Birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, weddings, graduations – there are plenty of opportunities for you to give gifts to people you love. These opportunities allow you to flex your creative muscles and find cool or exciting gifts. You’re happy to get a positive reaction to the gift and an expression of appreciation for the thought you put into your choice.

But with more people being added to your list, and more events (that require gifts) arising, it can be challenging to stay on top of things. What do you give your second cousin’s daughter for her Sweet Sixteen party? Should you get the latest laptop computer or accessories, a dress, or a houseplant?

With so many available choices online, finding the right one for different individuals has become trickier. Depending on the occasion and your relationship with the recipient, you could be unwittingly sending the wrong message.

Imagine receiving a new pet lizard when you live alone in an apartment that doesn’t allow pets. Or let’s say you have a friend who enjoys reading books; a steamy romance novel may not be something your pal will enjoy showing to the rest of the clan during Christmas.

To avoid awkward moments like these, here are a few gift-giving ideas that can help you out. With these tips, you could find a unique and memorable one your receiver will be happy to keep.

Write down your recipients’ interests

Do a brainstorming session for people. Spend a few minutes listing down everything the person is interested in, the hobbies they engage in, or activities they enjoy or would like to try. Once you feel satisfied with your list, write down an item that would be appropriate for these.

Does your nephew love listening to music on his phone? Perhaps buying a pair of airpods or wireless headphones could do the trick. The aim of this exercise is to get you to think of potential items your nephew will enjoy.

While you are making your list, you could come across an idea that combines different interests. For instance, maybe your co-worker loves to travel and drink wine at the same time. You could find a map that allows the person to display all the wine corks from different parts of the globe – it’s unique and customized to your co-worker’s interest.

Think back on past events

For close friends or relatives, there is a higher chance that you have given gifts more than once before. Try to look back and see if there have been gifts that the person especially enjoyed receiving. Did a gift make them tear up or flash a big smile?

You can also try observing them and listening more closely to what they say nonchalantly. Your friend could be into MMA and may have mentioned in pst conversations that he has a collection of MMA memorabilia. Even if you have never seen this collection before, you could use it as a springboard to come up with ideas that are connected to this interest.

Make a list of needs

Think about what the person may need some time in the immediate future. Bachelorette parties and baby showers are a few examples of occasions wherein the guests give gifts that the celebrant will be needing and valuing the most. Expectant mothers typically receive baby bottles and other items they will need for nursing and raising a newborn, while bachelorette parties often include colorful lingerie and other playful items that would help soon-to-be-married couples to revel in newlywed bliss.

For such events, these items are considered safe and useful at the same time. There is nothing wrong with going for the safer route, but at times, it can seem boring or uninspired. In a baby shower, an expectant mom may also end up receiving 10 baby bottles from different people.

If you want to get creative, think of other aspects that may be going on in the recipient’s life. Let’s say your co-worker is planning to write a book. You could include a basket of goodies containing items that could help the person achieve his goal. It could be an engraved pen, a notebook, a book on beating writer’s block, or even a colorful Do Not Disturb sign.

Go for nostalgia

More often than not, older folks enjoy receiving gifts that remind them of the good old times. Passionate gamers would appreciate getting a poster of vintage video games or even an old console with games. A person who is into collecting music albums may have a blast getting an LP record from the 1950s.

Be crafty

A little harmless sleuthing can always be done for the purpose of finding an ideal gift idea. The aim is to find out what the other person would like to receive as a gift without letting them catch wind of your plans. This idea is especially useful for Secret Santa and similar games where you don’t know much about the person you are giving the gift to.

There are plenty of ways to do this, without resorting to breaking into other people’s houses and snooping around. These days, most people have at least one social media account. Whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or even Pinterest, your Secret Santa could have posted or mentioned things that he likes to do or would like to experience, and these can give you plenty of gift ideas.

An alternative is to get their friends involved. Perhaps you could get a few suggestions from them.

It can be challenging to find gifts, especially when the gifts are for people you know little about. These tips could lead you in the right direction and help you find a gift that your recipient will cherish. Have fun and get creative today!


George Azar is Co-Founder and CEO of He has extensive work experience with blue chip multinational organizations on both regional and global levels. George is also the founder of companies in the fields of advertising and media buying, professional trainings and development.

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