5 Mar 2012

10 hints for finding the perfect gift…

image via here via here
Sometimes it’s hard to buy the perfect gift… especially for the boys… and especially when it comes to clothing or accessories. I admit that it is easier to find things for the girls… but maybe that is because I am a girl… If there is one comment that infuriates me it is the one when I hear… ‘I couldn’t think of anything to give’… ‘I’ve run out of ideas’… ‘They have everything’… No one has everything and even if they do… they still deserve spoiling. There can never be too many books, too many scents or too many flowers for men or women… and that is without even pushing the gift giving boundaries. Gift giving is more about the thought behind the gift than any one particular item. A generous gift is one that is tailor made for the recipient and a generous gift is one that has required time and effort to find or make.

I am always so excited when I receive a gift that I feel has been chosen especially for me with care and attention and even more than that I love to try and think of presents that will make my friends and family happy… Feeling spoilt, feeling loved and feeling as if the people in your world understand you, ‘get’ you is  one of the greatest gifts of all…

Hints for finding the perfect gift…
1. Be observant.. take notice. Observation is the key to finding the perfect gift. What do they wear? What do they read? What colours are their favourites? Do they travel? Which countries and cultures interest them? What are their hobbies?
2. Listen… It is amazing what you can find out just by listening… ‘I saw the cutest scarf the other day… I wish I had bought it’… ‘ That new scented candle has the most delicious fragrance… I should try and find one’…That kind of conversation is gold when you are searching for ideas…
3. Give what they like not what you like… This is harder said than done but this is what makes a gift great. Just because it’s not what you want doesn’t mean it’s not the best gift in the world for someone else…
4. Make sure the gift is the right size. There is nothing sadder than a gift that has to be returned. Play detective and find out the correct sizing or if that is impossible buy an accessory that won’t be problematic…
5. An ideal gift is one that they have been wanting forever. A hard task but that is where the observing and listening comes in. The flip side of this one is… to be a ‘good gift hint dropper’… (this is a win/win for all…)
6. When in doubt choose a classic… especially if the gift is for someone you don’t know very well. Classic items, especially for men, never go astray and are always welcome…
7. Buy basic items… as long as they are beautiful. Some of my favourite gifts have been everyday items that have been delivered with panache. Socks, for example, sounds boring… but not if they are exquisite cashmere or fabulous colours… Handkerchiefs… fine linen, or fantastic florals… That would work for me…
8. Time… Last minute gifts are never easy and are far too stressful to find. Planning is the key…
9. Make sure the gift is appropriate for the occasion… There is nothing more embarrassing than overplaying or underplaying your hand. When in doubt about what should be what, flowers are my go to…
10. Know when to give… Sometimes a small gift can resolve an argument and restore peace… sometimes it can add fuel to the fire… Knowing when is paramount…
If you need a little assistance with ideas have a browse HERE and HERE

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The enchanted home

Well done post! I have a few gifts to buy this week in fact and will keep these excellent pointers in mind. I do try to give my gift giving a lot of thought and like you said the excuses for not doing so don't fly with me either…even a beautiful orchid, plant or flower is a wonderful gift!
Best feeling is when we are able to give something you just know the person has been wanting! I get a lot of satisfaction from that….enjoy your day Vicki!

Jacqueline @ HOME

Oh how I agree with you Vicki …. I hear people say that they are stopping giving presents to members of their family just beause they say that they don't know what to buy !!….and, it doesn't have to be expensive either. Beautifully wrapped home made truffles, a scented candle or votive, none of which need cost the earth. I think that some people are lazy and can't be bothered as, it does take some thought.
Your list for finding the perfect gift is so helpful. XXXX

helen tilston

Hi Vicki

You clearly define some great points in gift giving. It is always so fabulous when one finds the perfect and timely gift for a friend and seeing their face is priceless. It is, like you said, all about listening and observing.

Have a glorious week


Francine Gardner

You put so much thought into gift giving, you are really amazing! I was shopping for my best friend gift yesterday and was totally uninspired… She loves the beach, so I settled for a huge colorful straw bad filled with my favorite goodies. I usually buy gifts on impulse and love giving gifts. Christmas becomes an orgy of carefully wrapped gifts… I also love to receive gifts, who doen't?


Well done Vicki! In an age when so many can run out and by what they "need" it makes the ol' gift buying standard our grandmother's taught us obsolete- thankfully! So your tips are fantastic.

A great brain jogger we use at our shop is "What do you enjoy doing when you and your friend are together?" The most amazing ideas come out of this one question. They remember favorite trips and incidents that then relate to favorite items, finds, wines, funny stories- the list goes on. The decision of what to buy can actually become a bit more difficult, rendering the next occasion, however, a piece of cake!


This is very helpful. Our son is marrying a darling young lady and we're thrilled. Her birthday will be here before you know it and this post reminds me how important the planning and the listening is—especially since I'm just beginning the wonderful journey of getting to truly know her. Thanks for the tips and the reminder!

Mary Timmers

Great tips, Vicki. I need to especially heed the one about giving what they want, not what I would want.I guess I figure that if I like it, they will too. Not true. Very helpful post!

I Dream Of

Such terrific tips! Finding the perfect gift for someone has to be one of life's great pleasures. But I agree, the boys are much harder than the girls. Sticking to the classics is good advice!

Jo Farmer

Excellent tips! When a family member or friends tell me they had seen something and wish they'd bought it, I'll jot it down in my notebook. Always a pleasure to see their delight when they open up their package…

Jo x


Vicki this is such a thoughtful post. I have had people tell me "You are so hard to buy for" and I don't know where this comes from. As you say a scented candle, a favorite scent, a lovely music CD, a nice bottle of wine….there are so many choices!

Art by Karena


These are wonderful tips, Vicki! Right on. It used to bother me when people said they had everything and didn't need gifts. But now, I find it even more fun to find something they can use up and pamper themselves with rather than to find an object.

My neighbor is 93 years old and she always tells me not to get her birthday or Christmas or Mother's Day (she's like another grandma to me) gifts. So I love to get her a little floral arrangement, some of her favorite cookies or a little bottle of hand lotion she can use. And she loves it.


Vicki, l agree completely, particularly with the observation and listening points you make.. it makes gift giving easier


That's a very useful list!

Thanks for sharing it!

ps. I bought the book by Amy Thomas as you recommended – it's fabulous!

Shell Sherree

I'm often told I'm hard to buy for and I don't understand … I think I'm an open book when it comes to gifts! I have a gift stash of classic things for the unexpected moments and would definitely go for flowers if in doubt on any occasion. Lovely tips, Vicki ~ being genuinely interested in others makes picking up those clues an easy thing to do.

miss b

Interesting post with useful tips – one of the most important, I believe, is number 8 – Time. There is nothing worse that trying to find something at the last minute! The best gifts are often those we see when we are not really looking but we instantly think of a friend who would love it!


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