Goodbye to the Generic Gift Giving

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People have myriad reasons for taking the predictable route when it comes to gift-giving: no time to shop, no budget for specialized gifts, etc. But if you truly want to convey your appreciation for the recipient, then take a moment to reflect what they truly like.

Put yourself in the shoes of your intended recipient. Would you be happy if your colleague gave you a towel or mug—the same ones given to everyone else in your department? Would you be thrilled if someone gifted you some classic fruitcake?


Gift-giving isn’t rocket science. All it takes is some social media sleuthing, a bit of creativity, and a few minutes to think and jot down possible gift ideas. Still feeling lost? Here are some tips.

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1. Examine your purpose. Are you giving a gift because you’re expected to? Do you wish to receive something in return? Or do you simply want to give something thoughtful because they deserve it?


For successful, purpose-driven gift-giving, think about your motive and intention. Celebrate your shared experiences with the recipient to maintain a good relationship with them.


One work-around for those generic gifts: Funkify them! Expressions, Island Souvenirs, and Me & U Gift Shop have plenty of unique gifts such as cute neck pillows, trinket trays and boxes, and adorable stuffed toys.

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2. Consider a person’s likes and interests. Understanding a little of what makes that person tick will give you a wealth of insights into possible gift ideas. Go online and check out their Facebook and Instagram profiles to get more clues as to what gifts they need and will appreciate. For instance, your workaholic BFF will definitely appreciate a spa treatment to help her relieve the stress from work, while your techie SO will love that fancy Bluetooth speaker for their Netflix binges. Give your travel buddy a gadget organizer, your parents a framed print of you and your sibling, or your workout partner a new yoga mat.


Treat your mom who hasn’t been to a salon since forever to a day of pampering at Mom & Me Nails, Going Straight Salon, and Cocktails MD Wellness Lounge.


Impress your partner who seems to treasure their pet more than you by giving them pet treats from Petco, Petsburgh, and Mascot Pets.


These gift certificates from Michaela, Sunnies Specs Optical, Folded & Hung, and Vans will surely be appreciated by your bestie whose walk-in closet is overflowing with fashion items.

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3. Take risks. One way to avoid being generic is to be bold about your gift choices. How well you know the person should be enough reassurance that you won’t get them something that they’ll probably hate. Get your loved one something that they would never buy themselves, but they will surely appreciate—something that suits them perfectly.


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