Some people freeze up when a major gift-giving event approaches. It’s easy to get caught up in the pursuit of perfection, when what might be more appreciated is practicality. Try these tips for choosing practical gifts for every occasion to get out of that gift-giving rut.
Yes, Do Pick Something from Their Registry
The best thing you can give someone is something they’ve told you they want. Registries exist for all types of occasions, so it isn’t necessary to strive for originality. Gift recipients are relieved, happy, and appreciative when they receive a present they’ve been hoping to get all along.
Save Time or Solve a Problem
Paper goods have been in very short supply during lockdowns and stay-at-home orders. Among the tips for choosing a practical gift for every occasion is to give something useful that solves a problem. Why not find a way to solve the paper goods shortage problem with reusable items like a new set of dishcloths or even (if you’re very close to the recipient) one of those new bidet-style toilet modifications that make toilet paper almost entirely unnecessary?
Everyone finds themselves pressed for time. Some people, like new moms, find grabbing a few minutes for themselves nearly impossible; that’s why it’s important to consider gifts that new moms will actually use. Take some chores off your gift recipient’s hands by offering your time—babysitting, dog walking, or, grocery shopping are all helpful skills you can offer. If you can’t offer your time directly, try a gift that will do it for you, like a food delivery service or by paying for a summer’s worth of lawn care.
Make it Personal
Gifting a shared experience may be out of the question because of ongoing health precautions. However, you can still provide a gift that will last as long as memories do. A framed photo of a special shared moment or an album commemorating a past excursion may find a prominent place on your giftee’s bookshelf. Or, you can create a “no-contact” experience by recording a video message marking their special day.
Make it Grow
An infant doesn’t really care about another new onesie or pair of cutie booties. However, a child’s parents may appreciate the gesture of seeding an investment for the child’s future. Consult a financial advisor about how you could create an account for a young person’s benefit that will grow over time and be available to them when they are mature enough to appreciate the gesture and handle the money responsibly.
Other more immediate and practical gifts provide continued benefit long after the pretty wrapping paper is recycled. A lovely flowering houseplant, a bolster pillow for someone with a sore back, or a reading light for a bibliophile will continue to provide pleasure and usefulness for years to come.
Gift-giving isn’t a creativity competition. Providing a practical solution to an ongoing problem, a gift of time, or an item that will last as a treasured memento will secure your place as a gifted giver.