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What Makes A Good Gift?
Everything You Need To Know To Choose A Perfect Present

Person holding gift box wrapped with bow

At least once in our lives, each of us has worried that the recipient wouldn't like our gift. That is why, from time to time, we think about what really makes a good gift. If you are looking for the answer to this old-aged question, you are in the right place.

A good gift is a gift that brings positive emotions, takes into account the recipient's needs, and expresses care. Other key parts of a great gift are its personalization and wrapping. In general, a thoughtful present should emphasize the connection between the recipient and the giver. 

I've prepared some tips to help you make each of your gifts meaningful, thoughtful, and unforgettable. 

Memorable Gifts: Give Experiences, Not Things

In our society, there is a false impression that a good gift must be tangible. So when we are faced with the choice between a more practical present and a gift with sentimental value, we often choose the first option.

Colorful air balloons

However, research by Thomas Gilovich, a professor at Cornell University, shows that experiential purchases bring much more happiness and satisfaction than buying material things. The same goes for gifts.

Just imagine how much more memorable and inspiring your gift will be if you decide to give a ticket to a concert, a weekend trip, a culinary master class, or a hot air balloon flight?

You can even donate your time. Often this is really the most valuable gift you can give to your loved ones. Just invite your friend on a picnic, help your parents in the garden, or offer to take care of your nephews and give their parents a break.

These are simple things that are sometimes embarrassing to ask for, but they are what your friends and family, in some cases, may need most. After all, it's a great way to show your support and care, not in words but in deeds.

Such types of gifts are mostly unique, so it isn't easy to compare them with any material things. That is why we value all our experiences so much and try to remember these pleasant moments forever.

Moreover, experiences are an essential part of a person's personality; they help build and strengthen interpersonal bonds. In any case, the experience as a gift is an excellent opportunity to express your sincere love and care.

These types of gifts definitely can evoke lots of positive emotions and feelings. Keep in mind, when you choose for a gift an experience, rather than things, you are guaranteed to give your recipient pleasant and happy memories for many years.

Best Gifts: Customized, Not Customary

The main idea of ​​any gift is to express love, respect, and gratitude. Therefore, the gift is considered a symbolic message in the communication between the giver and the recipient.

An individual approach to choosing a gift is the best way to strengthen your relationship with the recipient. After all, you can choose the perfect gift that will bring joy and satisfaction to its owner only if you take into account the tastes, preferences, and interests of the recipient.

If possible, try to make your gift personalized. It's not as time- and energy-consuming process as it may seem at first glance.

In a few clicks, you can order a customized planner, wallet, or T-shirt with a favorite recipient's quote, or spend a few hours and make your own collage or scrapbook with memorable photos.

In this case, don't even doubt, your efforts will be highly appreciated. Scientific studies show that recipients prefer gifts, which, as they think, require a lot of time and energy for the giver. So why not give your loved ones a cute personalized gift that will make them feel special?

A study by Marta Pizzetti and Michael Gibbert of the Università Della Svizzera Italiana, Switzerland, showed that recipients are indeed more grateful for customized gifts because of vicarious pride. However, the researchers noted that such personalized gifts are more highly appreciated when givers and recipients are emotionally connected.

Eventually, personalized gifts are not only an effective way to show your creativity and originality; they are a symbol of the closeness of your relationship with the recipient.

Unique Gifts: It's All About Gift Wrapping

Gift wrapping is an easy and quick way to transform any ordinary thing into an incredible gift.

Wrapped gift boxes

Some people choose the color and pattern of decorative paper, carefully wrap boxes, tie bright bows and ribbons, while others entrust the wrapping of gifts to professionals.

But everyone has one goal - to make the gift more original, creative, and unique.

The attention you pay to wrap gifts reflects your desire to surprise, delight, or intrigue your loved ones.

Moreover, a beautifully wrapped gift is like a sign that the recipient is an important and special person in your life.

The time and effort you put into wrapping a gift will not go unnoticed. Original and beautiful gift wrapping not only creates the first pleasant impression of your present but makes the moment of unpacking the gift a bit magical.

After all, what could be more amazing and exciting for the recipient than the unwrapping of a gift? We are all familiar with this feeling of anticipation and excitement of discovering what is inside.

According to a study by Daniel Howard, recipients actually like wrapped gifts more than unwrapped gifts. What is the reason? And the whole point is that wrapped gifts are closely connected with joyful events in people's lives, which is why they set the recipient to a happy mood and positive emotions.

Besides, beautifully wrapped gifts are not just good manners, but adherence to tradition in some countries. For example, in China, an unwrapped gift is inappropriate and may even embarrass the recipient. So, if you don't want to get into an awkward situation, giving a gift to your foreign friends or colleagues, try to explore some specific gifting traditions.

Sometimes it doesn't matter how neatly or sloppily you wrap your gift. Most importantly, don't forget that ripping the gift paper or cutting the ribbons evokes positive emotions and forms pleasant memories that give the additional value for a received gift. So next time, wrap your gift and make your recipient a bit happier!

Gift wrapping is one of the most important aspects of gift-giving, but if you still doubt the necessity of wrapping your presents, I encourage you to explore our post - Everything You Need To Know About Benefits And Importance Of Gift Wrapping.

Thoughtful Gifts: Focus On Needs, Not Surprises

It may seem that when you choose a surprising gift for your loved ones and friends, it makes you look like a thoughtful and caring gift-giver.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

According to a study by Francesca Gino and Francis J.Flynn, gift recipients are more appreciative of gifts they explicitly request than those they do not. As trivial as it may sound, but the best gift is not something special but one that your recipient really needs.

But this doesn't mean that you should always ask directly what gift your friends and loved ones want to receive for a holiday or any other occasion. You can still pleasantly surprise the recipients, but at the same time, give them a genuinely thoughtful and desired gift.

Of course, this is very simplistic advice, but try to listen to your family and friends. Everyone has their own wish list. And even if the recipients are too shy to ask for a particular gift, they can repeatedly mention their wishes in friendly conversation.

You can also make a list of hobbies and preferences of the recipients, analyze their current situation and needs, or even look at the wish list on social networks or popular marketplaces. Lastly, ask them what they want.

Even if you have analyzed everything and are sure that you know the preferences and needs of the recipient, it still can be challenging to find the perfect gift.

Unfortunately, I don't have one correct answer how to choose a present that will be meaningful, useful, and surprising at the same time. Still, I hope my tips at least will make the process of finding the best present for your recipient more straightforward and less stressful.

Just remember that any thoughtful gift is primarily about your attitude to the recipient, understanding of their interests and values.

The best gift is the one that comes from the heart. It's a simple truth that doesn't require any scientific evidence. Heartfelt gifts always bring to the recipient joy and excitement, no matter what.

After all, it really doesn't matter how much we give; the main thing is how much love we invest in giving.

Oh, and one more thing. If you sometimes feel stuck and don't know what to say when giving your perfect gift to the recipient, you definitely need to check our post - What Are The Best Phrases To Say When Giving A Gift? Discover 50 Amazing Phrases For Any Occasions. 

About the Author

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Hi! I'm Yasia, founder of I’m passionate about gift-giving, and I’m here to help you choose perfect gifts for your loved ones. I will always provide you with the best possible gift ideas and explain, based on statistics, scientific studies, and my own experience, why one or another gift is the best option to surprise your recipient.