We’ve all heard the phrase, “It’s the thought that counts,” and have likely said it ourselves. Maybe we even believed it!
However, it really is true! But whether it’s said in jest or with sincerity, the best type of present isn’t always something fancy, brand new, or expensive.
Ultimately, we just want to know whether the gift giver put some thought into it. This, above all else, is an indicator of how they see you; after all, anyone with means can put down their credit card and purchase something nice. But do they actually get you? Do they know what will make you — and not just anybody — smile when you open the box?
If you’re giving gifts this Christmas, that should be your goal. And the following categories represent a few of the best gift ideas in various price ranges.
1. Made with Love
The most personal gift of all is one that you make yourself. Even just by definition, this will be something unique that your loved one cannot buy for themselves or find in any store. If it was made with your hands, it came from the heart.
Arts and crafts can be lovely. Knitted hats, crotched blankets, or quilted covers can be great. Woodworking gives any recipient something they’ll treasure for years to come. Or, some signature food they adore always makes for a delightful treat. Really, it doesn’t matter what it is. A homemade gift not only is affordable on almost any budget, but it also typically holds greater significance than something even 10 times the price.
2. Who You Know
If you want to spend a little more, the next best thing is buying a gift that tells the person you know them. The key to finding the best-personalized gifts — at any price range — is showing off a little bit. This doesn’t mean flashing cash necessarily. It means getting something custom fit for their individual tastes and interests.
If you know those intimate details, you can surprise someone in a way that they will truly appreciate. Now, this isn’t something anyone off the street would know. Rather, it’s all about knowing, for example, their love of the outdoors, their favorite designer, their beloved collection of funky bags, or that author they’ve been meaning to read since last summer. That is the type of stuff that resonates and can be incorporated into your custom gift.
3. Unique Experiences
Most people own a lot of things — too many things. Our homes are cluttered, and we don’t even use a lot of stuff that ends up gathering dust in a closet. Sure, everyone likes some nice new electronics and toys, but most people find a way to get themselves the items they actually need.
What they don’t do as often is splurge on a luxury experience. It’s just hard to validate doing so for yourself, so instead do it for them! Buy the wine lover in your life a special vintage they wouldn’t otherwise choose. Pick up the tab at a fancy dinner typically reserved for a birthday or anniversary. Or, if you really want to go nuts, shell out for a vacation home on a lake or near the ocean for a whole week. New phones and clothes come and go, but memories last forever.
The Right Christmas Gift for the Right Person
It’s never too early to get a jumpstart on Christmas. In fact, in a year like this, you better get going now! No one wants to shop at crowded stores this winter, so start right away to avoid both the hectic rush and stress that comes with waiting until the last minute.
Besides, starting earlier also gives you more options. There’s still time to craft something homemade that’s virtually free. Or you can hunt around for the best prices on those custom items you know they’ll love. Lastly, if you want to go all out, you’ll have all the time needed to coordinate any special arrangements to make an experience happen.
At the end of the day, if you put some care into the things you give, it will be the right gift for the right person. That way, when someone says, “It’s the thought that counts,” you won’t have to wonder if they’re being sarcastic.