Gift Giving 101 – A beginners guide to help you master the art of the perfect gift

With Christmas just a month away I’ve been on my toes (literally) trying to find the best gifts for my family and friends. This week the local malls and many online stores are having their yearly Black Friday sales. So me, like every other smart consumer, was at those sales trying to get a bang for my buck.

Gift giving is not an easy task and can take a lot of work. I’ve always been terrible at giving gifts and for the most part have always resorted to cash and gift cards for family members and have always depended on my trusty personal assistant to take care of the gifts for business clients and acquaintances. 

A Gift is an item given to a person without expecting any sort of reciprocity. However the actual act of gift giving goes even deeper as it is one of the ways of letting a person know how much you value and care for them. Hence a badly chosen gift could be perceived as an insult to the person.

A couple of months ago I came across a very interesting Podcast The School of Greatness by Lewis Howes which featured an interesting Business Consultant, John Ruhlin.

John Ruhlin is currently the founder of the Ruhlin Group which is a company focused on helping business find and give the perfect gifts to their clients. He is also the author of the book GIFT.OLOGY.

You can listed to the audio interview below

In the intGiftology Bookerview he talks about how gift giving can have a positive impact on both your personal and professional life. After listening to the interview I was so fired up and had to picked up a copy of GIFT.OLOGY (affiliate link). I started reading it almost instantly and I have to say that I’ve learnt a lot from it and have personally followed the advice in both my personal and professional gift giving scenarios.

If you have a small business I would suggest that you pick up the book as it has a lot to offer. Before going into the contents of the book I would like of offer some of my own tips and strategies which help you choose the perfect gift for a loved one.

Study the Personality of the person

There are different ways of doing this but the easiest method is the Myers – Briggs Indicator. This is a questionnaire designed to showcase how people look at the world and make decisions. There are 16 different Myers- Briggs Personality Types (see diagram below). 


I will be writing a whole post on the Myer Briggs Personality Indicator shortly so stay tuned.

If you want to find out immediately about the 16 Different personality types the click here.

Make note of the varied Interests and Hobbies of the person

Make a quick and comprehensive list of all the things that the person is interested in.

For example, my nephew is completely obsessed with fishing. Everytime I visit him the only thing he talks about is his fishing equipment and his experience sitting on the river bank for hours at a stretch hoping for of good catch. He loves saying that it’s not about the fish but it’s the experience that counts.

From this tiny conversation I was able to gauge that my nephew was not only interested in fishing and the great outdoors but also in Philosophy. So for Christmas last year, I sent him “The Philosophy Book of Big Ideas by Dorling Kindersley and Heads Up Philosophy also by Dorling Kindersley Children which I’m happy to say he enjoyed quite a lot.

heads-up-philosophy the-philosophy-book








Make a note of the Occasion

Is it someones Birthday, Wedding, Anniversary, Christmas or New Year Party?

Jot it down and then plan accordingly.

Always have a budget…

Especially if you’re at a mall else you will be swept under the compulsion of Impulse buying.

Say for example if you have a fixed budget of Rs 1000 for Tom’s B day present, then try your best not to exceed it.

It would be better if you know what you want to purchase for Tom ahead of time, so you do not waste time at the mall.

Another way to shop (which is my preferred option) is online especially during sales (Diwali, Christmas, New Year, Independence Day etc). However to snag good deals during the online sales you would have to do your homework well in advance.

For great deals and discounts you might want to check out our Deals section.

Personalised Gifts or General Gifts

Decide before hand if you plan on giving personalised gifts eg) a pen/diary with the persons name on it or a generic gift. If you have a small company with under 10 employees then a personalised gift would be much better than a general one size fits all gift.

Should you ever make a gift?

Homemade gifts always provide a personal touch which is not found is ready made store purchased gifts. They are also thoughtful and well detailed.

If you plan on gifting your friend a personalized homemade gift then you will need to set aside some time to create the perfect gift.

Some of these could be:  Home baked cookies and pies, scented candles (with personalized messages), scented bath products, a knitted sweater, a crochet tablecloth etc.

However keep in mind that homemade gifts take time to make. For example, a knitted sweater for an adult might take up 45 days to make. So you might want to start well ahead of time.

and last but not least….

Spend time with your loved ones

This is probably the best gift you can give them.

You could prepare a home cooked meals of the person’s favorite treats, open a bottle of wine or champagne, get a tub of ice cream and talk the night away.

Don’t forget to write a small note saying either I love you (personal) or I appreciate your hard work (in a work environment) and add a box of chocolates and a nice bouquet of flowers to sweeten the deal. 

Hope this article helps you find the perfect gift for a friend or a loved one.

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