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How Does One Give a Thoughtful Christmas Gift?

Different color gift boxes on wooden background

Giving sentimental Christmas gifts is always exciting, but we know it has its challenges. Even if you know the ins and outs of the recipient’s tastes, it can still be tough to find a gift that really says what you mean. In order to better understand what truly makes a thoughtful gift, we consulted a number of experts in gift-giving, and we are very pleased with the results. Hopefully, this helpful guide with tips from professionals will help you to choose thoughtful Christmas gifts that will be cherished for years to come.

Don’t Shop for Yourself

As you are browsing for gifts in-store or online, you are inevitably going to be tempted to shop for gifts that you would love to receive. This instinct is completely understandable, but it is important for you to try to put yourself in the receiver’s shoes, rather than looking at things from your own perspective.

As Jane from Challah Connection

aid, “A thoughtful gift is a relevant gift; one that reflects the recipients’ passions, loves, hobbies, and life. It is a gift that is the result of deep thought of the recipient and what would make him or her happy. It is NOT a gift that the gift-giver would love to have, which is often the case.”

It’s Not Just About the Item

Receiving a gift is much more than simply acquiring a new item. With that in mind, it’s important to think about your approach. You might want to bring the recipient to a special place where you have memories together or surprise them at home or at work. Remember, simply buying the most expensive gift you can afford is not always the best option. In fact, it may work against you. Maria from Fine Foods elaborated on this point:

“The gift should be something that the recipient would be pleased with – from my personal experience I don’t like receiving expensive gifts because I know that the person who gave it to me had to pay a lot for it (and honestly I know we all work really hard to earn it) so I accept little presents easier.” Brenda from Brenda’s Gift Baskets summed it up well, saying, “It doesn’t have to be a large, expensive gift. It is the thought that goes into the gift.”

Find the Right Packaging



Can you imagine if Christmas gifts were just wrapped in newspaper or tin foil? The season would not be nearly as jolly! When you give a gift, you want to make an impression. Yes, the wrapping paper and bow are going to be torn off in a hurry, but that is part of the fun of sentimental Christmas gifts – the anticipation.

We asked Brenda from The Royal Chocolate for advice on giving a thoughtful gift, and she noted, “A gift does not need to be extravagant to be special. The box, bow, and packaging all add to the gift. Finding a price point that’s comfortable and then exploring a few thoughts and emotions should bring the gift giver to a place where they are excited to present the gift. That’s successful gift giving!”

Start Planning In Advance

If you know that you are going to be giving a thoughtful Christmas gift to someone in the future, start thinking about it now. When you are with that person, try to pick up on clues that will help you when you are shopping later. When you are at that person’s home, look around and try to get a feel for their tastes. You may also want to look for things that could be useful. For example, if you are thinking about giving a blender, you could suggest that the two of you make smoothies. If the recipient pulls out a brand new blender, you know that’s not an ideal choice.

We got some great advice from Sabyna at Petals by S&A who told us one of her commonly used approaches: “I ask my customers to try and personalize with color. I ask if they notice what colors the person wears, or a color they have noticed in the person’s home, especially the kitchen.”

Think About Unique Traits

As you try to come up with a thoughtful Christmas gift, you should consider all of the things that define the receiver. Naturally, that is going to include their hobbies, but there is so much more to a person than just what they do in their leisure time. A truly thoughtful gift often transcends what is clearly visible on the outside, showing the recipient that their inner qualities are recognized and appreciated.

Lea from Galilee 33 noted, “When giving a gift, one should ask him or herself which beliefs, morals, principals, and views guide the receiver.  When one receives such a gift, it is obvious that the granter thought far beyond the external package and into the soul of the person receiving it. It is immediately touching and holds a value far beyond the price of the gift.”

The Classics Never Go Out of Style

Depending on the occasion, sometimes a unique take on an old classic is the perfect gift. For example, a beautiful bouquet of flowers is universally loved and appreciated as a sentimental Christmas gift. Erin at Teleflora said:

“Gifting a beautiful bouquet of flowers often says everything without having to say anything at all! To really capture one’s heart, think about their favorite color and flower type that may even bring back a fond memory for that individual. The thoughtfulness that you put into that professionally arranged and hand-delivered floral arrangement will WOW them with delight. Add a love note to your bouquet and you will have them beaming ear-to-ear!”

Everyone Enjoys Food

Box of Chocolates

When in doubt, go for a tasty treat! After all, nobody would be unhappy to receive a nice supply of their favorite snack. When we asked The Frederick Basket Company for advice on the perfect sentimental Christmas gifts, Vicki responded, “…For instance, for the tea lover, a beautiful mug, assorted teas, local honey, and tea biscuits. For the sports lover, a selection of craft beers, and snacks to enjoy while watching their favorite sporting event.  The possibilities are endless! The fastest way to someone’s heart is through their stomach!”

Other Suggestions

Dmitriy from GiftBasketsOverseas.com was kind enough to provide us with some other excellent suggestions to make a gift memorable:

  • Sending a product by the recipient’s favorite chocolate or cheese brand
  • Quoting the receiver’s favorite poem on a greeting card, which can be attached to any gift
  • Sending something that reminds the recipient of good times spent together with the sender. This could be a DVD of a movie they once watched together or a book written by a favorite author.

Give an experience

Sometimes the most thoughtful Christmas gift isn’t a tangible object, but a memory. For instance, Kristin at Cloud 9 Living gave us some poignant advice on giving sentimental Christmas gifts, saying:

“There’s no more meaningful way to honor someone than by treating them to an experience that reflects who they are: their personality, favorite hobby, a cherished milestone, fondest memory, bucket list wish, etc. And doing so can be equally as meaningful for the gift-giver, too—because there’s a good chance that the recipient of an unforgettable outing/adventure won’t soon forget who gave them something so unique.”

Be thoughtful

When it comes down to it, giving a thoughtful Christmas gift takes just that – thought! Spend some time really thinking about what makes that special person in your life so unique and important to you. Think about other aspects of the gift besides the gift itself, such as when you give it, where you give it, how you give it, and so on. As the helpful folks at Oh! Nuts succinctly said, “You send a gift when it counts on the topic that matters.” Really think about why you are giving the gift, and then simply fill in the blanks from there. Sentimental Christmas gifts can come from anywhere, as long as it means something to your loved one, and what better way to show them you care and bring them some holiday cheer!

Article courtesy of:
Thoughtfully Gifting Memories

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1 Comment
  1. Paul says

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