Take the stress out of gift-giving

Some people are naturally great at giving gifts but not all of us are gifted at gifting. It is not something I was instinctively good at and have at times in my life made some gifting mistakes mainly due to the stress of finding the right gift and making rash decisions.

We give gifts because we want to show love and appreciation for someone, and it has beneficial psychological effects for both the giver and recipient (I won’t go into that now, but it’s a topic I will cover in a future blog post), but can also be hugely stressful especially if there are time and budget constraints.

I have learned a few things about gifting over the years and (apart from occasionally dropping the ball regarding timing) I think the gifts I give now are much better than in my younger years.

So what have I learned? Well, the following five tips have helped me make the task of gift-giving less stressful so I avoid making bad gift decisions.

5 tips for Becoming a Better Gift Giver

Planning is key

With so many different types of people to gift to in life, friends, family, colleagues, teachers, the kids’ friends, etc, and occasions during the year, it can help to plan ahead of time. Of course, there are the odd times when a gift is needed that hasn’t been planned for which can cause a panic, but if you follow the tips above, even a last-minute gift can be a great one.

Keep a store of everything you need

Organising your gifts, wrap, and cards in one easy-to-find location is also key to reducing stress, I know my husband appreciates knowing that he can find gift wrap, labels, tape, etc in the dedicated space in our office whenever he needs them, which makes his life so much easier when he’s trying to organise a gift and reduces his stress levels. I try to keep this topped up at all times so we don’t run out of essential gift-giving paraphernalia.


To help you find the perfect gift for your friends and family, I recommend making a mini gift profile for each person, listing their loves and hates. From here you then make a list of three gift ideas, where to buy it from, and the cost. This will help to ensure you pick something they love, know where to buy it, and be sure it comes within your budget.

I have created a Free Gift Buying Cheat Sheet to get you well on your way. You can download it here.


The main source of the stress around gifting is the shopping part, so if you have planned and researched ahead of time, then you can take your time shopping and ensure you choose exactly what you want for the gift and avoid the most common pitfalls when it comes to buying the perfect gift, being lack of time and feeling time pressured into buying something that doesn’t fit the bill. Don’t get distracted by offers or promotions unless it matches your wishlist. Stick to your list of ideas you created in the research stage.

Make your Gift Memorable

So with the planning and shopping done, you can now concentrate on writing the perfect message for that greeting card or wrapping the gift in the way you want to present it. If you are not panicked into searching for the right kind of box/wrap for an awkward-shaped gift or hunting down that roll of sticky tape you know is in the house somewhere, then you have the time to wrap the gift beautifully or write a truly meaningful message in that birthday card and feel satisfied that you have done justice to the gift and the recipient.

Make sure you keep a stock of wrapping paper, gift labels, tape, gift bags, and so on in the house, so you always have these handy.

You can also choose to embellish your gift with ribbons, bows, or sparkly accessories for example. These little touches add to the experience of the recipient, making your gift memorable for the right reasons.

More gifting tips and advice

If you would like more hints and tips you can also read my full guide to becoming a better gift giver in the guides section of the site alternatively, when it comes to the challenge of Christmas gifting there is also a special guide to getting Christmas all wrapped up too.

What do you think?

Have you made any blunders when giving a gift? Do you have any tips to pass on to others? Do you know someone bad at gift-giving?

I’m interested to know your experiences too, so join in the conversation in the comments below and if you need to drop a few subtle hints then please do share this post.

à bientôt