Buying Guide

A Guide to Joyful Gift Giving


Giving gifts has been a favorite pastime for centuries. This ancient tradition has commonly been signposted by Christianity and the birth of baby Jesus, where the three kings came and offered up their treasured presents of gemstones, frankincense, and murre. With that being said, many other religious holidays will also have had some form of focus on gift giving. There is every possibility that giving each other presents has been happening since the beginning of time.

There are so many reasons we carefully wrap up a specially chosen item for someone. Perhaps we want to say thank you to someone or to celebrate their birthday. We could offer a gift when we know someone is in need of something, or maybe we just see something small that makes us think of another, and we just have to get it for them.

This piece will offer you a guide on how you can find joy in gift-giving for both you, the giver, and the recipient.

When Gifting Becomes Stressful

Plenty of us have been in a situation where Christmas has seemingly out of nowhere started to creep up on us, or our friend’s birthday is only a few days away and it completely slipped our mind, and we just have no idea what on earth we are going to buy them.

Christmas can be especially tough, as you can end up experiencing ‘choice’ fatigue between different fence planters when you might feel like you have to choose so many presents in such a short space of time.

This can make gift-giving feel like more of a chore as opposed to the enjoyable process it can be.

If you find you are in a position where choosing gifts has become stressful, you have two options. Either think about something that would be useful for people or make something thoughtful and universal such as some cookies or some cake!

Another important thing to remember is that you should never feel obliged to get someone a gift, this can definitely put a damper on things. So, do not feel pressured into it.

The Psychology Behind Gift Giving

When considering how we can make gift-giving more joyful for both the giver and recipient, it can be helpful to understand why we actually gift gifts in the modern-day. Of course, we have our obvious reasons mentioned above, but there is actually a deeper reason we reach for the gift bag.

Did you know giving a gift helps establish a connection with someone? This could be someone new in your life or can be used to help strengthen an already current connection, or re-establish one that has drifted afar.

This means that gifts are usually a direct reflection of how we feel about someone, as we usually only offer presents to people we value and want in our lives. This helps us convey the feelings of appreciation that we have for them.

That being said, the choice of gift can often reflect this as well. People can usually tell if you have put a certain amount of effort into choosing something. It is not that gifts that have not been carefully chosen lack any value, but for those who go the extra mile and really think about a personal touch with unique gifts are more likely to communicate their feelings more effectively if they are looking to say, “this is how much you mean to me”.

Questions to Ask for A Joyful Gift

Unless you are particularly empathetic, it can be difficult to think about what someone else might find joy in as a gift. Often, we can choose things that we would be extremely happy to receive, which there is nothing wrong with. However, if you can ask yourself some questions to determine what might make the best gifts for them, you might be able to find a gift that is much better suited to your recipient.

Some questions to ask yourself might include:

  • What makes them happy?
  • Is there anything that they need right now?
  • Is there anything in particular they are interested in at the moment that you could expand on?
  • Is there anything they would like to learn?
  • Is there anything that they wish they could try?
  • What are they doing when they are at their happiest?

These questions can help guide you into choosing something that your recipient will really appreciate and help assure you that whatever you choose will not end up gathering dust on the shelf!

Focus On Handmade

If you are particularly crafty, then focusing on creating a handmade present will surely be something that has been treasured for many years to come.
For those of you who do not feel like creativity is their strong suit, you do not have to create an entire gift from scratch. Consider adding handmade elements, such as a gift tag you have made yourself or having a name engraved on something for personalization. Even if you are giving someone a gift card to somewhere that you know is their favorite place, handmaking a card to place the gift certificate in can be a neat way to customize your choice and give it a personal touch.

Opt For A Surprise

Skip this suggestion if the recipient in question does not enjoy surprises, but for those who do love a bit of surprise spice in their life, consider bringing the magic to them.

A surprise could be anything both you and they want it to be. Maybe they have not seen you for a while, so arranging to meet them for a surprise coffee could be the best gift they could ask for. Perhaps they have wanted to go to a specific place for a long time but have not been able to grab some tickets and take them! You could even gift them an activity that they could use at a later date when they are ready. Surprises are exciting and are a great way to add an extra layer of joy to the process of giving gifts.

Lauren Miller
Lauren Miller, who holds a degree in Consumer Sciences from Colorado State University, has been an authoritative voice in product analysis and consumer advice for over 15 years. Joining our team in 2020, Lauren elevated our buying guides with meticulous research and practical insights. She specializes in crafting detailed buying guides and reviews. Previously, she worked in product development and consumer advocacy. Lauren is a gourmet cook and a passionate advocate for sustainable living.

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