My short and sweet guide to gift giving.

A gift for someone should be something they really will appreciate now or in the future. It doesn’t have to be something they necessarily want, but something that will resonate at some point. That leaves the door wide open! Giving a gift shouldn’t be that hard!

But it is. Instead of putting in the extra thought or holding off on getting/making something until the right idea comes along, we are often overwhelmed by commercialism, and our own fascination with various products and services. We invest in what seems cool or valuable to us, without giving necessary regard to the receiver of the gift’s perspective. This applies both personally and more distantly.

Take, for example, a man who I watched give a disheveled woman kneeled on the sidewalk some money with a smile. She was confused by the gesture, and yelled after the man to inquire why he gave her money. He took a few steps back and said with a soft self-assurance that she needed it more than he did, and merry christmas. She had no words and shook her head as he walked away, looking defeated. The receiver of this gift was not in fact asking for money, and the man instead assumed that she wanted and needed it, and as a result, it only made the giver feel ignorantly good. 

I’m not attempting to imply that we should only give gifts that are asked for, or that a gift that isn’t totally appreciated by the receiver isn’t a great gift. I’m simply suggesting that a successful gift is more likely to come from a short analysis of who the receiver is and what they are likely to value.

Happy shopping, creating, sharing, and giving.