Written By: C. Michael Smith
The Valentines Season is nearly upon us. It’s the season of giving to the one that means the most. It can also be the season of anxiety if you are a guy looking for the “perfect” gift for your lady. Let’s discuss what makes a gift really great, let’s discover what women really want in a gift, let’s determine how to choose something she’ll really treasure, and let’s talk about the gift-giving no-no’s you should avoid.
What makes a gift really great?
A great gift is personal. It fits the recipient. It let’s them know that they are truly special in your eyes and it shows them how well you know them.
A great gift is appropriate. It fits the occasion and your relationship to the recipient.
A great gift is perceptive. It shows that your are attentive to the recipient’s tastes, needs, wants, and desires.
A great gift is selfless. It is given with a desire to please the recipient without expecting anything in return.
A great gift is generous. It requires a generous amount of the giver’s time, effort, planning, or creativity.
A great gift is moving. It elicits an emotional response from the recipient. It moves, it pampers, it surprises, it humors, it pleases, and it satisfies.
A great gift is presented in a great way. It is presented with as much thought and care as you gave in choosing the gift, itself.
What do women really want in a gift?
It’s really not the thought that counts, but the thinking. Women want to know that you put time, effort, and energy into your gift. They want a gift that reveals how attentive you are to their tastes, needs, wants, and desires. They want a gift that shows your feelings for them, your motives towards them, your thoughtfulness, your appreciation, and your generosity. The gift you give her will reveal to her how well you know her and understand her.
How do you choose something she’ll really treasure? To get a potential gift in mind, ask yourself the following questions:
What are her personal goals and ambitions?
What are her likes and dislikes?
What is she passionate about?
What is she interested in?
What does she enjoy doing in her spare time?
What would be a prized addition to her special collection?
Is there anything that she has always wanted to do?
Is there anywhere that she has always wanted to go?
Remember that your lady wants a gift that reveals how well you know her, so once you have a potential gift in mind, ask yourself the following questions:
Could I explain to her why I chose this gift and why I want her to have it?
Does it say what I want it to say?
Does it fit her?
Is it appropriate?
Will this gift make her feel like I know her?
Is it selfless?
Is it generous, yet affordable?
Will she feel unique, loved, cherished, and admired?
Will she be pleased?
If you can’t answer “yes” to all of these questions, then reconsider your choice.
What are the gift-giving no-no’s you should avoid?
Giving gifts based on what you think your lady can use rather than giving what she can really use. Remember that we are trying to show her how well we know her, so plan carefully.
Waiting for the last minute to shop. How can you give a thoughtful gift that shows your lady how well you know her and how much you appreciate her if you wait until the last minute to do your shopping. Plan early and shop early. Procrastination will show in your gift giving.
Spending too much or too little time, energy, creativity, or money. Find a happy balance. Don’t under do it and don’t overdo it. Remember it’s the thinking that counts, not the price. Increasing the price of your gift doesn’t necessarily increase the value.
Giving gifts that hint of self-improvement on the recipient’s part may not be well received. A gym membership for your lady who has put on a few extra pounds may not be a good idea, unless you know specifically that she has requested that and will appreciate it. Even then, I would be sure to include some smaller, more personal gifts, also.
Gift certificates are pretty uninspiring gifts, unless you give a gift certificate for something the recipient has always wanted to do. Gift certificates for store merchandise don’t require much thought or creativity and may not be as well received as something more personal that shows you took the time to get something that would show her how well you know her.
Buying gifts for yourself and not for her. Lingerie, for example, may fall into this category, depending on your lady. If you choose to buy lingerie, just make sure it’s something she will truly appreciate and not something that you are really just buying for yourself, so you can see her in it.
Household items and appliances may not be the best idea, unless your lady has specifically asked for them. If she has asked for such a gift, then be sure to give her some smaller, more personal gifts, also.
Constantly probing for hints and clues about gift ideas is probably not a great idea. Remember, we are trying to show her how well we know her. How well do you know her if you have to ask her for hints or clues?
Don’t buy your lady clothes. Ok, so you may know her size and her favorite color, but there are so many other aspects of shopping for ladies’ clothes that men can’t even begin to understand. The fit, the fabric, the cut, the color, fashion trends, the season, the statement that the clothes make, etc…
Presenting the gift poorly. Use nice wrapping paper with a bow and plenty of ribbon. Make it look nice.
Don’t spoil a great gift by wrapping it poorly in a paper bag from the grocery store.
Take a look at the following gifts, described by ladies as the worst gifts they’ve ever received. See if you can determine why the gifts were poor choices. How well did the gift givers really know the recipients?
“Dance lessons shortly after surgery to replace my hip, which was shattered in a car accident.”
“My husband saying, “I didn’t get a chance to get you anything, but we’ll go shopping later.””
“Gift-boxed meats and cheeses (I’m a vegetarian).”
“A box of chocolates-I’m allergic to chocolate.”
“Used ski boots. I live in the desert!”
“Jewelry from someone who knows I don’t wear jewelry.”
“A sewing machine-I had two at the time.”
You get the idea!
Conclusion: We have learned what makes a gift great. We have learned that all our ladies really want is to feel loved and appreciated. They want our gifts to reflect this and to reflect how well we know them. We have learned how to choose something she’ll really treasure, and we’ve learned about some gift-giving no-no’s that you should avoid. Choosing the perfect gift that says everything we want it to say isn’t easy, but just give it your best effort. It’s not really the gift that matters, but the thinking you put into it. Above all, don’t get too anxious or stressed out over finding the “perfect” gift, because this is not what the Holiday Season is all about, anyway. The real gift is the time you spend with your lady and those you love.