BY MEGHAN LAWSON '23
My favorite part of any celebration, from birthdays to holidays, are the gifts, especially the ones I get to give! Regardless of the occasion, this is the complete gift-giving guide for you.
When shopping for a gift, always begin by asking yourself three questions:
First, what relationship do you have with the recipient? This is the most important and often the hardest question to answer. In many cases, it’s unclear if you should get the person a gift at all. However, recognizing the relationship between you and the recipient helps set parameters for what gifts you're looking for. Would you be comfortable buying this person a funny present? Do you want to spend lots of effort on this gift or maybe a bit less?
Second, what is meaningful in your relationship? Finding gifts that are based on inside jokes can be a bit trickier, but often mean a lot more than a generic gift card. Creating customized mugs, t-shirts, and jewelery is a great way to individualize gifts for your friends and family. There are so many different connections that it’s hard to pick just one. For example, if you like skiing together, you could get them a gift card to their favorite restaurant near the ski lodge or some hand warmers for colder nights on the mountain.
Finally, will they use this gift? Sometimes, you can get so far into the rabbit hole known as Amazon that you forget if it is something that they’ll actually find useful. One time, I almost bought my mom this crazy mini light-up water fountain before I realized that she would never actually use it. Be careful when you see discounts! Even if the price is marked down, an unused gift does not save any money in the long run.
Of course, when you find a gift at a lower price, it can definitely sweeten the deal. For me, price-checking gifts becomes an issue. Although we all want to buy our loved ones the best gifts, we are full-time high schoolers with limited income. Homemade gifts are a great way to save money, and they are often more meaningful. I think gifts that you make yourself really show your loved ones how much you care about them. Instead of buying a gift, you took the time to make something especially for them. I also highly recommend creating a spreadsheet to keep track of your budget. There are different prices everywhere on Amazon, Target, CVS, or local businesses, and the difference of a dollar or two can pile up. Using a spreadsheet is the best way to stay organized with how much you’re spending, and I find it to be the best way to stay conscious about your spending while gift-hunting year-round. For example, if you know your sister wants a pair of boots, try buying them during the summer when boots are cheap. Keep your eyes peeled for big sales events, such as Black Friday or back-to-school discounts.
With these considerations in mind, I wish you the best of luck in your gift-giving endeavors! At the end of the day, remember that the relationship that you both share is the best gift of all.