How many gifts can you remember?

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guide to great gift giving

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How many gifts have you received that you vividly remember? Maybe 3-5 right? The problem with most gifts you get or give is that you don’t remember them. Do you remember your favorite gift from your 9th birthday? Or how about from your wedding? In fact, think about it for a minute, how many gifts can you actually remember? Not just in general, like I got doll when I was a kid. But something you really remember.

Or have you ever looked at something and you know you got it as a gift, but don’t remember who gave it to you? A couple years ago I was at a party and one person re-gifted the exact gift to the person who gave it to them! The person was mortified. (By the way, I’m not going to lie – I laughed.) I mean it was uncomfortable and hilarious all at the same time, especially since it was some awful golf themed salt and pepper set.

Now think about all the gifts you really remember. I mean the ones that you loved or left a lasting impression. What do they have in common? I bet you they were experiential, personalized or horrifically awful.

Perfect example (sorry mom!) – when I was seven my mom bought me a large doll set for Christmas. The girl and boy dolls were plush and about 2.5 feet tall. Looking back, I would say their clothes were actually little toddler clothes. My mom had purchased said dolls at a craft fair, so they were sort of one-of-a-kind. The dolls were ok. Nothing truly mind blowing and amazing, but a nice gift. So why will I NEVER forget this gift? When I got around to really playing with them, I saw that the boy doll had ALL of his boy parts! Yes- ALL OF THEM! My catholic saint of a mother nearly died and my older brother and dad were laughing hysterically. I am not really sure what happened to that doll, but that’s what I mean by a memorable gift – horrifically awful and unforgettable!

Hence, I recommend going with one of the first two gift characteristics: experiential or personalized. Now – let me just say that I get it. Sometimes the person just wants a new TV or that certain video game or that amazing dress. Really I get that and sometimes that is the gift you get them. However, for all those other times I believe it is better to get an experiential or personalize gift than a gift card or some random material item.

Experiential gifts do not have to be expensive like a trip to Rome. They can be simple, like a food crawl. It’s like pub crawl, but you eat one small meal or dessert at each place. Sharing is advisable! Maybe this is a trip down memory lane or just some of your favorite places. It all about the shared experience!

Here are some more experiential gift examples:

• Sky diving. I would never do this, but I would go to a place like iFLY.

• Plan a scavenger hunt. Actually, you don’t even have to plan it because in many places you can just purchase a pre-planned hunt.

• Escape rooms. These are so fun. A good way to present this one to someone is to hide the gift certificate in a puzzle box .

• An art class or go to a place like Painting with a Twist

• Research what options you have locally. City dwellers will have more options, but there are lots of places that have ghost tours, walking tours, boat tours, bus tours, historical tours, wine tastings, brew buses (beer tours), animal encounters… Google {your town name} + adventures and see what comes up!

Personalized gifts are always better than un-personalized gifts. It does take more time, but within 10 minutes you can find 100 personalized or customizable gifts on Etsy alone! Plus there are 1000s of other stores, shops and websites to help you out.

Here are a couple example giftees to get you going (by the way, the gifts are things I love):

• Wife – Our Story

• Husband – 3D Laser Etched Photo

• Mom – Customizable Map

• Dad – Handwritten Wallet

I would love to hear about some of the gifts you remember giving or getting. If you have a great gift story, share it in the comments section below! As always, if it’s a great idea I’ll add it to the gift database.

Happy Gifting!

How many gifts can you remember? - The Art of Gift Giving