The Bigger, the Better?
Gifts do not have to be expensive, huge, or extraordinary. We need to get away from this wasteful thinking and deep-seated morality of giving “something,” and return to the basics. Better no gifts at all than bad gifts. No one wants wasteful, unnecessary items with no connection to your relationship.
For example, if a friend gives me a perfume because we tried it together on our last girls’ day out, it has a different meaning than if I received a perfume from a work colleague without a single word. In the latter case, I’d probably think it a not-so-subtle message that I had a body odor problem.
- It is not what you give, but the feeling you convey to the person with your gift that matters.
Think First, Then Choose a Gift! Good Gifts Do Not Just Happen by Chance
Giving good gifts is a skill that must be learned. Use these little tips, and you’ll stand out the next time you give a gift:
Tip 1: Keep a List
Jot down statements that the future gift recipient has made throughout the year. For example, my friend once casually mentioned that she loves the smell of lemongrass.
Guess who will get a lemongrass-scented candle next time!
I promise you, the giftees will be much happier about how attentively you listened to them than about the material item (scented candle).
Tip 2: The Internet Never Forgets
Social media has become ubiquitous, and nowadays, most people have some kind of social media account.
It is here that we reveal a lot about ourselves: we share private experiences, we show our location, the hashtags we use indicate what we care about, etc. If the potential giftee is not very active, see what pages they follow.
Here are some examples:
- A hiking enthusiast? How about a hiking trip with an organized picnic? Or a high-quality aluminum bottle or some protection from the sun, mosquitoes, or rain?
- A food lover? Invite the giftee to a restaurant or give them a restaurant guide. The FoodTrail in the canton of Bern is also a perfect choice, as is the BernCity gift card.
- A tree hugger? When it comes to people with a strong awareness of sustainability, it is especially important not to give them gadgets that are associated with an unnecessary waste of resources. How about degradable, sustainable cards or cherished products from Changemaker?
Tip 3: Vouchers Are a Godsend
It is just the way it is with adults: if we really wanted something, we would have bought it already. And let’s be honest with ourselves – we have plenty of everything. This is why it’s best to give away our most precious commodity: time, in the form of a voucher. A promise to share beautiful moments together. Besides, it also makes a good last-minute gift.
But keep in mind these rules:
- Give only what you would like to receive yourself!
- Set an expiration date for handwritten vouchers. The voucher must be redeemed by XX, or it will expire. Best to suggest a few possible dates right away. Otherwise, such personalized vouchers will look like empty promises that were never intended to be honored anyway.
- Find out in advance if vouchers are available for the activity you are giving as a gift. Official vouchers, unlike ones you make yourself, are the most trusted. These are guaranteed to be redeemed, which is often not true of handwritten ones.
Tip 4: Card
In our age of WhatsApp and e-mails, do your friends know what your handwriting looks like? Even if your handwriting isn’t the best and might be a bit hard to read, it is more personal than a chat message. So, give a handwritten card – people will love it.
Another tip regarding the tip: take a penmanship course at the Club School
. The content of your card is (almost) irrelevant if it looks stunning.
- If you want to avoid the feeling of showing up empty-handed, write some cards. With a card in hand, you are perfectly prepared, and can make up for a host/hostess gift anytime.