Gift Giving: The Complete Guide to Meaningful Gifts

Recent research has shown that around 96% of people value the thought behind the gift, rather than the gift itself. So when it comes down to it, giving a thoughtful gift takes just that – thought! Spend time really thinking about what makes that special person in your life tick. Think about other aspects of the gift besides the gift itself, such as when you give it, where you give it, how you give it, and so on.

5 Ways to Make Gifts More Thoughtful

Below are some ideas to make your gifts as thoughtful as they can be for the special recipient they are for:

  • First, say things you never usually take the time to tell that special person in your life. You can address a letter to them, listing down the things that make them special in your eyes and pair it with a special custom-made friendship bracelet; a perfect gift to get your best friend.
  • Second, you can cook for them; who doesn’t like food? Food is everything, I am certain everyone would agree. It is even more adorable and unique when it’s homemade like handmade cookies in a cute jar or handmade comfort food your loved one likes. Gifting food is like simultaneously giving the other person a gift of time, energy as well as the gift of the food itself. It seems like the ideal gift to give your mother on Mother's day or her birthday. Imagine how proud they would be to be able to taste your cooking; easily a memorable gift to get your mom.
  • Another priceless but, also thoughtful gift to cheer someone up is giving them your time. You can always offer to ease the burden on someone's shoulders by taking time out of your day to help them by doing things like offering to look after the kids of a busy mother, walking the pets for someone and tending to a sick person, just to name a few.
  • Presentation matters a lot when giving thoughtful gifts. The countless number of videos and tutorials on YouTube to help with gift wrapping are proof of the statement above and warrant it. Making your gift beautiful lets the recipient know that you put a lot of effort into it.
  • Moreover, making a gift yourself, filled with memories you've shared with the person whom you're addressing it to is an even more thoughtful approach to make the gift-giving experience meaningful for both the sender and recipient. It would be the perfect custom gift for your boyfriend if you decide to give him a handmade leather couple’s bracelet.

Lessons on the Act of Thoughtful Gift Giving

Is Giving a Gift to Hosts Important?

Absolutely! Even if they insist that a gift isn't necessary, it is an unspoken etiquette of gift-giving to give the host who invites you over to their home. They may refuse at first but, your kind gesture will not be forgotten.

How to Tackle the Situation Where You Don't Have a Gift to Give Back in Return

If a situation arises where someone gives you a gift, but you do not have anything to give in return, the best thing to do at that moment is to not draw a lot of attention to the elephant in the room. One should instead focus on showing gratitude for getting a gift from the other person. However, the one getting the gift in this situation can, in the near future, send a gift to the other person if they feel the desire or need to do so.

Are You Supposed to Give Back Gifts that Cost as Much as the One You Received?

If you receive a lovely, but expensive gift, the thought of whether you have to give back an equally costly present does cross the mind. However, the crucial part in the act of gift-giving is, as we all know and have been told, the thought which goes behind it. Hence, it is in your best interest to give back a gift that stimulates a lot of positive thoughts and feelings for the recipient.

Are Thank You Notes Necessary?

These are, undoubtedly, a kind gesture which should be done.  The ideal time to send a thank-you note would have to be within a week of receiving the gift. If you haven't sent one at all and it's been more than a week, sending one late will also do; after all, better late than never.

If the dilemma of whether you should send a handwritten or emailed thank-you note arises, look back on the formality of the gift you were presented with. All that's left is to match it with the formality of the note you send. For example, a handwritten note would be appropriate if you received a custom gift from someone you are close with.

Giving Cash as a Gift

A lot of people resort to giving cash as a gift instead of going through the hassle of buying one and facing the fear of the recipient not liking what has been given to them. Instead, it is recommended that one gives a gift card and not cash if a monetary gift is being given. A handmade gift can also be given; it will be the most thoughtful approach that can be taken.


It can be done, however, there is always the risk of the person being re-gifted finding out about it and this can cause a lot of hurt sentiments which is why it is not encouraged. However, if you do decide to take the re-gifting route, be careful to keep the original packaging on the gift being given while making sure that it is not personalized in any prominent way.

The Bottom Line

In the end, there is absolutely no need to worry about giving gifts. Using your creativity and time to choose a gift will add to the whole gift-giving and receiving experience even more special. Which is why the saying “It's the thought that counts” renders true in this case.


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