7 Tips for Chronic Bad Gift Givers

bad gifts

Watching someone’s face light up as they open the perfect present you picked for them is a magical moment. But if you consistently struggle to choose the right gifts for your loved ones, you may receive a less-than-stellar reaction on Christmas morning instead. This year, satisfy everyone on your list with these seven tips for bad gift-givers:

1. Prepare in Advance

Christmas comes at the same time every year, so there’s no need for the last-minute gift scramble. Instead, prepare for the holidays in advance by being observant year-round. Write yourself a quick note whenever your loved one mentions something they like or need. By the time the holidays roll around, you should have a whole list of gift ideas to choose from that are perfectly tailored to each person on your list.

2. Don’t Break the Bank

Remember, ‘expensive’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘better’. Spending a lot on a gift is no guarantee that the recipient will like it. In fact, if you buy someone an expensive present that is not their style, it may leave them feeling confused, and wondering if you were just trying to ‘show off’. If you are not completely sure that an expensive item will be well-received, it’s best to keep your gifts simple and from the heart instead.

3. Include Gift Receipts

Even the best gift-givers may miss the mark sometimes, so it’s never a bad idea to include a gift receipt with your present. Gift receipts allow for presents to be easily exchanged or returned without directly involving the purchaser. By including a gift receipt, you can guarantee that everyone on your Christmas list will get something they truly want, even if they have to make an exchange to get it.

4. Team up with Someone Else

If you’re very unsure of your gift-buying skills, offer to team up with another family member and buy your presents together. Not only will you double your budget, but you’ll have someone else to brainstorm with, so you’ll be more likely to pick a great gift. However, if you choose to team up with someone, don’t take the easy way out and just sign your name on their presents – you should still be actively involved in the brainstorming and shopping.

5. Skip the Material Possessions

If you’re stuck, remember that your gift doesn’t necessarily have to be a material possession. Try gifting your loved ones with an ‘experience’ instead, such as movie passes or tickets to a play. You could also choose to take your family out to a nice dinner as your gift, or host a festive party at your home. Having a fun night full of great memories is a gift most people will appreciate.

6. Personalize ‘Easy’ Gifts

The easiest way to cross off every name on your Christmas list is to hit the ATM and give everyone cash, but many people consider this to be lazy and uncaring. If you’re going to gift cash, make sure to write each recipient a heartfelt card. You can also include a small gift, such as a candy you know they like. Adding a small, personal touch will make an otherwise ‘easy’ gift seem more special.

7. When in Doubt, Just Ask

There’s no point in feeling stressed about finding the perfect gift if you can just directly ask everyone what they’d like. It may feel like ‘cheating’, but it’s also the most foolproof way to make sure everyone gets something they really want for Christmas. Plus, next year, you’ll be able to reflect back on what they asked for and use that as gift-buying inspiration.

If you have a hard time choosing suitable presents for your loved ones year after year, the holidays may cause you nothing but stress. Using these seven tips, even the worst gift-givers can approach the season feeling relaxed and confident that they will make everyone on their Christmas list happy.