Find a Great Gift!

WHERE TO START

To get your creative, great gift-giving juices flowing, start by answering these questions…

  • Who is the gift for? What do you know about them?
  • Where are they in their lives? Any big changes or milestones coming up?
  • How do they spend their time? Have they mentioned any new interests or activities?
  • Is there anything they need or have hinted at?
  • Is there something you love that you’d like to share with them?
  • If money was no object what would you give them? Now brain-storm the simpler, less-expensive, or do-it-yourself version of that gift.

TIP: Do a little investigative work and keep a list of the preferences and sizes of the people you are closest to so you’ll always be prepared with gift ideas. File away shoe sizes, the colours they wear, favourite flowers, where they like to shop, restaurants they want to try etc… Take good notes when they hint.

5 FAVE GIFTS

These 5 categories of gifts are sure to please…

1. Memories – Collecting memories into a custom photo album or family tree makes for a personal gift that people will look back on time and time again.

2. Problem Solvers – Tools of all types make for great gifts. Reflect on a person’s interests or current life situation and choose something that can assist their endeavours such as a beautiful chef’s knife for an aspiring cook or a tool kit to someone setting up a new home.

3. Charity – Most people have more “things” than they need so instead of another trinket give a gift that keeps giving. Make a donation in a person’s name to a cause close to their heart. Two of my favourites are Kiva and the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

4. Humour – Knowing what someone will think is funny shows you really know them. Create a custom t-shirt with a message they will chuckle at or give a perfectly cheeky card.

5. Experiences – The memories from experiential gifts outlast most store bought gifts. It doesn’t have to be extravagant like a Nile boat cruise, inexpensive, thoughtful activities around your own city such as a scavenger hunt are sure to please.

GIFT IDEAS FOR EVERYONE

Something special for the all people in your life…

For Her

  • Most women appreciate gifts that show that you’ve listened to their wants, interests and needs.
  • Go for a personal touch. Frame a photo or create a photo-book of special memories. Celebrate the important women in your life with a personalized things we love about you list.
  • Guys…sentimental gifts such as framed kids artwork are great for mothers day but when it comes to a birthday she wants something special just for her. The most important thing is that you put some thought and effort in to it. Don’t grab flowers on the way home (unless its just for no reason at all). Do contact the local specialty florist for something special with her favourite flower. Don’t blindly guess if you have no ideas. Do ask her friends. A thoughtfully written card always trumps a expensive last minute shot in the dark.

For Him

  • Gadgets, tech and toys are often the go to gifts for guys.
  • Give him something to fire up his passion. Does he love to cook? Give him tools for the kitchen. Music? Tickets to see a favourite band play. Follow a sports team? Subscribe him to a specialty TV channel, website or magazine.
  • Try a personal take on a classic wardrobe-staple like custom cufflinks.
  • Adventures make great gifts too – send him on a helicopter-ride, surfing or on an awesome outing with the boys.

For Dad

  • Build his library with the newest books on his favourite subject de jour or hard to find classics.
  • Men need a little pampering too. Give him a good quality shaving brush.
  • Find activities for dad and you to do getting out and exploring your city.

For Mom

  • Treat mom to the little luxuries that she would never buy or do for herself.
  • Create a special day of art/food/culture to cultivate new memories.
  • Design something just for her.
  • Hard-working moms need a hand. Help out by cooking one of the big family-celebration meals.

For the New Mom

  • She needs rest, relief and some pampering. Book her a day at the spa (pre-planning is key to make sure baby has everything it needs and is in good care so she doesn’t stress). Drop off a frozen meal (or if cooking isn’t your thing feel free to cheat and order from an expert). A night nurse is a real luxury most new moms only dream of. Or schedule a cleaning person to help out at home.
  • Give a camera to capture every moment.

For Babies

  • Baby gifts should balance between the adorable and the necessary. If you aren’t a parent, ask someone that is what items they couldn’t have survived the early years without.
  • There is no shortage of awesome clothing, toys and accessories for little ones. Look for well-made, timeless items from independent retailers.
  • Show babies just how loved they are with a personalized family tree or art project.

For Kids

  • Give kids gifts that will stimulate their body and/or mind. Choose creative toys, games and activities. Sign them up for art classes, cooking lessons or sports teams.
  • Costumes and props for playing make-believe.
  • Find your favourite book from when you were a kid and read it to them.
  • Get them involved in the world through interactive maps or by adopting an animal.

For Teens

  • Every year they grow up, their interests change – so its better to aim for something on the cooler-side than strike out with something too junior. Do your research to keep up with cool. Surf some blogs. Ask other teens.
  • Subscribe them to a magazine all about their interests be it fashion, food or football.
  • Find out who their heroes are and buy them books about, tickets to see and/or signed photos of.
  • Choose classics clothes like a perfect t-shirt or hoody from a teen-approved shop such as Abercrombie or Urban Outfitters.
  • And an iTunes gift certificate never fails.

Wedding Gifts

  • The recent poll on Gifted highly favoured money as the most popular gift to give at weddings. It is without a doubt the most useful gift you can give and we all know how costly weddings can be, especially with more and more couples paying for everything themselves.
  • The wedding registry is always the best place to start – choose something you’d want them to think of you when they use.
  • You have up to a year after the wedding to present the gift, so scope out the newlyweds home apres-wedding and see what they still need to build their life together.
  • Stock them up with a case of wine.
  • Give them a gift certificate to an art gallery to start their art collection.
  • Give a tree or flowering shrub they can watch grow.
  • Send the happy couple on a fun experience such as a balloon ride on their honeymoon or an especially nice dinner somewhere.

For Bridesmaids

  • Give bridesmaids a gift that will reference your friendship and/or the events surrounding the wedding.
  • Present a special token they will keep for years to come such as a classic silver bracelet, dainty ring or sparkly necklace.
  • Try something pretty, personalized and useful too, like a weekend bag.
  • Treat your best gals to a day of pampering.

For Groomsmen

  • Give the guys who will stand up with you a personalized money clip, card holder or cufflinks.
  • A cool vintage trophy or “award” to recognize how important they are to you.
  • Take the guys on an adventure sure to be remembered such as sky-diving.

For the Co-Worker/Acquaintance

  • When you don’t know them well go for a crowd-please that is well-designed and useful – a beautiful notebook, a modern glass water bottle, specialty tea, luxe hand cream, a nice pen, or a bottle of wine. And there’s always a Starbucks card, but why not ask if your local coffee bar sells gift certificates too?

For the Person Who Has Everything

  • If they have everything, give something in their name that will give back to those with next to nothing.
  • Invite them to a special meal cooked just by you that they couldn’t experience anywhere else.
  • Choose something humourous, quirky, unique or one-of-a-kind you know they won’t have discovered on their own.
  • Or give them something they can re-gift, like flowers, to win brownie points.

For more ideas check out your favourite gifts.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Maria July 12, 2010 at 10:19 am

Check out Michelle’s website. She has the most lovely frames

Spence November 30, 2015 at 6:05 pm

Great list … can’t go wrong following your suggestions. Especially like the “New Mom” ideas.

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