A Guide to Giving Gifts

a display of multiple gift boxes

This article was written by Gifty Gyimah-Kwakye. Gifty is a Ghanaian, with a degree in Human resource management from the University of Development Studies. She’s a community manager, a business development lead, and a writer.

A gift is something given voluntarily without payment in return, as a way to show favour toward someone, honour an occasion, or make a gesture of assistance. Gifting can be used to demonstrate your affection for someone or to acknowledge the affection shown to you. There is never an inappropriate time to do it.

We give gifts to loved ones on a variety of occasions. The practice is prevalent throughout the year, from common events such as birthdays, anniversaries, and Christmas to less common ones such as graduations, weddings, and christenings.

Gifting is frequently used to celebrate a loved one and show them how much you care. Gifting, while often done simply as a matter of tradition, is an opportunity to bring you closer to the people you care about.

However, the process can be complicated because we do not want anything to go wrong when we deeply care about someone. A thousand ideas flood your mind:

  • What if they reject it?
  • Will the recipient be offended?
  • What if it doesn’t match their personality?

You might become anxious and make bad choices as a result of these questions.

The truth is that choosing a gift for someone is more of an art than a science and typically involves a few factors. Let’s explore the factors to consider when choosing a gift for a special someone:

Consider the Recipient

The first thing to do when giving a gift is to think about the recipient. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Who are they? 
  • What do they like? 
  • What do they value? 
  • What do they need?

If you’re going to a friend’s house for a party, make sure to ask yourself what kind of foods they like. Maybe they love wine, tea, or plants. If you don’t know the host of the party personally, lovely food items are always welcomed, or you can always ask a mutual friend to help you out.

When talking to others, look for clues to figure out what they are thinking or want. Sometimes they will say what they want plainly, but other times it will require decoding. Use what they ask you as a starting point and see if you can figure out more about their situation. If they ask you about food allergies, for example, consider asking them about their own. You might be surprised at what you learn.

Choose a Gift that Compliments their Personality

Before giving a gift, it’s helpful to consider your recipient’s interests and hobbies. Think about what they talk about or do in their spare time, and figure out what they’ll really appreciate and enjoy.

What are they missing? This is very important because you should always choose something they don’t have. Imagine buying a gift for someone and they already have it. 

Consider the Relationship You Share

You must also remember the kind of relationship you have with the other person. For example, if it’s your spouse, a romantic gift such as a name necklace can be a good choice.

You can also choose to give customized gifts that show that they’re important to you. This makes them seem more valuable to the recipient.

Consider the Occasion

Last but not the least, a gift should be chosen based on the occasion. Different occasions call for different types of gifts: a birthday gift will be different from a wedding gift or even a valentine’s day gift. So when gifting someone, consider the occasion for which you are giving the person the gift which you got for him or her.

What gifts we give and receive say a lot about us as individuals. There will always be an awkward moment, but most people understand the experience. Be aware that many people simply give gifts to show appreciation, and a simple thank you is all that is required.