How to pick a meaningful gift

a woman in a yellow jumper holding out a meaningful gift with a ribbon around it.

It’s often said that gift giving is a form of art. The choice of gift and even the way you present it (the type and design of paper, ribbon or no ribbon, etc.) is said to be an expression of self, whether a conscious expression or not.

While some people find this artform easy, others may struggle to decide on the perfect gift. But the secret is, it doesn’t necessarily have to be the most expensive or the biggest item in the shop. While presents of this nature will be welcomed, sometimes it’s the smaller, more meaningful gifts that will be most appreciated by the recipient. They may understand that you’ve put more thought and effort into the gift, and it shows that you truly know and care about them.

So, whether you’re trying to say ‘congratulations’, ‘thank you’, ‘happy birthday’ or something else entirely, we’ve revealed how to give a truly meaningful gift to that special person.

How to give a meaningful gift

Consider who you’re buying for

If you want to give a personal, thoughtful gift, the first thing to do is consider who you’re buying for. It’s quite likely that the present you would buy for a family member or close friend would be different to the one you’d purchase for a distant relative or a friend you haven’t seen for some time, for example.

The best meaningful gifts are the ones that are truly tailored to the receiver, and perhaps reflect their personality, hobbies, interests or likes and dislikes. Ask yourself, what do they like to do in their spare time? Perhaps they’re an art lover, bookworm, avid traveller, petrolhead, self-care enthusiast or hobby gardener. Your friend who has a love of crime fiction may be thrilled to receive the latest spine-tingling bestseller. For those who love a pamper or deserve some ‘me time, why not put together a personal hamper full of their favourite beauty products and self-care items? Not only does this make the gift more personal, but it’s also something you know they can use and enjoy.

Consider the occasion

The occasion or the reason why you’re buying the gift could also impact your choice. You might give a different present as a thank you to a birthday gift, for instance, and a wedding or anniversary present would need to be suitable for a couple and not just one person.

The occasion could help to provide you with some new ideas. A 30th wedding anniversary present, for example, is also known as the pearl anniversary, and you may be able to get a meaningful gift that somehow incorporates pearls. Remember, your gift doesn’t have to break the bank. For example, you could consider creating a booklet of ‘pearls of wisdom’ or a bunch of ‘pearl’ roses (the Floribuna variety). Both of these things are meaningful but don’t have to cost a fortune.

Have a budget in mind

This brings us to our next point: budget. You don’t want to overspend on a gift, but ultimately you want to purchase an item that the receiver may not necessarily buy for themselves. The budget may depend on the occasion (for instance, you would likely choose a bigger gift for a wedding than a thank-you present) and the person (you might spend more on a close friend than an acquaintance, for example). It’s good to have a price point in mind before you start shopping.

Make it personal

Personalised items are all the rage, from cushions with family photos on to engraved jewellery items. Personalisation can turn a nice gift into a thoughtful, memorable keepsake. Upon the arrival of a new baby, you may wish to have their name and date of birth engraved on an item. Alternatively, you can purchase personalised photo frames and insert a picture for the new parents. These ideas range in price from very reasonable to more expensive, but both would make beautiful gifts.

Personal items don’t just have to be bought either. If you have the time, you may wish to make your own gifts. This could include a hamper of freshly baked goods, a scrapbook filled with photos and memories, a hand-knitted item or even some home-brewed cider.

Be practical

It’s been shown that gift-givers can sometimes focus too much on how a person will receive the present and want to increase desirability rather than giving something that’s more practical or more personal. For instance, you may think that gifting a voucher for an expensive restaurant that’s far away is better than a voucher for a nearby restaurant that’s cheaper. From the giver’s perspective, pricier may seem better. In reality, the experience could be just as pleasurable in a restaurant that’s more practical to get to.

Finding the ideal gift isn’t always easy when you’re stuck for inspiration, but when you start to think outside the box and get creative with your present, you may have a lot of fun shopping around. Seeing the look on their face when they receive their meaningful gift will be so worth it. We hope that with our tips, you can find the perfect meaningful gift for a special someone, and that they’ll love it as much as you loved choosing it.