Cracking the Gift Code: Giving – and Getting – Great Gifts

by Gina Blitstein · 0 comments

Giving good gifts is part art and part science. Those who know the solution to the “gift-giving equation” appear to be natural-born gifters, coming up with the best, most appropriate and much-appreciated gifts for any recipient, for any occasion. Those who lack adequate gift-giving skills, however, just haven’t cracked the code; they give but often feel they’re grasping at straws when choosing gifts.

As a giver, not knowing what will make a great gift makes the giving a source of stress and uncertainty. And for those who’ve been the recipient of a “well-intentioned but somewhat lacking” gift, it’s equally frustrating. You want to avoid giving something that will ultimately be returned or, at the least, go unappreciated. To do so cheats the recipient of a gift he appreciates and is a waste of your money and effort. Rest assured; there are things you can do to become both a better gift giver and receiver.

Be a better gift giver

No guessing or assuming! Good gift givers do their homework. Rather than go with something generic (All teens like music, so an iTunes gift card it is…), find out about the recipient’s hobbies, interests and passions – then choose accordingly.

Ask her family and friends – Directly contact those who know the recipient best and find out about her: favorites, aspirations, decor, pastimes, preferences, needs… If there’s a gift registry involved with the occasion, be certain to consult it and either choose from it or let it inspire your gift.

Find him online – In our electronic age, there’s no shortage of means to find out what a recipient likes. The direct way is to visit sites like and see if your recipient has a wish list. Like a gift registry, it will give you a list of specific items he wants as well as an overview of the types of items for which he has an affinity.

Even if there’s no gift registry or wish list per se, you can find out a lot about a recipient’s preferences and taste from their Facebook profile, Pinterest pins, music library, even from their Twitter followers. You can get a real “feel” for someone via these sites because these are online destinations where people show and tell about things that are important to them.

Be a better gift receiver

There’s a lot you can do to make it easier for people to give you gifts that you really desire. Even if an occasion doesn’t warrant a gift registry, do keep a wish list on a site like and let it be known that it’s a current and realistic view of things you “wish” to have. (On a side note, did you know that you can now put a 2013 Dodge Dart on an online gift registry and have recipients offset the cost of your new car by “sponsoring” its components?) While expecting folks to buy you an engine or a rear bumper may be a bit unrealistic to many, maintaining a list of things that fit your style, tastes and interests can be tremendously helpful to gifters.

And rather than explicitly “dropping hints” about things you would like to receive, posting links and talking about them and your sense of style, interests and priorities on your social media outlets will put givers in a much stronger position to choose wisely on your behalf.

You can be a better gift giver and receiver. Great givers pick up clues and run with them. Great recipients leave a clearly marked trail to follow.

How do you make sure you give and get great gifts?

Bonus Tip:

Another way to save on your monthly Internet and TV costs is to find a current ATT U-Verse coupon code or at least a promotion to knock down your home service bill.

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