Imua 'Iolani

563 Kamoku Street

Honolulu, Hawai'i

imua@iolani.org

How to Give Presents

February 9, 2018

     The gift-giving process is thoroughly perplexing. Whether viewing it as an obligation or a genuine expression of appreciation, finding that perfect present is nearly impossible and many end up settling for a gift which they know will not satisfy. Alternatively, some end up overspending in order to compensate for their lack of thought with material value. Even those who do happen to stumble upon the perfect gift question if it is really the right choice. To those whom this sounds familiar, this guide is for you. May the days of rude regifts and careless cash be over.

     The unwritten rules of gift-giving etiquette are crucial in order to maximize gratitude levels. First, one must always aim to buy gifts of appropriate monetary value. It is better to overspend than underspend, but no one likes to be one-upped. To the same degree, one should never evaluate an item’s value based on monetary value alone. Also, asking recipients what they want is frowned upon unless they want to be asked. Otherwise, it is a telltale sign of a thoughtless gift giver. Lastly, more of a tip than a commandment, thou shall not procrastinate. This is not a homework assignment that can be completed in homeroom. This is a respectful gesture that takes thought and time.

     As for selecting a gift, it really is the thought that counts, though the cliche is not to be used as an excuse for the giver’s incompetence. Anyone can buy his buddy a Rolex and call it a day, but most would be more impressed if the gift wrapping gave way to something a bit more meaningful. For instance, say a friend mentions a certain limited-edition item that he cannot afford to buy at the moment. There is no rule saying that you can't buy it for him and give it to him later on. It pays to listen to the wants and needs of the gift recipient. A true master of gift giving will go even beyond that and resolve an issue that even the recipient was not aware of. A sentimental gift, such as a photo album or a souvenir, also works wonders, as do personalized pieces like custom-made jewelry or home decor. People like to feel as though what they have is one-of-a-kind. Expensive gifts are nice and all, but people often prefer a gift that they feel has been specifically tailored toward them.

     Suppose one simply cannot conceive the perfect gift idea from his mind alone. In this common situation, it is imperative that the gift giver takes advantage of his available resources. If you don't know the recipient well enough to select a present, then ask friends or relatives of that person who do. Your target’s social media platforms might also hold clues as to what he/she would like to receive. Perhaps it might be even more effective to branch out from social media into the worldwide web itself. A simple search for “gift guide for [blank]” will yield thousands, if not millions, of search results on any web browser. When all else fails, play it safe and opt for a gift that never fails, such as a gift card to his/her favorite store or some things to snack on. Alternatively, shop by your own tastes and give something that you would have liked to receive. You might not give the impression that you are a mind reader, but your performance will likely be considered satisfactory, and you will have maintained your status as a great gift giver.

     The complications of gift giving too often foil the joys synonymous with certain special occasions. Hopefully, this guide provides you the insight to avoid ever scrambling for that perfect gift again. A bit of a decorative hand and an element of surprise is all you need now to exceed the expectations of any person on your gift list.

 

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