Buying gifts is an art, which some people become good at and while others end up buying most expensive and least appreciated items.
Giving gifts whether to business or personal friends is a social norm, which should be done with due consideration. Different cultures of the world have different traditions attached to it. In many cultures including that of Japan, the receiver is supposed to open the gift politely in presence of the giver and appreciate it. In many traditional societies, like India, you are not supposed to show your eagerness to know and see the contents of the gifts; you may thank the giver later.
Interestingly, many organized and successful people keep a track of the gifts, lest they repeat a gift or worse still give their business associates and friends back the very same item received from them as a gift!!
There are many considerations while buying gifts e.g. whether it is for your boss, colleague, neighbor, childhood friend, spouse, children or a recent acquaintance. Also the occasion counts to a great degree whether you are going to a house warming party, birthday party, wedding or a meeting a friend after long years.
A wedding gift is supposed to be more sumptuous than the one given on a casual get together. A special milestone birthday or a silver jubilee wedding celebration or a great boss and colleague going away call for a little more elaborate and thoughtful gift.
You have to have some budget in mind. That narrows down the million choices in the universe to a few automatically. While it is always true that it is love and care that goes into choosing a gift, there is practical aspect to it also. If, however, money is not a constraint, you still need to know as to what maximum you are willing to spend on it.
Then think from that person’s viewpoint for whom you are buying a gift . What he/she loves, e.g., sports, makeup, latest fashion accessories, books, cooking . Did they ever mention as to a particular item they wanted to buy, a concert they wanted to see or a destination they wanted to visit. If you had listened to them carefully, you can play the record in your mind slowly and that should give you an idea.
Always give what the other person will love, not what you would love him/her to wear, to read etc. In case of children, you may try giving something ( a book, a sports item), where you want to nudge them gently in that direction. But as my experience goes with my children, it has some success only till they are teens. A teenaged child has more fastidious choices than an adult!
It is more in fashion now to gift a holiday, tickets to a concert, spa package than the usual choice of gifts.
Last of all, most expensive gift is not necessarily the best gift. A gift chosen with love and care, packed aesthetically with personalized message, a gift which makes you feel good , whether it is a book by your favorite author or tickets to your dream destination or a clothing in your color and style, that is the best gift!
Buying clothing as a gift can be mind boggling. There are thousands of items and brands and variations of each of them to choose from. You should know the person’s exact size, style preference, color preference, then also there are chances that he/she may not like it.
Least risky amongst the clothing is buying cashmere scarves and shawls as gifts. They make a luxurious gift in all seasons for women/men of all sizes and ages. You should just know their color preference or gift a basic neutral color.
There are great online options for women’s scarves and shawls and stoles in pure cashmere. A beautiful Gift Packaging multiplies the joy of giving and receiving manifold!