Most people love receiving gifts. Some people like giving gifts. The ultimate happiness is when the gift giver gets it right and gives the gift receiver something so beautifully perfect, they would buy it for themselves. But that rarely happens.
Giving gifts can be tough. It requires knowing a person well. You need to understand their values and what they’d appreciate. So, if you don’t know someone that well, what do you buy?
To help you with this important dilemma, perhaps it would be good to go over the types of gifts which you should always make sure to steer clear of.
It is so tempting to re-gift something you received and didn’t like. While this isn’t always a bad gift, it can be dangerous. There is always the risk that the original receiver will find out and be hurt, or that the new receiver will realise it is a second hand gift.
Or worse, you might forget you gave you the gift and inadvertently re-gift it to the original giver.
There are funny inappropriate gifts like what you might give at a bachelor’s party and then there are awkward inappropriate gifts that are just in poor taste. For example, giving your friend a bottle of tequila when she is pregnant.
Gifts you actually want
Don’t give someone a gift that they will realise is something you would want for yourself. This is rude and insulting. If your friend is a home body and you are an adrenalin junkie, don’t give her a voucher to go rock-climbing unless it is something she has said she would be open to trying.
Does your friend smoke? Then bringing back duty-free cigarettes from your recent trip could be a thoughtful idea. Giving cigarettes to someone who doesn’t smoke is obviously not ideal.
Don’t make hints with your gift-giving, no matter the circumstances. Think your girlfriends could stand to lose a little weight? That does not excuse giving her a gym membership. Wish your boyfriend did more around the house? Don’t say so with a new toolbox. Again this is just insulting.
If you haven’t gotten around to buying a gift you might think it’s sweet to give an IOU and get a gift at a later stage. It’s not. It just seems like you couldn’t be bothered.
Perhaps marginally worse than a terrible gift is forgetting or not bothering to give a gift at all. Facebook is there for a reason. Give your loved ones gifts unless you mutually decide before the time not to get a gift at all.
If you really are stuck and don’t know what gifts to give, do the safe thing: gift cards. It’s not the most exciting gift in the world but it is infinitely better than a bad gift.