Frustrated with your search for the perfect birthday present (birthday gift, if you’re across the pond) and just don’t know what to get your bestie, spouse, parent, child, or grandparent? Don’t worry, we’re not going to give you another boring list that you can probably find on hundreds of websites. Rather, let’s think about what makes a birthday present perfect. Is it the cost of the gift that makes it special? Is it the brand of whatever you’re buying? Or are there some features common to the best birthday presents YOUR money can possibly buy? What are these key attributes and how do you spot a gift that qualifies on these fronts?
True Value in a Birthday Present
Value is not the same as price but it’s surprising how we forget that in an instant when we look at a price tag – high or low; it works both ways. A small card scribbled with “I love you, Daddy” in the nearly illegible hand of a precocious three-year-old is priceless; at the same time, a $5000 gold watch is probably wasted on a teen who keeps losing stuff. True value is subjective, of course, so take the time to find out what the giftee or receiver actually cares about. Are they into collectibles? Do they love cooking? Have they been talking about getting a recliner for the longest time but haven’t been able to afford one yet? These are the clues you look for when you speak to them or enter their space.
Is there a way to find something of value to the recipient? Yes, there is. Emotion is a powerful value-addition to any gift.
The Emotional Quotient of your Birthday Gift
If your gift can connect with the receiver on an emotional level, it creates tremendous value. Remember that recliner your dad’s been eyeing surreptitiously every time you go to the store? You’re aware that he’s still paying off his second mortgage and can’t afford to buy it for himself and you have an extra bit of cash. A perfect match! The emotional quotient of that gift at that particular moment in time is almost incredible because its absence has created a deep-seated longing that goes beyond physical relaxation.
Speaking of time, that’s another important factor that distinguishes a great birthday present from one that’s a little more than ‘meh.’
Gifting and the Element of Time
Time is a funny thing. It seems to increase or decrease the value and emotional quotient of a birthday present almost at random. What was once seen as the perfect gift for a birthday is now drab and dull. We’ve all gotten those gifts that thrilled us to bits at the time but are now languishing in the darkest corners of our closets and attics. So, how do you get past this conundrum of time vs. value? The best way to get around this, obviously (or is it?), is to buy a present that is likely to retain its value over a long period of time. The utility of something is one factor that can make this happen; another is the frequency of use; yet another might be the amount by which it reduces stress or pain on a continuous basis. Let’s go back to that recliner example. Dad would love to ‘receive’ that as a birthday present, sure, but he’ll also enjoy ‘using’ it to wind down after a hard day, and most likely on a ‘daily’ basis. So that covers the immediate perceived value when the present is received, the utility aspect over the long run, and the frequency with which it alleviates a negative element like stress or fatigue. Ergo, a recliner would be a great birthday present for dad. When you finally get to see him like this, you’ll know that this method works like a charm!
Not all dads need recliners, though. The point is to think along these lines; eventually, you’ll find that it’s actually not that hard to find the perfect birthday gift for anyone, especially if you’ve known them for a long time. You’ll soon find yourself an ace at spotting the ideal gift for any occasion, including Father’s Day – hint, hint!
But what about acquaintances, colleagues, your boss, or someone you barely know outside a specific setting? That’s where you need to tread a little more carefully. Emotion might not serve you well, so value and time are your best bets. Try to find something that will offer practical value over a long period of time. In other words, the gift that keeps on giving. Something like a table organizer for peers at work or a ‘boss mug’ with a funny saying. However, you want your gift to stand out rather than blend in, so try personalizing it with their name – that’s the one word everyone loves! The more you know about that person, the easier it is to find the perfect birthday present. Besides, it’ll help you nurture more meaningful relationships in your life, even with mere acquaintances. And that’s our gift to you!