Just buy it.
Thatâ€™s all it really comes down to, but around this time every year we find ourselves asking the same question â€“ what gift should I get?
Finding the perfect gift is as much about knowing your target as it is about knowing yourself. To that end, here are a few thoughts, tips, and insights towards recognizing and giving the perfect gift this year.
If youâ€™re not having fun finding a gift then youâ€™re doing it wrong.
People have a tendency to place too much emphasis on the gift itself rather than the sentiment behind it. The experience you go through in picking a gift says as much, if not more, than the gift itself ever will. This is why gifts youâ€™ve made yourself, donations to charity groups, and quests for â€śthat one thing they really wantâ€ť pay such high dividends.
A great card or good story can go a long way toward achieving perfect gift status. If you relax and enjoy finding your gifts, theyâ€™re more likely to be received with equal aplomb.
Sentiment Is Everything
Many people forget that giving a gift is about showing that you really truly care. Thatâ€™s why itâ€™s so easy to misplace the pressure of the act on the object rather than the expression. Thought and love are the two biggest factors that will make your gift perfect, and neither of them costs a thing.
Tell that person you love them, give them a hug, cook them breakfast, give them a massage, say thank-you, let them know you mean itâ€¦ there are a million ways to touch the heart of your target without paying an arm and a leg. A simple act of kindness has the power to transcend any object and hit the perfect-gift mark.
If you canâ€™t come up with something to get someone, think about whether thereâ€™s something you can do for them instead.
Let The Gift Pick You
You know it the moment it happens. When that perfect gift picks you thereâ€™s just no feeling that quite compares.
The power of surprise is one of the most compelling and inspired manifestations of the perfect-gift experience. Catching someone off-guard can position your gift for limitless extension because it obliterates any preconceived notions your target has about what a gift can be. However, care must be taken to ensure your gift delivers more than just a surprise.
The key to being found by the perfect gift is to put yourself in a position to be lucky. That means going someplace youâ€™ve never been, walking down a different street, tagging along with friends while they shop, flipping through a holiday magazine your target might read, and just keeping your senses open to things that jump out and grab them.
When a potential gift seizes your attention there are several steps you should take if youâ€™re not certain about it:
(1) Explore It â€“ pick it up, try it, read it, open it, push its buttons, and see if it merits perfect-gift consideration. What does how it feels say about how your target will?
(2) Contextualize it â€“ imagine it being unwrapped. Whoâ€™d enjoy this the most? Are they your target? What might the card say? Where/how would it fit into this personâ€™s life an hour/day/week/month/year from now?
(3) Let it go â€“ Put the gift down and try to walk away from it. If a sense of impending regret emerges, explore it. There is an amazing amount one can learn from the feeling of opportunity being won or lost.
(4) Ask if you want it for the right reasons â€“ donâ€™t be a selfish-Santa. Think about what aspects of giving this gift youâ€™re most looking forward to. If thereâ€™s the slightest hesitation, make sure youâ€™re not tricking yourself into thinking the gift is for anyone other than you. Selfish gifts are more transparent than anyone ever admits -Â avoid at all costs!
Provoke A Memory
Knowing something about someone gives you a number of advantages in finding a meaningfully perfect gift. Do they have a pet? A favorite experience from the past year? Was there something you did together that youâ€™d like to remind them of?
Provoking a memory is a great way to invoke a new one. A gift thatâ€™s personally relevant to your targetâ€™s life naturally inherits characteristics and qualities of that experience, providing a fresh opportunity to reengage and enhance something that is real for both of you.
The world needs a lot of help and for one reason or another, doesnâ€™t always get it. Whether local or abroad, long-term or short, there are a number of ways you can invest your sentiment on behalf of your target and show them not just that you care, but that they make a difference.
Adopting or sponsoring a charity, animal, star, habitat, or cause can provide an educational and exemplary avenue for a meaningful difference in the world â€“ a perfect gift.
The Saturation Technique
If you really want something outside the box, take a moment to focus on everything you know, think, and feel about your target. Completely immerse yourself. Once done, your instincts will be primed to detect two polarities that can lead you to the perfect gift. Each has its advantage and disadvantage. They are:
(1) The gift that fits â€“ Knowing that something will comfortably fit into your targetâ€™s life offers perfect-gift security, but may run the risk of being something they already have or will receive from someone else. Be forewarned, obvious gifts promise the greatest utility but ultimately fall short on sentiment.
(2) The gift that isnâ€™t there â€“ Knowing that something doesnâ€™t fit in your targetâ€™s life could mean that it might be missing. In this case it could stand a greater chance of really surprising them. With a little extra thought and exploration youâ€™ll know whether itâ€™s a perfect gift or not.
In either case, saturating yourself in your targetâ€™s world affords you an instinctual advantage. Both opportunities belong in that world. Your perfect-gift senses will tell you whether it should be an obvious gift, or an unexpected one.
Just buy it. That is what it comes down to and youâ€™ll know it the moment you feel it. In most perfect-gift instances thereâ€™s little choice involved.
In the end, giving a gift is an inherently generous act and only as difficult and prone to go astray as you let it.
If you relax, enjoy the experience, and keep yourself open to new experiences and worthwhile opportunities then thatâ€™s exactly what youâ€™ll be giving.
Take heart gift-giver. The fact youâ€™re worried about it just means you care, and thatâ€™s all you ever had to do to be on the right track.
Mac Love, Design IntelligenceTweet this | Tags: christmas, consumer, design, gift, holidays, Target