How to give better gifts


Gift-giving can be stressful, especially around the holidays. The expectations can feel monumental and crowds are stressful for many people. Instead of worrying about what to get everyone and how much to spend, changing the psychology of how we look at gift-giving can greatly improve this time of year.

What makes a good gift?

Depending on who you’re buying a gift for, certain items may be more appropriate than others. While there are no guidelines or strict rules when it comes to buying something for your brother vs. your best friend, knowing the person is key.

Chances are, you have a unique relationship with each person. Because of the different sets of circumstances surrounding how you met, what you talk about and where you go, relationships may have different boundaries. Thoughtful gifts are often described as the best gifts. Giving the right gift can strengthen any relationship.

How much should you spend?

The amount of money spent is not the most important part of a gift. In fact, some of the more expensive gifts can be burdensome depending on the receiver and the type of relationship. More expensive gifts can feel like expectations, but looking at the motive behind them is essential.

Thoughtful presents do not have to be expensive. To buy or create a gift that’s thoughtful, the gift giver must demonstrate a deep understanding of the person. This can mean that the gift speaks to their values or something sentimental from their past or it can relate to a personal part of the relationship you have together. Inside jokes, reminders of things you’ve done together or tickets for a trip in the future, can all be special to the individual.

What about uniqueness?

Finding the most unique gift to give is not necessarily the same as being thoughtful. Unique for the sake of unique can be great if that’s what the person wants. If you’re not sure what the person wants, equating unique with special may not be their priority.

Sometimes giving someone a popular present or one that most people would find fun or interesting is the best way to go. Generally speaking, if many people are drawn to the same type of gift, it will probably be appreciated by others. Gifts that are unique specifically to the person you’re buying for, however, are a wonderful way to say you care.

Shared presents

Many people enjoy receiving “experience presents”. This is not usually a tangible object, but a certificate or a promise to experience something new together. This type of present could include traveling, a sports event or going to a concert. The experience is usually made better because you’re doing it together.


Gift giving does not have to be an expensive endeavor. By simply understanding the type of person you’re buying a gift for, you can find something thoughtful and unique to them. Regardless of how many gifts or how much money you spend, gift-giving is about appreciating the relationships you have with one another.