How to Choose The Right Gifts for Everyone on Your Christmas List

We'll get into gift suggestions later in the month, but today I want to talk about how to choose the right gift.

There are several factors to consider.

How old is the recipient?

What's their economic status?

Are they practical or fancy free?

Let's start with age. Anyone past retirement age probably has every doohicky ever invented. No more robes, slippers, or fancy gizmos.

At this age, older people prefer immediate rewards, like food gifts. My mother absolutely adores Collin Street Bakery fruitcakes. (They really are good.) Think about their favorite treats (whether it's alcohol or candy) and then splurge on the good stuff.

  Another good idea for seniors and regular adults are 'experience' gifts. Before you think that an experience gift is an expensive vacation, remember that a good book, dvd, or a meal with you is just as good an experience. Not only that, but it's more personal, and well within everyone's pocketbook.

Economic status: I don't know about you, but I always feel awkward when someone gives me a very expensive gift. In the first place it makes me feel I have to reciprocate in kind. And secondly, I never want people to feel they should be extravagant because of a holiday. --unless you're as rich as Midas, then please knock yourself out. LOL!

The whole idea of gift giving is to show people how much you care about them. 

Personality Types: Practical or fancy free These are two different types of people. I'm the practical type. If you give me something I can use, I am over the moon.

Greg is the fancy type. If it's new or unusual, he wants it.

Definitely take into consideration what kind of person your recipient is.

I have a ten year old nephew--whom I met for the first time this year. He's not like the average ten year old, though he does remind me a little of me at that age. He has no interest in toys. When I was ten, all I wanted was a chemistry set. My nephew is cut from the same log. Give him books and science-y things. His idea of fun is solving math equations. 

Which means, don't assume all kids will like the latest trendy toys, or that all women want perfume, or all men want gadgets.

If you can't figure out what to buy there's nothing wrong with a gift certificate and a nice note telling them how much they mean to you.

It really is the thought that counts and not the dollar amount.

And if by some sad chance you're shopping for someone who does put value on how much you spent, maybe you shouldn't be bothering at all. Shallow people will never understand the Christmas spirit or how much it means to you.

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Mike Keyton said…
We ask or give broad hints within the family. No nasty surprises. As a recipient, I fall into the older category - a specific book or some expensive mandolin strings, or the ultimate fail safe when I can think of nothing else - Whisky :)
Maria Zannini said…
Mike: My neighbors like to give that expensive stack of cookies and candy. We generally give them a good bottle of wine or liquor. They are drinkers so it's always warmly received. I haven't quite figured out how to tell them that we can't eat sweets like that any more.

Luba said…
With Christmas only a few short weeks away, your post is so welcoming. I love Christmas. I love gift-giving and I love to see people happy. Christmas brings hope ... It's one day of the year that holds meaning, for me. I much prefer to give than to receive, no matter the size or content. I try to give to the women's shelter in my community, who desperately need it. The joy and happiness they feel is beyond compare. Anyway for me Maria, I'm like you practical. Kitchen gadgets, figurines, etc. One year, I received 4 long stemmed wine glasses from Ireland. Shannon glassware! #Gorgeous! I'll include a photo later of one. They are heavy. Along with three glass candlestick holders, different in different sizes. I think that's the most extravagant gift I've gotten. Ooops almost forgot along with 4 Irish handcrafted cloth napkins. 💚💚💚
Maria Zannini said…
Luba: Oh my gosh, those are keepsakes. Nice!

Your friend has excellent taste.