If one receives a thoughtful gift, no matter the monetary cost, the gratitude is priceless. Gift giving is something that can turn into an insult if not done properly. No one likes to receive a gift that looks like a thoughtless, last-minute purchase.
If the recipient is a close relative or friend, contemplate what the person likes to do for recreation, their career, or their style. If one likes to garden, a fishing pole would be inappropriate. If one likes gardening but has expressed an interest in learning to fish, fishing equipment would be welcome and appreciated.
Co-workers can often tell a lot about the people they work with even if they have little personal relationship. Noticing something as simple as lunch habits or office decor can make pondering a birthday or get well gift much easier. If the person goes out to lunch at a particular Italian or Chinese restaurant every other day, a gift certificate would come in handy when lunch time rolls around. One may even get an invitation to join the recipient for an outing both associates enjoy.
However, say the gift giver frequents a Greek restaurant near home which is 30 miles away. Picking up a gift certificate for this restaurant is not only impossible for the person to ever use and enjoy during working hours, it conveys convenience and an air of selfishness on the part of the giver.
Homemade gifts are always a favorite. Even if the person is not a fan of crocheted blankets or home-baked banana breads, the fact that the giver took the time to create something for the person is many times the gift itself. Especially when one is recovering from an illness, crafts or foods from the heart can bring cheer.
However, if one knows a person well and the recipient is allergic to bananas, it seems as if a pre-baked loaf was pulled out of the freezer at the last minute; the person does not care enough to consider the recipient’s health; or it can be perceived as a cruel gesture.
Whether it’s a bird feeder made from wooden ice cream sticks, a macaroni necklace, personalized handmade journals, or a finger-painting, gifts created by kids are coveted forever. Children are not expected to buy gifts. During the rough economy, it may be difficult for a parent to do so as well. A pre-schooler’s art project along with a card from the parent is typically a high-ranking gift on anyone’s list.