Can you feel it?
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…
I usually get in the spirit around this time of year. My family always gets its Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. This year my wife and I picked out a pretty good one and she had it all fancied up the same day we brought it home. So we’ve had the holiday spirit for a few weeks now.
But after that tree buying experience comes the next big item on the Christmas to-do list: Gift Buying.
The Perfect Christmas Gift
Is it possible to buy the perfect gift? I have to admit that I’ve struggled with it over the last several years. Sometimes I’ll get big hits and other times I’ll get the “Gift Face” usually from my wife. She can’t hide her feelings if she’s disappointed in the gift I got her especially if she got me something really great.
So getting the perfect gift is tough and it’s different for everybody, but I think I’m honing in a process that works. Here are a few of my tricks.
Something Relatively Inexpensive
Not everybody can spend crazy amounts of cash around the holidays. There are a few things I have on my list of want items for 2015. One is a membership to a local golf course. It’s not a country club, but memberships aren’t cheap. And I’d also like new irons for golf and a maybe a new bow next fall for deer hunting.
Those are all very expensive items and things I’m more comfortable purchasing myself.
So for the perfect gift you have to be more in the $25 to maybe $100 range I would think. That’s where my wife and I like to stay.
Something They Wouldn’t Buy For Themselves
It seems that as people get into adulthood they don’t have an issue just buying smaller things they want. Everybody is different, but if you’re well into your adulthood and you’re comfortable with your wages and financial situation then spending $100 for something you covet once in a while isn’t really an issue.
Now if you do it all the time maybe you have an issue with wanting too many things, but within reason that’s what people do.
So it’s hard to buy things for people because they often buy everything for themselves already.
That’s where you have to be clever with buying gifts. You have to buy something that the person wants, but won’t buy for themselves. And I’ve found that you can do that in a few different ways.
This can get tricky. I like golfing and it’s fun for me so sometimes people buy me fun golf gifts, but there are tons of gimmicks in the golf world so you have to careful buying fun gifts when it comes to someone’s hobby. That’s especially true if you’re not into that same hobby.
But here I think you can buy fun things like games or maybe a fun family photo in a fun frame or something like that. Those seem to work well and usually are things that people won’t buy on their own.
We like to have fun, but not as much as we think so when someone buys something fun for us it’s usually a good gift.
Things They May Not Realize Exist (But They Need)
This one is tricky, but usually everybody has something that they love that other people don’t have. It could even be something like a cool new can opener that you love that doesn’t break your knuckles when you use it. So you buy one for all your friends.
Those fun little gadget-type things are good gifts especially if they work well for you. Maybe paying for a year’s worth of Netflix for your parents or something. I know my dad would love it. I actually got him an Amazon gift card a couple years ago and now he loves Amazon Prime.
“Boring”, But Useful Things
People don’t really buy boring things for themselves either. They get by with what they have for a while like a can opener. So buying someone a new set of coasters or a new centerpiece bowl or something like that can be a good item. Maybe even something like a new set of tools for someone that has an older set.
“Boring” Things Made Fun
A couple years ago we had a big hit at the family Christmas and it was this cutting board. It’s not something you think of all that often for a gift, but it was a really nice type of wood. And it was good for both men and women. It was kind of fun and done on Etsy, which made it unique. And it was something that just about everyone uses.
It’s that time of year. I don’t like making lists and I don’t expect people to make lists. I think the value in not doing a list is that you’re forced to really think about the person you love in order to get them a good gift. And that is valuable because we don’t always take time to think that deeply about our friends and family.
Image: Alan Cleaver