The dictionary defines gift as an item given to someone without the expectation of payment or reciprocity. We have a tradition of giving gifts and receiving them in kind. But, have you ever wondered why? Why do we give gifts? Why is it expected of us? What is the point of giving gifts?

You give gifts to express your appreciation of a person/event, you give it in the form of expressing your admiration, regards. You also give gifts to people as a way of wishing them good luck. A gift need not be expensive, gaudy, flashy or huge as long as it’s from the heart.

In this fast-paced world, it is often easier to run into a gift shop and buy the first thing that you see. We are not concerned about aesthetics, utility, emotions any more. That is not to say that you need to spend all your time making a gift for someone. But you should see to it that you put some thought into it. Otherwise, the purpose of gifting is lost.

For example, If you were to give a set of acrylic paints and canvas to a friend who spends most of her time reading books, it would be a phenomenal disaster. Neither will she be able to use it, nor will she be able to thank you wholeheartedly, not to mention all the money and energy that you spent on getting this gift will go to waste.

Let us take another scenario, suppose you know that your friend loves reading and you have planned to buy him/her a book for his/her birthday. You need to know what genre they prefer, who is their favourite author and what books they already have. If you gave a Nicholas Sparks book to someone who doesn’t read romantic fiction or someone who prefers the books of Jeffrey Archer and John Grisham your attempt at gifting becomes fruitless.

It is true however that you can’t always know everything about a person to give them the perfect gift. Here are some tips to help you find out their interests in case you want to surprise them with a gift:

  • Talk to a close friend/relative who can provide you with the information you need.
  • Take a look around their house to guess their hobbies/interests.
  • Start planning the gift in advance so that you have enough time to talk to them about it without arousing suspicion. You could talk to your friend about his/her favourite author or what books they have on their reading list one month before their birthday, they will never suspect what’s coming!
  • If all else fails and you don’t have enough time, just talk to the person. Ask them what they want for their birthday. It might not be a surprise like you desired buy you ensure that they will be happy with their gift!

Sometimes, you can make anyone feel extra special by adding a little extra to the gift you have bought from the store. Here are some ways:

  • Add a personalised message in the card.
  • Use some of their favourite quotes and make a collage.
  • Just a smiley face on the cardboard box that encases the gift can do the trick.
  • Get a signature of all their best friends on the card/gift.

Many a times we forget these special days and thereby we do not have a gift at hand. Or you just do not know what to buy for that person. What do you do? Here are some gifts that can never go wrong:

  • Jewellery
  • Chocolates (Everybody loves chocolate!)
  • Cake (Bonus if you know their favourite flavour)
  • Money (It’s easy, clean and efficient – This works as gifts for Marriages/ Anniversaries/ First Birthdays/ Naming Day/ Graduation)
  • Flowers (It might be a cliche, but trust us, a cliche is a cliche for a reason!)
  • Perfume (Cologne for men)

While some of us do not like gifting and are happy taking the easy way out and giving people money or just asking them what they want, there are a few generous ones who love the idea of making someone very happy on their special day by giving them thoughtful and useful gifts. How do you do that? There are some simple gifting ideas that require some time and effort from your side, but will probably end up being one of the best gifts that the person receives on their special day. Here are a few ideas:

Music Mixes: Find out their favourite bands/songs – download them and burn them into a CD/DVD for their car.

Special-Interest Gifts: For a Harry Potter buff, there is nothing more exciting than getting a deathly hollows pendant/keychain. Find out which fandom they belong to and log on to Amazon/Flipkart and your gift is ready!

Customised Gadgets: A gift that is useful is a great gift! Pendrives, Earphones and Laptop sleeves make for great gifts and rank high in their utility value. If you manage to get these gadgets customised to their interests, then be assured, yours will be the best gift, ever!

Here is a list of great gift stores which offer you a plethora of choices to spoil that special someone on the most important day of their lives. If you would rather gift food instead, we have a list of cake shops that provide custom cakes to suit your needs. Looking to gift your boss on his promotion? These corporate gift bags are your saviour!

Happy Gifting!

Written by Sangeetha Alwar

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