How To Buy Gifts That Loved Ones Want

How much time do you dedicate to buying gifts for the special people in your life?

Do you spend hours poring over the internet in order to find the perfect gift for your wife or husband? Or are you the type of person who shops the day before your spouse’s birthday and sometimes you have to take the easy way out and buy them a gift card when you run out of ideas?

I don’t know about you but I consider it OK for my parents to give me gift cards instead of a gift as I don’t really expect them to be shopping around for me either at the mall or online. They haven’t really taken to the internet like most of us have.

That said, I would expect my husband and children to have spent a little more time and effort in buying a gift for me. I wouldn’t like THEM to give me a gift card.

After all, after 12 years of marriage and three children, I’d hope my family had a good idea of my likes and dislikes!

You might be wondering how much time and effort I spend on buying gifts for loved ones?

If you’d asked me a few years ago, I’d have told you that if I was buying a gift for my children’s friends, chances are they would be given a gift card from the Disney Store or from Amazon.

As for my husband, well, I’d often tell him to buy whatever he wanted or needed and I’d pay him the cash later.
Really, if I had had the time to sit and think about the sort of gifts my family would have wanted, I would have known that my husband would have wanted the Lego City Cafe Corner set to add to his Lego collection and my daughter would have really been surprised to receive the Monster High Dolls Draculaura. Our neighbors would have loved the
Dixit games of strategy
instead of a boring box of chocolates.

But, I was time poor and unorganized and as a result of this it must have seemed, to the recipients of my gifts, that I was not very thoughtful. In reality, I was a busy mom of three, trying to work from home and I was often fighting fires as and when they occurred.

Then I noticed that another friend of mine, also a mom of three, always seemed to have more time. She couldn’t have done because we all get 24 hours a day. Not more. Not less.

We all have the same hours. So how come this mom was so nonplussed and calm?

How come she managed to plan and prepare having 20 people over for Christmas lunch and manage to get and wrap all her gifts by the end of November?

Easy. She planned and got organized.

When you plan and get organized, amazing things happen. You actually free up more time for yourself.

5 Tips for Perfect Present Giving

1) Put all important events on your family calendar

2) One month before a birthday or event (anniversary, Christmas etc), make a note that you need to buy a gift for….

3) Spend a little time thinking about what type of gift you will want to get. You might need to ask other friends or family or you might know what to get. If you are planned in this way, you have given yourself the crucial “thinking time” necessary to buying a carefully thought through gift.

4) Buy it. You know what to get, you know when you need to get it for. All you need to do now is to buy your gift.
For me, nothing beats buying online.

5) Once delivered, wrap your gift and give it to your loved one. Note the look of surprise on their face when you give them a gift that is something that will be of use to them.

Just a little bit of foreward planning and making good use of the tools we all have at hand such as calendars and notebooks for making to-do lists, and you will see how much of a difference it makes, just to plan ahead a little.


Shelley Kim is the mother of three beautiful children and the founder of

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