Are you ready for the biggest gift-giving season of the year?  If you sighed when you read this, you are probably in the busy season of your own business or job.  Nothing slows down til maybe the last week of the year.

However, you want to give meaningful and thoughtful gifts to your family, friends, co-workers, and clients.  What can you do?

First, avoid the following common mistakes:

1. Giving a gift card

Gift card sales surge during the holidays.  Here’s the problem:  they can be very impersonal.  Have you ever received a gift card to a business where you had never been, or even worse, had no desire to ever patronize?

For example, giving a Subway or Panera gift card to someone who rarely eats out for health reasons could be a big mistake.

If you give a gift card to someone during the holidays, be sure to give one that can be used.  Remember that not everyone goes to the movies, drinks coffee, and eats fast-food. 🙂

2.  Giving jewelry

Unless you know the person’s taste in jewelry, this gift option is usually not a good idea. Does your recipient wear silver or gold?  Does she even need more jewelry?  Are you sure her ears are pierced?

True story:  one time I was given a beautiful pair of earrings, and the giver was embarrassed when she learned my ears were not pierced.

holidays gift-giving gifts holiday shopping

3.  Giving chocolate

The stores make giving chocolate very easy.  In fact, the manufacturers will go as far as to change the packaging so that it’s appealing to give as a holiday gift.

Here are a few reasons not to give chocolate, as popular of a gift as it is.  First, there is no shortage of sweets around the holidays.  Sugar cookies, cakes, and pies abound.  Your gift of chocolate may not stand out as much as you would like it to stand out.

Next, flu season is here.  Most chocolate (even dark) has an abundant amount of sugar in it, and you do not want to give a gift that will be detrimental to the recipient’s health.  

4.  Giving a collectible.

One lady for whom I worked for mentioned that it was discovered that she liked and collected Precious Moments figurines.  Guess what?  She received more figurines than she knew what to do with!

Her husband collected eagles, and people kept giving him eagles.  He would display them in his office, yet he did not have unlimited room.

If someone mentioned to you years ago that they collect a certain item, find a way to double check if they still do.  People’s likes and tastes can and do change.

Most people will be de-cluttering in January or even sooner, and you do not want your gift to end up at Goodwill.

last-minute shopping, gift-giving, holiday gifts, holidays

5.  Waiting til last minute.

When you wait til last minute, much of the above is bound to happen.  Usually you wait til last minute on a task because you are dreading it or you already have too much to do.  It’s not that you don’t care but that your specialty is in what you do for a living; someone else’s specialty is in choosing intentional gifts.

Here are a few tips for gift-giving that will stand out:

1.  Listen.

If you listen, people will tell you what they like.  They will tell you their favorite places to relax, favorite stores where they shop, and much more.

2.  Give something consumable.

As I mentioned earlier, people will be de-cluttering and organizing in January.  If you give a gift that can be used up and won’t collect dust, most people will be grateful to you!  

3. Give quality over quantity.

You may have thought “I’m not made of money” when you read the previous sentence.  Do you know one of the most favorites gifts I’ve been given was a gorgeous mini notebook with my first initial on it? I liked it even more because it fit in my purse.

The cost of the gift was irrelevant; I knew it was chosen just for me, and it was beautiful. Yes, this lady has fabulous taste!

4.  Give something practical.

Years ago, one of my college room mates said that if she receives what she needs, she can use her own money to purchase what she wants.

I trust that this article was helpful to you. If so, please use the buttons to the left to share it on social media.

If you are struggling with time to select and purchase gifts, I would love to help you with quality presents that are consumable and practical–and made in the USA!  In the United States, you can shop here.  For other countries or with questions regarding specific products, you can email me here.