4 tips for buying the perfect gift

Whether it's for a work colleague, your child's teacher or your best friend, here's how to make inspired choices.

30 October 2014
by Lynne Gidish

There’s nothing quite like that "Oh yes!" feeling when a delighted smile confirms that you’ve picked the perfect gift. However, what you give, how much you give, and to whom you give are all decisions that can leave you fraught with anxiety, agrees clinical psychologist Dr Colinda Linde – this because it’s so important to ensure that what you’re trying to say is perfectly conveyed.

A great way to simplify your gift shopping and to remove a lot of the decision-making angst, says Dr Linde, is to plan ahead, plus master the golden rule when it comes to the art of giving, that is, that it's all about the recipient.

She offers the following tips to help you find the ultimate Christmas gift

1. Be observant

Listen to their "I wish I had…" or "I'd love to have…" comments, which are often mentioned casually in conversation. Make a mental note when they discuss anything they like, enjoy or love doing. 

2. Determine their circumstances

Is there something they really need? If they’re battling financially, a practical gift may be far more appreciated than something that’s pure luxury. Yes, you may want to spoil them, but sometimes being practical is more important. 

3. Give according to personality – theirs

Remember that what you like may not necessarily appeal to them and that it’s about their unique personalities, not yours.

4. Give with an open heart

Don't try to impress and spend more than you can afford, or give grudgingly because you should: a card with beautiful words from the heart means a whole lot more than something that’s expensive but poorly matched.

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