If you have lived through more than a few birthdays and holidays, then it is very possible that you have experienced the tragedy of receiving a terrible gift, or at least NOT receiving the gift that you really did want. While you can’t expect your gift-buying loved ones to be mind-readers, you still want something a little more personal than a gift certificate. Here are some ways to help ensure that the next holiday is not one requiring you to return a gift.
Out of sight, out of mind
We would all love to have friends and family “know us” well enough to know what we like, but that can end up being a futile wish. Most of us are not surrounded by detectives trained to pick up on our personal nuances (like whether we wear white gold, yellow gold, or rose gold). The point is that you need to actually get the idea of the gifts that you desire into their minds. Sometimes it’s as simple as mentioning exactly what you want, tactically suggested in the midst of other conversation. You could also have pictures circled from magazines and flyers casually left open on the coffee table, or those perfect earrings coincidentally displayed on the browser page you left open. It’s just something to plant the seed.
Change the environment
Consider bringing your gift-buyers right to the pieces you desire. Nothing says, “I want that necklace”, quite like pointing directly to it. Window shopping can be a great precursor to actual shopping, and being directly in front of the bracelet you have been longing for could be very helpful. It plants the seed, certainly, but also serves to take away some of the fear and trepidation otherwise associated with the jewelry-shopping experience. Most people can easily find their way back to an item that they previously saw in a showcase, and are glad to know that what they’ve picked out for you is something that you like, and will wear.
Timing is key
Whether your suggestions are verbal, visual, or otherwise, the timing will definitely have an impact on whether or not they are received. Try not to drop hints during times of high distraction, where focus is easily diverted. The middle of watching a ball game is typically not the best time to mention something that you want someone to remember. It might also be helpful to start dropping your hints several months in advance, particularly if your wish list contains items with fairly hefty price tags. This will allow additional time for the ideas to root and percolate, while also affording the opportunity to plan a budget, if need be.
However you decide to execute your hinting strategy, just remember that it needs to be deliberate and intentional. If you are going to get gift certificates this year, make sure that it’s not your own fault. Regardless, it’s the thought that counts, right? Happy Holidays!