Most people love giving and receiving gifts. We give gifts to our loved ones at special occasions and for no reason in particular. But how can you be sure your gift is the right gift at the right time? Here are three important things to consider before you make that special purchase:
1. Make sure you are giving freely
There are many reasons we give gifts. Birthdays, holidays, special occasions or even for no reason at all other than we were inspired to give something to the one we love. Sometimes, however, we give to receive. What? Is that possible? It is. And it happens often. Perhaps not always consciously, but it happens. Especially when we are looking for a response or an outcome from the gift. Some may protest and say that a gift by definition is for the giving; but if the underlying motivation for the gift is to gain favor with the recipient, you are giving to receive. If you are hoping your gift will make that special someone have more love or gratitude for you, or you are seeking validation or forgiveness, then you are giving to receive, at least in part. The best gifts are given freely with the satisfaction that they will bring joy to the one we care about.
2. Consider the timing
If you know someone very well, you will likely have a good idea whether a gift is appropriate or not. But if you have only known someone a short time, this can be a bit tricky. Let’s say your relationship is relatively new or perhaps you have been dating for a few months. Would it be wise to buy an expensive gift even if affordability is not an issue? It can be tempting, but such a gift can send the wrong message too early in a relationship. Your date may feel you are trying too hard to “buy” their affection or approval, or they may feel awkward or pressured if they are not feeling the same level of attraction or attachment yet for your budding relationship. The best rule of thumb on timing is this: if a gift can be misinterpreted, if it might overwhelm or cause any level of unease, take a more conservative approach. Go for the thoughtful gift over the extravagant gift until you have a chance to become comfortable with one another.
3. Does the gift send the right message
Like it or not, everything we say and do sends a message. This is especially true of gifts. We have all received a gift in our life that left us scratching our head thinking “what the heck possessed this person to buy this?” or perhaps a feeling that the gift was actually intended for another. A great gift sends a message to the one you love that you understand who they are and what is important to them. The best gifts demonstrate thoughtfulness and caring. Your gift may or may not have a high price tag (be appropriate here), but regardless it should always convey you took the time to consider what they will truly enjoy. Consider if your gift will be a good fit (figuratively and literally) and be cherished and appreciated. It really is the thought that counts. Sometimes you will want to be extravagant and sometimes more conservative in your gift giving approach based upon timing, circumstances and occasions, but if the gift is thoughtful and given with love it will convey the right message.
Happy gifting! We would love to hear about the best gift you have given or received and why. Please share your experiences with our readers below.