5 Thoughtful Secrets of the Best Gift-Givers

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Lyuba Alex)

Whether it’s a holiday gift or a way to say thanks, a good gift can leave a big—and lasting—impression on its recipient. That’s why knowing how to give a stellar gift is a skill that we can all stand to benefit from.

Thankfully, we have Myka Meier, the etiquette expert behind Beaumont Etiquette to call upon for advice. We asked Meier for a few strategies for giving better gifts and she had lots to share. Read on for five ways to up your gift-giving game this year.

1. It’s all about the presentation

“Even if you are bringing a bottle of champagne to a party, you can still dress it up to give it a wow factor,” Meier says. “Add a festive bow, put it in a special bag or wrapping paper, or tie a candy cane around the gift tag—you want the gift to feel special when you give it.”

2. Create an element of surprise

“If someone asks for socks and you give them socks, you may have ticked a box, but a gift that will elicit surprise tends to be more memorable.” Explains Meier: “I like to take notes in my phone throughout the year so when someone mentions something they like or wish they had, they are likely to forget about it when the holidays come around, but I know when they open it, they’ll be surprised and love it!”

3. Personalization makes a major difference

According to Meier, you can upgrade just about any gift by personalizing it for the recipient. Says Meier, “A scarf may just be a scarf, but a monogrammed scarf shows added thought, consideration, and that you chose it just for them.”

4. Evoke emotion

“A beautiful photo frame may be on grandma’s list, but adding a black and white photo she hasn’t seen in years of her holding your mother will turn that photo frame into a cherished memory.” Meier adds, “These kinds of sentimental gifts are bound to make your loved ones smile over and over again.”

5. Keepsakes matter

“Trendy gifts are fun for a few days,” says Meier, “but keepsakes are often the most memorable gifts. The more thoughtful the gift, the more value people tend to place on them. Some of the best gifts are even handmade and cost very little. Having your children make their holiday gifts for their grandparents—such as painting a happy picture and having it framed –may last a lifetime.”