Updated date:

4 Things to Consider When Giving Gifts

As a mom and wife with a large extended family, I know a thing or three about gift-giving and I found out the hard way.

Think before you give.

Think before you give.

Okay, so in the interest of full disclosure, I would like to mention how awful I used to be at giving gifts. I once gave a teddy bear to a full-grown man (in my defense, the bear was adorable, and I thought it looked like my dad). Another time, I gave someone a bundle of sweet treats (good gift, right? Well, not for a diabetic). A few years back, I gave my brother some dog tags for Christmas because I recalled that he had once he told me he wanted some (well, apparently "once" was 15 years ago and he is now a techie who is not so interested in G.I. Joe).

I have many terrible gift-giving stories, and I could make you cringe with all of them. The truth is that when it comes to gifts, I am an "it is the thought that counts" kinda girl, and I've discovered that most people are the "Is this what you think of me?" type of people. While there is no right or wrong way to give gifts, I've had to amend my way of thinking over the years, and I have learned a few important lessons that I would like to share.

Think of giving not as a duty but as a privilege.

— John D. Rockefeller Jr.

4 Things to Consider When Selecting a Gift

  1. Will the recipient be offended?
  2. Will this gift appeal to the recipient?
  3. Did I give this gift the proper attention?
  4. Is it possible to exchange this gift if need be?
Give your gift-giving process the attention it deserves.

Give your gift-giving process the attention it deserves.

1. Will the Recipient Be Offended?

You may think that you buying your friend a perfume gift set is awesome, but what if they have a perspiration problem and think the gift is your way of subtly pointing that out? This act could cost you your friendship. Give your choice some thought before you accidentally start a feud!

2. Will This Gift Appeal to the Recipient?

Twilight is such a page-turner that it would definitely be an awesome gift, right? Unfortunately, this is not the case for someone who hates reading or anything vampire-related. Get to know the person you are giving to so you can be sure that your selection is a thoughtful one.

3. Did I Give This Gift the Proper Attention?

Yes, we all have those moments when we have rush around to find a gift at the last minute because it slipped our mind. We are human, and it happens. However, it takes another level of insensitivity to regift your gifts, especially if they were given to you by the person you are giving them to.

Imagine this—it's your birthday, and there are delicious frosted treats and yummy colorful cocktails aplenty. The mood is festive, and music is thumping. You are delighted at all the attention and spoils, and it is now time to open the presents. You unwrap the first one, and you want to burst into tears when you realize wait a minute . . . I bought this for him! You remember using the last of your paycheck and searching in the rain to find this gift. You feel gutted and undervalued. It is not a great feeling, is it?

4. Is It Possible to Exchange This Gift if Need Be?

Okay, so you were overzealous and bought a jersey for your sister’s birthday. You haven't seen her in six months and did not know that she happens to be pregnant. Clothing items are often gifts that we tend to either get in the wrong size or color, so it is wise to keep receipts just in case. There are many reasons why a recipient might need to exchange a gift. Whatever the case may be, it's always better to make sure your gift is exchangeable.

I hope they like it!

I hope they like it!

Give Like You Mean It!

These are the lessons I learned once I started paying attention. I am more inclined to treasure the heart-shaped seashell my son gave me on our walk or the butterfly origami bookmark my daughter made for my book (I am a bookworm) than any purchased gift. Basically, I am not that hard to please because my tastes are simple. But as I discovered, We are not all the same, so it is always in our best interests to think outside of ourselves, and better yet, outside of the box (the gift box?).

What's the Worst Gift You've Ever Given?

Charlene Gallant (author) from Cape Town, South Africa on October 10, 2020:

Thank you Brenda...and yes something engraved will be a more personalized touch:)

Charlene Gallant (author) from Cape Town, South Africa on October 10, 2020:

Thank you Ankita:) it is strange hey how something so simple is often overlooked

Charlene Gallant (author) from Cape Town, South Africa on October 10, 2020:

Thank you Pamela...it is sometimes more than just a thought that counts:)

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on October 09, 2020:

Gift giving is a rough one.

I have an upcoming wedding & have no idea what to get.

Maybe something engraved since both are older and not the first marriage.

Thanks for the ideas.

Ankita B on October 09, 2020:

One should definitely think of these four things before gifting someone. Thank you for sharing this important article, Charlene.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on October 09, 2020:

The four things you consider when giving a gift seem very good. This is a good, very thoughtful article, Charlene.