How to Pick the Perfect Present This Holiday Season

It’s gift-giving season, the most joyous and wonderful time of the year. But, what do you do when you just can’t decide what to get for the people on your list? You ask what they want, but they won’t give you any ideas. You’re at a loss.

Luckily, there’s a formula to help you solve the serious problem of gift giving. This holiday season, pick out the perfect present for the people on your list by following these easy steps.

1. Make a list of things they enjoy.
First, start out by making a list of all the things you know the person enjoys. Are they a cat lover? Ricky Martin fan? Maybe they just have to have a cup of coffee every morning. Come up with 5-10 things you know your friend or family member enjoys.

Once the list is compiled, try linking each item with a potential gift idea. For the cat lover, maybe a new collar for their furry feline friend. How about a Ricky Martin biography book? Or maybe a gift card to their favorite coffee shop. Once you have a starting point, ideas are endless.

2. Consider experiences they like.
If you struggle to come with things your friend or family member likes, try thinking of experiences they enjoy. Maybe they’re an avid runner. Or potentially a cyber blogger. Maybe their favorite pastime is going to the movies every month. Think of experiences they focus their time on, then come up with gift ideas you can link to them.

For the runner, perhaps a pair of specially designed running earbuds? Maybe a new blogging software for the writer, or a DVD collection for the movie-lover.

3. Remember the past.
If you’ve known the receiver for a significant amount of time, try going old-school with a sentimental gift that reflects on the past you share together. For high school besties, go classic with an inside joke gag gift. For the college roomie, reminisce on old times together with college pride gear or a road trip for the two of you.

4. … But look to the future.
While remembering the past, don’t forget to look to the future. What are some of their upcoming goals and aspirations, and how can your gift play a role? If their dream job is to become an artist, maybe consider a sketchbook so they can use along the way and develop a portfolio. Think about the upcoming years for your friend or family member, and make a list of how you can help them achieve their goals.

5. Think about their needs.
Finally, when all else fails, focus less on the wants of the gift and more on the needs. Maybe your friend is struggling financially, and your gift could really help. Or perhaps they just really need a new button down shirt for their next job interview. Whatever the gift they need is, it can be even more fulfilling than the gift they want, because it truly fills a purpose.

This holiday season, give the perfect gifts to your friends and family by trying out these five essential steps to gift giving. Enjoy your holiday season with those closest to you by staying home by the fire, or by going out to your favorite local restaurant or cafe. Whatever gifts you give, the most important reason for the season is spending time together and making memories to last a lifetime.