One of the hardest parts about the holiday season is trying to choose the right Christmas present for someone, especially if they don’t want, need, or like anything.
People often say “the perfect gift for someone is the thing they want, but would never buy for themselves.” This can be useful sometimes, like buying airline miles or Amtrak gift cards for someone who never takes a vacation or travels, but it’s often a lot easier said than done.
An acquaintance or a work colleague will always be happy to receive a generic gift card or $20 in an envelope, but a close friend or relative might find that a bit too impersonal.
Some people prefer to give three or four $10 gifts instead of a single $50 one, which is an effective strategy because the recipient is likely to enjoy at least one of the items.
There are a lot of generic gifts that work for almost any occasion, either as part of a package or on their own. A quality cigar or two can work either on its own or as one of several presents to the same recipient.
All it takes is knowing one of their hobbies or interests. If you’re trying to impress your new boss who is always talking about her love of baseball, you could get her a gift card to her favorite team’s store.
There are also a few things to avoid. It’s important not to give something that is obviously a regift, and if you don’t know the person exceptionally well, you should choose something that can easily be returned.
Your girlfriend, wife, or mother will probably not too be excited if you get them the most expensive kitchen gadget you can find. That can be a fun surprise if she sees one on TV and you bring one home in mid-July, but no one wants one underneath the tree.
If they have a very particular hobby that you don’t know anything about, like comic books or professional wrestling, gift cards work here, too.
Most fans with specific interests may not enjoy the latest Superman comic or a John Cena t-shirt but a gift card would allow them to choose the item that they will love and not risk getting the wrong thing.
Another great idea for a practical gift is a wall or a desk calendar. It’s a little boring, but it’s almost guaranteed they’ll be able to use it. This is particularly useful if you know exactly one thing they’re interested in.
A desk calendar with a Bible verse, inspirational quote, or joke will give them an entire year’s worth of entertainment and will cause them to think of you every time they see it.
Whether you opt to give one gift or several, as long as it comes from the heart and the receiver knows you put some thought into it, you should have no problem finding the perfect gift for your work colleagues, friends, and family members this Christmas!