywood’s biggest celebrities have given and received gifts chosen by Lash Fary, founder of Distinctive Assets and author of “Fabulous Gifts”.  Considered Hollywood’s Gift Guru, he provides some unique tips and gifting wisdom in his book.  Together with his advice and some additional research, I have compiled some basics for you that will quickly have you on your way to finding that perfect gift!

1. Purpose
Presents should serve a purpose, and there can be many.  Think about how the present will impact or enhance the recipient’s life.   .  Maybe it’s an item they have put off buying for themselves or one that’s whimsical and just makes them laugh or remember a personal event. Make a list of what that person does habitually and then brainstorm on how you can provide a match. 

2. Listening
Pay attention to your everyday conversations with friends and family.  Almost always, someone will provide you with useful information about what they like and need.  Perhaps they told you about a movie they just saw that they enjoyed…consider buying them a DVD when it comes out.  If you are still stuck for ideas, consider talking to their friends or family.  Most people love to help and will point you in the right direction. As a tried but true last resort, you can always ask the recipient for ideas and although this may spoil the surprise, it will ensure they receive that much wanted gift.

3. Gift Registry
These days a gift registry isn’t just for brides and grooms or baby showers.  Take advantage of creating a gift registry or a wish list that you can share with family, friends and loved ones for other occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries.  It’s an intuitive way to provide great gift suggestions and it takes the pressure off the giver.  Consider keeping a registry at one or two of your favorite stores. 

4. All year long
Keep your eyes and ears open all year long.  If you find something on sale that you think would make a great gift for someone in your life, follow your instincts and Buy it!  Wrap it!  Tag it!  If you think to yourself “that would be perfect for so and so”, chances are it will.  Too often we see something we like, don’t purchase it right away and regret that we didn’t pick it up when it’s gone or no longer on sale.  Don’t forget to stock up on cards too.  Remembering to present someone with a thoughtful card can often be gift enough.

5. The “Don’ts”
Unless the recipient loves to cook, there is nothing romantic about appliances.  Thus, if it hasn’t been requested, never buy one as a gift.  Also, refrain from giving someone a gift labeled “charitable donation has been made in your name”.  It will only be meaningful to them if it was something they specified!  Finally, when shopping for someone, keep in mind you are shopping for them and not yourself.  While you may be tempted, don’t necessarily buy what you like, but what they will like.

6. Bottom Line
Always consider setting a budget.  The price tag isn’t as important as the time you took to choose something thoughtful, interesting and special.  There are many small gifts that with the proper presentation will serve your intentions perfectly.   Of course there may be occasions that splurging may be essential!  Buy Appétit!

I hope this list was helpful and will come in handy the next time you need to purchase a gift! 


1Lash Fary, @ website


Twirlie Whirlies said...

Great post with really sensible advice. Gift buying should be fun - not a chore.

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