A Guide to Mastering Meaningful Gift-Giving
Think of gifting like an art form; with the right practice, you can master it. Learn how to choose thoughtful, purposeful, and above all else, meaningful gifts with these tips and tricks gathered by yours truly. From learning how to find the perfect gift for someone you barely know to understanding the ins and outs of what makes a gift meaningful, this guide has everything you need to know to master the art of gift-giving.
The Importance of Gift-Giving
Gift-giving should not feel like a chore—it’s something that fuels our human connection and can be one of the most fulfilling parts of relationships. Giving gifts is practiced around the globe, whether that’s something as huge as France giving America the Statue of Liberty or presenting diamond engagement rings during proposals.
In our modern lives, gifts are everywhere, from thanking a mentor with homemade cookies to finding bridesmaids gifts to bringing home flowers for your partner. Giving meaningful gifts is important in showing someone you love and appreciate your relationship with them.
The psychology of gift-giving supports that the act of choosing meaningful presents for your loved ones reinforces connection, shows love and devotion, and can come from wanting to help others. At Embellish Asheville, this is the part of giving gifts that we love to focus on.
What Makes a Gift Special?
While this seems like a broad question, many of us know that nothing beats seeing a friend’s face light up when they open your present. It’s often easy to stress out about finding the perfect present, and for some, that anxiety keeps them from looking at all. But with a little work and a few ways to help determine what makes a present special, that stress will disappear. You may even become known for your gift-giving talents.
The real secret is that gifts are more about their meaning than the physical thing. Gifting something your boyfriend mentioned wanting weeks ago can show that you listen. Finding something that will help heal a stressful area of their life shows that you care about supporting them. Finding the right gift means searching inwards for what deeper meaning you’d like to convey.
5 Ways to Find Meaningful Gifts
Finding a great gift comes from the meaning you place behind it. If that seems confusing at first, run through this handy list the next time you need to find a meaningful gift, and see where inspiration strikes.
- Take note
- Support their dreams
- Matching gifts
1. Find the Perfect Present by Taking Notes—Literally
We carry tiny supercomputers in our pockets every day—you may even be reading this on yours! Put it to use by starting a section on the Notes app dedicated solely to present ideas for your loved ones. Any time any of them mention something on an errand that they’ve been needing to get or a fun self-care product they’ve been meaning to try, jot it down. It’s likely they’ll forget ever mentioning it, and when they unwrap it as your gift, they’ll feel seen, heard, and above all, appreciated.
2. Support Their Passions and Dreams with a Meaningful Gift
Once again, the gift is really all about the meaning and intention behind it. Spend the time to listen to what they’re passionate about or dreaming of for their future, whether that’s a new hobby like crocheting or something bigger like moving to new city. Gift them presents that will help further their goals and passions in life, and they’ll be able to tell, beyond a doubt, that you support them.
3. Gifts as Experiences
Something that people can find themselves stuck on is that “but they have everything” spiral. What are you meant to gift someone who seemingly has it all? If the above two didn’t spark any ideas for you, turn to looking for meaningful experiences as your gift. Whether that’s concert tickets, a wine tasting, or something uniquely them, gifting experiences is always a home run.
4. Gifts Can Be Connected to a Shared Memory
Choosing something that calls back a memory between you and your loved one is a surefire way to have them say, “aww” when they unwrap your gift. Presents that are centered around capturing important memories and times in their life will likely become a treasured possession, whether that’s a picture in a lovely frame or items based on inside jokes. Finding gifts to connect over is one way to create an unforgettable gift.
5. Find Matching Gifts for Both of You
Finding matching presents will feel like a gift to you and them. Best friend jewelry has been popular for years, and the sentiment can be an inspiration for gifts like this. Every time they look at their gift, they’ll be reminded of its connection to you, wherever you are in the world. Explore some of our favorite jewelry to find a style that you and your loved one can rock for a meaningful gift to connect you.
You Don’t Need a Special Occasion for a Gift
Gift giving is not just for holidays and birthdays—meaningful gifts can be given year-round for no reason at all other than showing your love and kindness. Part of what makes a present so meaningful is the element of surprise, and with everyday gifts, they’ll be even more touched to receive a from-the-heart present than they would at an event. The next time you’re out and about and find something that reminds you of them or is something they just mentioned, wrap it up and surprise them!
Reasons for “Just Because” Gifts
- To give them a thank you
- To help them on a sick day
- To surprise someone
- To express gratitude and love
- To help support in times of stress
The 3 Don’ts of Gift Giving
Choosing meaningful gifts may still seem stressful (we’ve all been there!), but if you stick to our tips and stay away from these common mistakes on your next present shopping trip, you’ll get the hang of it soon enough.
Don’t: Make the Present about You! Sometimes we get so excited about finding a gift for someone that we forget that it’s not about us! Whether that’s expecting loads of praise or putting too much pressure on the person to love it, at that moment, giving the gift becomes all about you. Skip that and make sure the entire gifting experience is all about them! Meaningful gifts are an act of altruism and generosity without strings attached, so remember to embrace the gifting spirit and focus on their joy.
Don’t: Fret Over the Gift Price! Get rid of the idea that money = an amazing present. Splurging is never a requirement for finding the perfect gift for someone; real gift-giving comes from the heart.
Don’t: Overthink the Gift! A lot of us (I included, at times!) have spent days trying to nail the perfect present, and in doing so, skip over great ideas that will work just fine! Go with your gut and follow our helpful tips to find wonderful gifts—and quit overthinking.
Try Gifting Self-Care Products
If you’re at a loss, look to the wide world of self-care products for a meaningful gift that will make just about everyone smile. Let’s be honest; we all need a little TLC sometimes—so why not gift something to help support your loved ones! Sure, finding the perfect dangly earrings or nature-inspired jewelry to gift your friends and family is wonderful, but something about gifts focused on self-care proves to them that you care about their mind, body, and soul.
Explore some of our favorite indie-made products for your next self-care gift. A perfect year-round gift is our thoughtful Handmade Lavender Eye Pillow designed with flaxseed and organic lavender, a soothing aroma perfect for pampering. The scent of lavender is known for reducing agitation and restlessness, making something like this a perfect gift for insomniacs, those with anxiety, beginner meditators, or anyone in need of chilling out!
Gift Ideas for an Acquaintance
Finding gifts for friends and family may feel easy enough, but when it comes to choosing the right gift for someone you barely know or have only just met, the stakes may feel higher. We totally understand that feeling of anxiety, but the key to finding presents for acquaintances is choosing items that are more universally loved by everyone rather than trying to figure out intimate details of their lives for a simple present.
Consider something like a handmade candle with a decorative Match Stick Holder which comes off as kind and thoughtful no matter who it’s going to and is a safe bet when it comes to presents for people you don’t know. Adding other simple and helpful items to the gift, like house plants, gift cards, or baked goods, will help it be received as a personal and specific present for anyone in your life.
Choosing Gifts for Family Members
Even though we’ve known our families longer than anyone else in our lives, we sometimes struggle to find the right gift—you’re not alone in that. Especially if they offer the classic comment of “oh, I don’t need anything” when you ask. Don’t worry; we have a few ideas to help discover presents for those stubborn family members.
Students in your family, whether it’s grade school or college, can use our Spiral Journal to take notes in class, write to-do lists, and keep a diary—you name it. With several choices of floral aesthetics and illustrations, the empowering statements on the covers can help them get through their tough classes and remind them of your thoughtfulness with every use.
Finding the right gifts for parents and grandparents always seems stressful, but our Life Notes are a gift that keeps on giving. Each box set is full of letter prompts for parents or grandparents (depending on which you choose) to answer for the children in the family. They can write out advice and wisdom on topics like love, friendship, bravery, and more to be passed on to their kids. Once they’re completed, they can be regifted full of answers to the children at milestones like birthdays and graduations to come full circle!
Gifts for the Artists in Your Life
If you’re anything like us, you have creative friends and family members to find gifts for. Helping them stock up on supplies for their craft is always considerate and kind, but it can get a little complex. Your artist friends would be touched to know you’ve supported other artists while finding gifts, so look no further than Embellish Asheville for all your handmade presents.
Look into our Apostrophe Puzzles to support a black-owned and woman-led company that focuses on supporting artists and investing in communities to step toward solving injustices. At least 10% of every purchase goes directly to the artists, and another portion of the sale goes to a nonprofit! Your artist friends will take this sentiment to heart, get to do a fun puzzle when they’re not creating, and be able to glue it together for a new art piece in their home! It’s a win, win, win situation.
Personalizing Your Gift
Now that you’ve found the perfect present, there’s one last step—personalizing the present and its wrapping! Consider writing out a thoughtful handwritten card to tell them all the reasons you love and support them. Try adding something unique to the wrapping and ribbons, like a print of a photo, a smudge stick, or even fresh flowers. Experiment with creativity and discover exciting ways to wrap each gift you get! Voila—stunning wrapping that shows your appreciation every time.
And with that, you’re done! With mindfulness considered every step of the way, from conceptualizing the present to putting the pretty bow on top, you’ve done it! Take what you’ve learned and try to apply it to gift-giving all year round, and watch as it gets easier and easier to find the perfect gifts for anyone in your life.