One of the most fun parts about celebrating a birthday (or really, any gift-giving holiday) is choosing JUST the right present for your giftee. Nothing beats seeing someone’s face light up when they open your present… but we all know that it’s not always easy to find the perfect gift.
A big part of successful gift-giving is just knowing the person you’re giving a gift to—what their hobbies and interests are, what makes them smile, or what they just can’t live without. But it also helps to understand a little bit about how they think about presents—we like to call it their “gift personality.” Here are the four most common ones, and tips on how to shop for them.
As you might guess from the name, this person prefers experiences over things, so avoid any gifts that might collect dust. Choose a present that gets them going somewhere and/or doing something. Consider things like concert tickets, or a cooking, dance, or crafting class. (For more ideas, check out Cloud 9 Living, a website devoted to experience-gifting, where you can search gifts by location, price, or activity.) And if they have kids, you could even volunteer some time to babysit to give them the night off.
The best gifts for the Pragmatist are the ones that they’ll use time and again. Think of gifts that you know they need, or will make their life a little easier. Maybe they already have something they use a lot, but it could use a replacement or an upgrade. Gadgets, tools, or anything that has a “job” can be a good place to start. And you can always try to think back on times when they might’ve said something like, “I can never find the spice I’m looking for” (do they need a spice rack?) or “why is my phone always dying?” (a car charger might be helpful).
The Grown-up Kid
Birthdays and holidays have a way of bringing out the kid in people, but these big kids are the ones who never really grew up in the first place. So, forget about practicality—fun-factor is the most important thing here. From gag gifts to new “toys,” give them something they might not normally buy for themselves. Grown-up kids also love surprises, so we’ve rounded up 7 of our favorite birthday surprises that will help raise the fun-factor.
Much like your mom always preferred your handmade gifts to store-bought ones, this person especially cherishes gifts with meaning behind them. Think about all the things that make your friendship with the person special, or maybe focus on an inside-joke between the two of you. This is the perfect situation for a heartfelt keepsake, or a customizable gift that gets them feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. PersonalCreations.com has a great selection of gifts for everyone and anyone you can think of, and personalized photo cards are also a great idea for this person.
Seem like a lot? No biggie. To help you figure out which gift-personality your giftee is, we’ve put together the handy-dandy infographic below. It won’t actually CHOOSE a gift FOR you (sorry, we just don’t have the technology yet), but it WILL give you some great ideas and get you going in the right direction.
It’s far from scientific, but we really hope this helps. If you’ve got any other gift-giving pointers, we’d love to hear them! And for a few more gift-giving ideas, check out our posts on the art of thoughtful gift-giving and last-minute romantic gifts.