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How, in general, to choose good presents for people?

(6 Posts)
catsofa Tue 11-Nov-14 00:12:18

What tips can people suggest as guidance on how to choose a good present for someone? My DP isn't very good at it and dreads having to choose things, and I want to help him learn the skill rather than just tell him what I want.

I usually try to do it by writing things down that I hear someone admiring or saying they'd like any time from about August, but sometimes get a bit stuck when I have to find something at short notice.

spaghettiarms1 Tue 11-Nov-14 01:05:33

It depends how well you know the recipient but I try to remember the "L's",

Buy (or make) something that they will either
"LOVE, LAUGH or LEARN, no LIMIT"

Obviously everyone would have a financial limit but that L is a reminder to buy something that the person wouldn't really buy for themselves! fsmile

chanie44 Tue 11-Nov-14 07:37:12

I think you have to LISTEN to what people say and take an interest in their lives. This wasn't something that came naturally to me, but once I started to make more of a conscious effort, it became easier and I'm always listening out now.

1) keep a note - I have a notebook and I write down ideas for gifts for people. This could be through having conversations or through things I see in the shops. Then, when I need to buy a present, I check my book.

2) Keep it simple - when I first got together with OH and was clothes shopping for him, I just bought him stuff similar to what he already wore e.g. I know he doesn't like tight jeans, so I would always get a relaxed fit. To mix it up a bit, I may go to a shop he doesn't normally buy from, or go for a slightly different style, but always something I think he may like.

3) get gifts of things people already love - there is nothing wrong with buying something that somebody already uses e.g. their favourite perfume. I would much rather have a tube of my favourite £5 handcream than a £50 one I don't like. I once make a relative a hamper of her favourite items. I asked her Mum for some ideas and make up a hamper o her favourite chocolates, biscuits, soap, magazines etc. It went down really well.

4) consider hobbies and lifestyle - think about hobbies or lifestyles that people have and pick something that fits in with that e.g. a gardener may love some seeds or tools, whereas somebody who commutes may like a travel mug.

Tyranasaurus Tue 11-Nov-14 14:37:22

Look online- a lot of people have amazon wishlists/pinterest boards/facebook likes which can give you a good idea.

Try to buy where your interests overlap. If you and your friend read different books, watch different TV shows... but have similar taste in clothes- buy clothes. If you know nothing about your brother's favourite sport but love the same type of films buy a DVD.

catsofa Tue 11-Nov-14 19:16:11

Thanks these are great, I'll try to have chats about what to get his parents in the next few weeks and ask him questions like this to help him along.

Myearhurts Tue 11-Nov-14 20:49:58

I think the key is not letting your own taste dictate too much.

I've bought things for other people that they loved, which I wouldn't find houseroom for.

I always look hard at gifts and think 'would X really like this, or is it something that I like'.

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