This article originally appeared in Volume 24, Issue 3 as a Christmas gift advice column.
It’s just weeks until Christmas and in the hubbub and whirlwind of finals and holiday events, you’ve forgotten a key gift for a special someone in your life, or perhaps every someone. Despite the fact that another scented candle or striped tie would be easy and cheap, you want to give a gift that will surprise and dazzle, and definitely not end up as a re-gift for a white elephant next year. To ease your holiday woes, here are five tips for a gift that’s worth giving.
- Take a moment and think. This may seem like an obvious step. But as seasonal lattes and the Black Friday rush fills our systems, it’s easy to run out and buy a gift that will have little significance for that friend or partner. Stop for a minute and think or list out different aspects of the person that relate to a gift: hobbies, personality traits, interests, bucket list, dreams and goals. This may be a bit excessive, but those who don’t take a moment to acknowledge a person’s desires and identity are often those who end up buying socks. While there’s nothing wrong with those warm and fuzzy items, giving a gift that reflects a person’s personality is a compliment to them and shows you are paying attention.
- Stay away from retail. Unless your gift receiver’s favorite businesses include fast food and Walmart, don’t go looking for that perfect gift in a retail store. While these stores offer convenience and variety, you’ll be purchasing the same gift as your neighbor and will have ultimately put in minimal effort. A great gift is one of a kind, something that can’t be bought up on a weekend sale. Take the time to look for a more unique spin on the gift you’re already planning on giving, such as a mug, clothing or sugary treat.
- Go local. The best place to find an original gift is a family-owned mom and pop shop in downtown Puyallup or Tacoma. Whether you’re buying wall art or specialty coffee beans, going to an independent seller means you’ll be giving a gift that no one else can, making it much more relatable for the person receiving it. Plus, it’s always a good idea to support the local economy, giving credit to businesses that are doing the grunt work to create a quality product.
- Peruse online. While in contradiction to the above point, online stores give wide variety and often have specialty pieces tucked away for cheaper prices than in-store. Amazon is one of the largest online options for custom items and a wider selection of colors and prints for different gifts. Even though the device-to-door giant is convenient, smaller online companies provide original products not found on the corporate market. Looking for a clothing item online? Instead of logging onto Amazon, search for private businesses, which often provide a needed spin on a product you’ll be excited to give.
- Give an experience. Not only can this be more cost-effective than a tangible gift, an experience shows a dedication beyond the gift itself — planning, providing and executing a gift after the day it’s unwrapped. An experience doesn’t have to be a trip to Paris or a gift certificate to an elaborate class. It can be as easy as inviting someone to a homemade meal or a day trip to a favorite city. The best memories are made by doing, commit to setting a moment out of your busy schedule to make the experience happen for the person you care about.
The Puyallup Post is the award-winning news media of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2018. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube @thepuyalluppost