Trying to find a gift for a spouse, or even a close family member, can be a pain. The stakes are high as their happiness is dear to you, but the choices are limited as they already have what they need. So you search for inspiration, and have stumbled here, well, search no longer. With these simple rules of thumb, and one suggested example, you will have the tools you need to pick the perfect gift for your loved one.
- Give a gift that endures.
While a box of chocolates, or a good book, might make for a strong gift choice for a colleague or friend, you want to show your loved one just how much you care for them with a perfect gift. Thus it should not be temporary, single-use, or ephemeral. Why do you think clothes are such popular gifts, or jewelry? The problem is you have already given both, probably more than once, which brings us to our second rule for finding the perfect gift.
- Give a gift that is new and different
You could always offer a tried and tested gift, like a necklace similar to the one she loved two years ago, or a watch like the one you got him on your fifth anniversary. These gifts should not be the only thing you have to offer, or your loved one may feel like you did not try and did not push yourself. The perfect gift needs to be a creative and unique offering. Leave the perfume or tie under the tree as a sign of what you have shared, but make sure there is also a promise of future sharing to accompany it.
- Give a gift which can be shared together
Love is to be shared. Whether it is your significant other or close family member, shared memories and experiences make up the backbone of our closeness. The perfect gift needs not only to recall those points, it also needs to help make more of them. A gift that is shared lives on in shared memories created in moments spent together because of the gift. This means that, in addition to proving your affection, the gift actually helps you build even stronger bonds.
Wait a moment. Surely these rules are impossible to follow at the same time?
By now, the skeptical or critical reader will be wondering how it is possible to follow all these rules at once. And while there might seem to be some initial contradictions, those can help us avoid the occasional faux pas.
1+2 Paradox: how can a gift be both enduring and new?
Hold on a second, you might be asking, how can I give a gift that lasts without it becoming quickly boring. It is certainly a fine line. Take a child with a new bicycle, soon enough it will become something ordinary, a means of transportation. When they ride it after a few months, they will not be thinking of you, it has become mundane, if still important.
Solution: avoid the mundane.
Gifts which will see use on a daily basis—a mug or a shirt, for example—or which have simple everyday utility, like an appliance or tool. These gifts will quickly lose any sparkle of novelty they had. This is not to say that they are not decent gifts, but they are not perfect.
1+3: Paradox – how can something you share together last?
The easiest things to share, are most often because they are consumed together. A box of chocolates can be shared, a fine wine, even a vacation if you are feeling extravagant; but when they are done or over, their enduring power is by definition used up! Food has been consumed, experiences come to an end, and while there may be joy in looking back, their gift giving potential has been used up.
Solution: avoid consumables.
Gifts that can be consumed, used up as we enjoy them, will be by definition temporary. They will not be remembered long beyond their use, and you will miss out on the chance to create a long-lasting present that shapes the future with the past. Why do you think families love board games so much? The best ones can be played again and again to make new memories, but board games are not everyone’s cup of tea, and are difficult to enjoy as a couple.
What perfect gift could possibly fit all five guidelines? How about a wine subscription!
Now we have five guidelines for the perfect gift: enduring, but not mundane, shareable but not consumable, and new. Good luck finding the perfect fit. It is not as hard as you think, but if you still need help, here is an example.
A blind wine tasting kit and subscriptionfrom the innovators at Palate Club. Why? Because it is:
- Enduring- you can have new wines delivered every 1, 2 or 3 months, a gentle reminder of the gift arriving regularly to rekindle that love or make them think of you!
- NOT mundane- wine is for special occasions, a fancy take-out date, a special homemade meal, a celebration or commiseration, each one special, will give the gift enduring meaning.
- Shareable- wine is perfect for sharing as a couple or with family, not perfect for kids of course (go for the board game). As a bonus, Palate Club’s particular wine subscription makes enjoying this perfect gift an experience in and of itself by having you taste and rate the wines together, compare results, and discuss your opinions.
- NOT consumable- while you might finish one bottle, the next batch will be on their way, for as long as you choose (and not a moment longer) even better, because they learn from your preferences, the wines sent will get better and better with time.
- New and different- with unique wines from around the world, a blind wine tasting experience, and an app that helps you discover your own palate and preferences, this wine club is unlike any other.
It is a perfect gift. But you can find others! Tell us in the comments below what makes your gift perfect and help inspire struggling shoppers everywhere!