Christmas is right around the corner, literally. This post may be a little late for this Christmas but hopefully it will help you with future holidays, birthdays, etc.

How to be a good gift giver?

Disclaimer: This is all opinion, much of it is based on my life experiences.


I’ve been a gift receiver now for over 40 years and a gift giver for over 35. I have observed a lot of gift exchanges and come to the conclusion that many people are not good gift givers.

I’m going to get a little personal here and vent but I have gotten some lame gifts over my lifetime and it has made me really try to be a good/great giver of gifts. Sad to say but my mother is the most guilty of all (in my life). I can’t tell you how many disappointing presents I’ve received. It continued into my adulthood as well. I’d literally prefer you giving me nothing over giving me something useless that will just take up space in my house.

If you would like to improve your gift giving talents, then I am here to help.


Here are several general tips.

Put in some effort.

This may seem a little simple but I think it needs to be said. You need to try a little. It’s not hard but you do have to put in some effort. The following tips will help.


Know your gift recipient. Pay attention.

Pay attention to them. What do they like? What are there hobbies? What kind of food do they like?


Don’t buy yourself a present and give it to someone else.

I think we’ve all had this happen. I really don’t care how much you like puzzles. I don’t want you to give one to me. I will pretend to be grateful but come on. That is totally lazy.


Everyone is an individual.

You don’t have to give your kids all the same present. I will admit that this sometimes can work. However, don’t abuse it or overuse it. Your 16 and 18 year old kids may not want matching PJs.


Go for Quality over Quantity.

This is for the parents out there (maybe it’s just for my mom) who think you should give dozens of unwanted gift instead of the 1 or 2 that the kids actually want.


Let’s get specific and talk about how to give good gifts to specific people in your life.

With all gift recipients, I think the most important tip is to Know the recipient/Pay attention.

I think we should start with the kids.

Every family is different but in ours, our kids get lots of gifts from Grandparents and Aunts/Uncles. Luckily, they are kind enough to buy from our Amazon list. My husband and I don’t get them lots of gifts but we want it to be something they want. We plan to get them good gifts that they will use and enjoy. Our boys are still young (4 and 2). This year we are getting them a Power Wheels 12 volt ride on car. In the future we will try to pay attention to what they are interested in and only get useful gifts.

Luke Scentsy Buddy

Click HERE to check out a few possible gifts for the little ones.

On a side note. I think it’s a good idea to purge some of the stuff that they aren’t using anymore. My kids are young enough that it hasn’t been an issue yet. They don’t even notice. I think in the future we will use the strategy of telling them that we have to get rid of some things to make room for new presents.

If the items are in good enough shape, I sell them on Facebook marketplace and make a few bucks.


Spouse/Significant Other

I’ll confess that I don’t really want my husband buying me jewelry or clothes. He actually does a decent job but I just prefer to do that myself and I don’t really wear expensive jewelry much. We actually don’t spend much on presents for each other for any occasions. It’s just not a big deal to us. We tend to just buy what we need throughout the year and we don’t really want to buy each other useless things. My husband probably does a better job buying me gifts. Usually he gets me a massage gift certificate. That’s us, we just don’t want to keep buying gifts just to buy gifts.

However, I think the above tips are always helpful. Pay attention to your spouse. They might drop subtle (or not so subtle hints).

Ladies, is he a gamer, a handyman, hunter, fisherman, camping enthusiast? Is he into exercise? These are all hobbies that will present many great gift ideas. Try to figure out something that he really needs or wants.

Guys, does she like manicures, pedicures, massages, facials, etc. Nothing wrong with a thoughtful gift certificate. Is she a quilter, crafter, baker, runner, candle stick maker, etc? You may need to do some investigating. Ask her friends, sisters, mother, etc. HERE are some ideas for gifts to pamper her.

What about a little trip, if that’s possible?



Remember, it’s likely that these folks have a house full of collected “treasures” and they may be getting lots of new “treasures” every year. I think sometimes a consumable product can be a good gift. Something to eat/drink, lotions, even stationary/greeting cards and stamps that they can use can be a good gift. Remember, put some thought into it. Pics of the grandkids can also be a winner. You can get pics printed on all kinds of gift items like mugs, calendars, etc.



Again this is a group that will likely be getting a lot of little presents every year. It may be hard to get to know them yourself and your kids may not be the best investigators buy you can still stand out with a little effort. Consumables may be a good option for these folks as well. Click HERE for a fragrance diffuser that costs only $16. It’s beautiful, functional and consumable.

I could go on and on but I think you get the idea. Be thoughtful and put in some effort.

More thoughts on consumables.

Remember, the gift is for them, not you. Most people don’t need more stuff but they may be really touched by a nice consumable gift. They can enjoy it but it doesn’t stay in there house forever or give them feelings of guilt for getting rid of it. For some folks, a nice bottle of wine, whiskey, champagne, etc. Is a great gift. Maybe even a case of beer. Others may prefer chocolates, cookies, cheese, etc. Check out Costco or Sams for some great options.

Consumables don’t have to be food. Lotions, Bath Bombs, Stationary, Stamps, Subscriptions, Tickets to a local attraction/sporting event, Experiences, Travel, Etc. can all be home run gifts. Don’t forget that you still should be thoughtful and put some effort into it. Just because your grandson showed interest in a beetle in your backyard doesn’t mean he wants a subscription to “bugs of the month”. Make sure it’s a sustained interest.


A word about gift cards.

Great option. Ok, that’s 2 words but I think gift cards can be a great option. They can be great for anyone on your list. However, you still need to put some thought into it. You may even want to Google “creative ways to give gift cards”. I won’t go into it here but I’m sure you can find some great ideas. Even at low price points, I think gift cards can be great. I think a lot of teachers would rather get a $10 Starbucks gift card than another house plant. You can also easily show a little more effort by getting a gift certificate to a local bakery or sweet shop.


Well, I hope this post helped you. It’s all opinion and I know it’s not all inclusive. Feel free to leave your ideas or thoughts in the comments below.