Good gift planning focuses around the recipient’s likes. A way to focus your thoughts on an upcoming gift-getting occasion is to make a list of what that person likes, over a broad range of options. For example:
- What do they like to eat? (Not every day, necessarily, but as a treat. Think: gourmet food; traditional food; sweets; fruit; cheeses)
- What do they like to drink? (Both alcoholic and non. And for alcoholic, think beyond beer, wine and spirits; for example: boutique and imported brands, mixers, liqueurs, glasses).
- What music do they like? (Think: CDs, DVDs of live shows, tickets to performances; posters or T shirts of favourite performers).
- What movies and TV programmes do they like? (both currently and in the past – for example, DVDs of a favourite TV series or classic movie)
- What sports do they like to watch or participate in?
- What books do they like to read?
- What do they like to wear? (T-shirts? Silk scarves? Sandals? Earrings?)
- What hobbies or interests do they have?
Grab a notepad and start making a list. Just five minutes of your undivided attention, devoted to recalling that one person’s particular likes, will often be enough to get the ideas flowing. I think the dearth of gift ideas we sometimes experience is because we expect the perfect gift idea to simply pop into our head without any effort on our part, or be conveniently glimpsed in a shop window display as we pass by.
The other part of this exercise is to not only consider what does the recipient like, but what might the recipient like? Push out slightly from the known, and gauge whether you can take a leap of faith and try out something that you think might work. Your best friend loves Rieslings? Try getting her a Pinot Grigio for a change – close enough for comfort, but introducing her to something a little different.