Top 5 Tips on Giving Thoughtful Gifts

This year, as I’m trying to focus on quality in my own life, I’m trying to focus on quality in the gifts I give for Christmas. In past years, I would tend to over buy on Christmas wanting someone to know how much I loved them through the quantity of gifts I gave them. This year, I want to get someone one thing, but something that really means something to them. Something that shows how much I thought about the gift and how much I care about them. It’s been hard to reign myself in when it comes to a few people, but I’m sticking to one truly thoughtful gift this year that packs a punch of love. I wanted to share my tips on giving thoughtful gifts. Let’s get started!

tips on giving thoughtful gifts

1. Think about their love language.
I think love languages are so important to having healthy relationships in your life. There are five love languages — quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, and physical touch. (If you don’t know your love language, you can take the quiz here.) I know people that show and receive love in all five ways, so I try to take that into consideration when I’m picking a gift for someone. Personally, my top love language is quality time, so I love giving and receiving experiences as gifts. I think they are super meaningful and leave me with wonderful memories with my loved ones. But, I also know people who just love receiving gifts, so I try to make those especially thoughtful with the next couple of tips.

2. Brainstorm what they may need in their life.
Christmas (or birthdays, or actually whenever you feel like giving a gift to show your appreciation) is a great time to give someone something they truly need in their life. If someone has recently moved, is struggling with a certain aspect of their life, or spends every weekend in a coffeeshop, remember that when you think about getting them a gift. Here are some examples:

  • Your mom has recently really gotten into fitness, so you could buy her some new sneakers, give her a gift card to Adidas, or buy a few months of her gym membership.
  • Your best friend just broke up with her boyfriend, so you could give her a voucher for a fun girls night including a bottle of wine, mani/pedis, and cheesy Netflix original movies.
  • Your brother is a freelance writer and he loves going to coffeeshops to work and get out of the house, so you could find out his top three coffee shops and give him gift cards to those places.

Those are just some ideas, and while they can be as big or as small as you like (depending on your budget), they still hold a ton of meaning because you’re considering their wants, needs, and passions.

3. Consider how you can best serve them.
My biggest piece of advice is if someone asks you for something specifically, give it to them! If they ask for gift cards or socks or chocolate, just give it to them! I’ve heard the argument so many times that giving someone a gift card isn’t “fun,” and I get that, but if it’s what they want, I truly think you can’t go wrong. As we get older, there are fewer and fewer things we want to ask for for Christmas. So, if someone can come up with something tangible, it means they really want it and will be so grateful when they open it on Christmas day.

4. Think about what you like to do together.
If they’re always hosting game nights or inviting you over for a bottle of wine, take that into consideration when purchasing a gift. For example, my family spent Thanksgiving Eve and Thanksgiving Day playing Settlers of Catan, and my brother and his girlfriend are always inviting me to play fun games like that when they want to have an enjoyable night in with friends. A perfect gift for them, in my opinion, would be an expansion pack to Settlers of Catan or a new, fun, unique board game that we could all learn together. It kills two birds with one stone — quality time and thinking about their interests. (Sorry guys, I didn’t actually do this but maybe for one of your birthdays!)

5. Don’t focus on the amount of money you’re spending.
I’ve never been able to give extravagant gifts because I’ve never had the money to do so, and I don’t think I’ve ever needed to. Personally, I think the best gift I ever gave was the year I designed quote prints that matched everyone’s personalities and printed and framed them for family and friends. It cost maybe $20 per person, but it was packed full of thought. Repeat after me: You do not have to spend a fortune at Christmas to make the people around you feel loved.

We always say Christmas is a time to spend with family, but let’s face it, we all worry much too much about the gifts we are giving as well. This year, my goal is to give with thought and love, not desire to prove my love through a mass of gifts (but, if that’s how you show your love, I totally respect that and appreciate it just the same). What are your favorite gifts to give? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy gifting,

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