I’m sure that we’ve all been there. You need to buy a Christmas present for someone and can’t even think of where to begin!
You may wander from store to store, all over Calgary, hoping for inspiration. You may even scroll through endless online stores trying to find something that catches your eye.
The trouble with this approach is not only that it is incredibly time consuming, but also that you may not even recognize that ”perfect” gift when you see and will pass it by.
We’ve all met those people that seem to have a knack for picking out the perfect Christmas gifts and seem to really enjoy the process.
So what is their trick?
How can you turn the gift buying chore into a rewarding and successful experience time and time again?
The “secret” to finding great gifts and enjoying the experience is all in your prep and approach. There are a few simple things that you can do before you even begin that give you a big head start. These work whether you are shopping for Christmas, or shopping for any other occasion.
It’s not about you
The first and most important rule in present shopping is to remember that it’s not about you.
It can be easy to spot something that you love and assume that your friend will love it too – but we are all different from one another, and even best friend may not always love everything that you love.
Be personal and thoughtful
When buying a present for someone, it’s important that you put thought into it and try and match the present to them. You don’t want to be giving a present that looks like you walked into a store and bought the first thing you saw, or worse, picked something up last minute on the way over because you had forgotten.
Consider their likes and dislikes
Think about what they like.
Pay attention to the things they wear, the things they own, and the things they talk about. It can be just as important to think about the things that they don’t like.
Maybe there is a certain colour, or smell, or style that they really like or dislike.
Maybe there is a place in and around Calgary that they enjoy.
Noticing these things will not only make it easier to buy a present that they will appreciate and enjoy, but it will also help to strengthen your relationship.
Take allergies or health issues to take into consideration
Make sure when you are buying a present for someone that they are actually able to use it.
Buying a food basket that includes nut products for someone with a nut allergy is an example of a gift given without a lot of thought.
Buying a gift card to your favourite Calgary steak house is not a good gift for a vegan; likewise, a gift box of chocolates or candy are not good for someone trying to diet.
Flowers may seem like a nice gift, until you find out that they have hay fever.
What do they need?
When buying a present for someone, think about the occasion you are buying for?
- Housewarming present?
- New baby?
A family with multiple kids may not appreciate another toy in what may be an already toy-filled home.
Do they have any interests or favourite hobbies that they would appreciate supplies for?
Unless the gift is a surprise, it is always a good idea to ask someone what they might want and need.
Know your budget
Whatever amount you are planning on spending, it’s important to know what amount you are able to spend so that you aren’t wasting your time looking at things that are out of the price range. Gifts don’t have to cost a lot to mean a lot.
Is there anything specific that has special meaning to the two of you
When you are thinking about your friend, is there anything that comes up that they may have mentioned over the last few months that would be a perfect starting point for a gift that will mean something.
Is there a special memory or event that you shared?
Do you have any inside jokes that may translate well into a gift they would really appreciate and that would help them to feel special?
Being able to answer these questions will help you immensely in finding meaningful gifts.
It may take you a few extra minutes of brainstorming, but it will help you to narrow down your gift search, helping to save you time in the long run.