Great Gift Giving: Five Simple Rules


Great gift giving is not just a talent that people are born with, it’s an acquired skill. And like any skill, it can be learned. All it takes is knowledge, listening skills, and following these five simple rules.

Rules for Great Gift Giving

  • RULE #1: Give them what they WANT; Not what they NEED.  A gift, by its very nature, is about satisfying a want. Chances are, if the recipient needs something, they will eventually get it for themselves. There are always exceptions, of course. But in general, great gift giving is about making the giftee feel special…and that’s hard to do with a pair of socks or a package of Fruit of the Loom’s. Find out what excites them, what they would love to have “if only,” and make it happen. How do you do that? See Rule #2….
  • RULE #2: LISTEN and learn. Paying attention pays off in the great gift giving department. Especially for those closest to you…your significant other, your children, your parents, your best friends…it’s easy to find out what they WANT if you listen to the clues. Nothing bothers me more than when my birthday or an anniversary or the holidays come around and my husband asks me for a list of what I want. Why? Because that’s just placing an order. I can easily do that myself…go to and buy up everything I want. In terms of a gift, I would much rather be surprised that he cared enough to put some effort into discovering what I like. It might sound petty, but it’s not. It’s heartwarming to know someone went that extra mile. Whenever you hear your loved ones commenting on items they like, styles they adore, or things they would buy if they had some extra money laying around, make a mental note. Or better yet, write it down. Not just a week before you need to buy a gift, but at ANY TIME. Perhaps keep a journal of gift ideas…it will come in handy when you want to do some great gift giving! Remember: pay attention, listen, and learn!
  • RULE #3: Money isn’t EVERYTHING, but it IS something to considerBUDGETIt’s not a four-letter word, but it might as well be! If we only had unlimited funds, we would all be great gift givers, right? Well, not necessarily. When it comes to great gift giving, it’s not always about how high the ticket price is, but about how much thought and attention was given to selecting the right gift. (Remember Rule #2?) Most of us do have a spending limit. And more often than not, those we’re gifting don’t want us to go broke trying to make them happy. What makes for great gift giving is finding that sweet spot between cheap and cha-ching. Spend what you can swing, and if their wants are above your means, be creative…perhaps give them part of what they want or a less expensive version of what they desire most. With a little practice and finesse, you CAN make your budget work with your great gift giving!
  • RULE #4Presentation goes a long way. Especially when budget gets in the way, presentation make a huge difference. The way a gift is wrapped and how it is actually given can set the tone for a positive or negative response before the present is even opened. Once again, you want to make the recipient of the gift feel special. You want them to see that you put time, effort, care, and thought into making the gift look lovely. If you put the present into a brown paper bag (who would really do that?) or wrap it in Sunday’s newspaper, it seems thrown together, last minute, an afterthought. But if you take the time to make the gift look special, you’re already ahead of the game when it comes to great gift giving. Buy some cute paper, wrap it neatly, and tie a coordinating ribbon around it. If bags are more your thing, that’s fine, too. Pick out a good-quality gift bag, fill it with colored or patterned tissue paper, and you’re all set. Perhaps most importantly, physically hand them the gift with genuine feeling…a warm smile, a loving embrace, a heartfelt “Happy Birthday” or “I hope you love this.” Never hand someone a gift and say something like, “I never know what to get you,” or “you’re hard to shop for,” or “I have the receipt.” Talk about a let-down!
  • RULE #5: Don’t buy for YOURSELF. The easiest thing to do when shopping is to buy a gift for yourself. You know what you like, after all. But your taste, your style, and your wants are not necessarily the same as everyone else’s. The key to great gift giving is resisting the urge to pick out what you like, but rather, tapping into what they like. And that brings us right back around to RULE #2!

Great gift giving shouldn’t be difficult, stressful, or burdensome. Once you learn the skills needed, it’s easy to move from being a Bad Gifter to a Good Gifter. Just follow these five simple rules and be on your way to great gift giving!

Still looking for inspiration? Check out some of these great gift ideas at Lady Builder Shops: 

Image of Stella Mirror Desk Clock
Image of Eden Branch Decorative Bowl
Image of Dakota Brick Red Tote
Image of Aviary Salt and Pepper
Image of Artichoke Maxilite Candle Holder

Leave a Reply