You can think of this as a guide to meaningful gifts. There will be a few gift ideas littered throughout this post, but the main focus is on the anatomy of a meaningful gift. To get a bit more specific: what makes a gift meaningful? After all, we can all give presents to people, but all of you have been in positions where you might not have had any meaning behind the present. You gave it almost because you had to or it was seen as the ‘right’ thing to do. Similarly, you’ve definitely received gifts in this manner before!
So, what differentiates standard gifts from the more meaningful ones? If you keep reading, you’ll find a breakdown of the ideal gift:
It has to mean something to the receiver
Well…it’s not rocket science, is it? For a gift to be meaningful, it must carry some weight with the receiver. That may sound obvious, but it’s too often overlooked when you buy gifts for people. One thing some of us are guilty of is buying gifts that are meaningful to ourselves! If you really love a certain TV show, and you buy a gift relating to that for someone else, does it have the same impact if the roles were reversed? No. You love the gift because you’re into the show, but is the other person? If they don’t care about it, then it loses all meaning.
The trick is learning how to listen and observe. If you used to dream of being a spy, this is perfect for you! Always listen to what people say and observe the things they do. This could even include making a note of their ‘likes’ on social media. What’s that? You notice they keep liking loads of tweets relating to Star Wars? Oh, you’ve seen they keep rewatching The Mandalorian and all the Star Wars films? By making these observations you can safely say the person is a massive Star Wars fan. Therefore, a meaningful gift will have some sort of connection to the Star Wars universe.
Does meaning always have to be linked to their tastes?
Great question – and the answer is no. Sometimes, a gift has lots of thought put into it because it relates to something that a person does. For example, let’s say one of your friends always goes to the gym. They smash workouts every day, they want to get bigger muscles – they’re a typical gym-obsessed guy. By knowing this, you can give them a really thoughtful and meaningful gift based on this. Buy them some lifting straps or a lifting belt to help them improve their performance. They’ll find it so meaningful because they know that you’ve obviously recognized they go to the gym a lot and want to give them something useful.
That last word is actually very important. Gifts that mean something to someone will usually either be useful or relate to their tastes. Using the first example of a Star Wars fan, will a cool Funko Pop Star Wars toy be useful? Not really, but it’s very meaningful because it means something to them.
The gift should have longevity
For me, meaningful gifts have a lot of longevity. This means they continue to provide the receiver with something for a long time. A terrible gift is one that has a temporary impact. They see it, maybe smile a bit, then it’s gone. This is why chocolate and food gifts aren’t really that meaningful. Sure, you may remember someone’s favorite chocolates, but the gift is demolished in a few days!
If you really want to make an impact with your gifts, buy things that will stay with them for a long time. The lifting straps idea in the previous point is perfect for this – it’s a gift they will use until they break. Even the Funko Pop idea works because it brings them joy for a long time. Plus, it’s a collectible, so it can set them on a journey to keep collecting figurines. Try to think of other gifts like this; ones that a person will get a lot of use out of.
Similarly, there’s a whole subsection of gifts to think about: subscriptions. Getting someone a subscription is a fine way to provide something with longevity. It’s even more meaningful because you’ve committed to continuously pay for something for that person to enjoy! The best thing is, you can literally find subscription gift ideas for just about any type of friend. There are coffee subscriptions, clothing subscriptions, even a subscription box for smokers! These types of gifts are so meaningful because it’s almost like the person keeps getting a gift every month – or however frequently the subscription goes on for.
The timing of the gift is crucial
The final element of a meaningful gift is the timing. Ask yourself, how do you feel when someone gives you a late gift? It’s not great unless they have warned you beforehand or have a valid reason. It’s even worse when someone realizes it’s your birthday and then a few days later you receive a gift. It shows they had no idea and are only really giving you something because they feel like they have to. For the gift to be thoughtful, it needs to be given on time. This relates to all the various times where there’s a set date to give a gift – Christmas, birthdays, etc.
Furthermore, giving gifts out of the blue makes them ten times more thoughtful. Imagine a friend just handed you a gift and it was something you really liked and wanted. You’d be over the moon and full of gratitude! Think about this if you ever want to make a thoughtful gift that little bit more meaningful.
Overall, we can say the anatomy of a meaningful gift is one that means something to the recipient, has longevity, and is given at the right time. Follow these golden rules whenever you buy gifts, and your friends, family, and loved ones will always be impressed.