How to choose the perfect gift for someone

Choosing a gift for someone can be a fairly daunting task. You don’t want to give them a boring, cliché gift like a picture frame. I think that picture frame-givers are entitled to a special spot in hell. Not that it’s criminal or even that bad as gift – I mean, if you like decorating your house with pictures, it’s a pretty useful gift. However, it’s the unwillingness to put effort, that bugs me. Picture frames, chocolates, flowers….they all belong to the same breed.

surprise gift

While choosing a gift, you need to keep the receiver’s interests, and your budget in mind. You want to gift them something which they will actually like, while also being mindful of how much it’s costing you.

Some people really do like picture frames, flowers and chocolates, but in this article, we will discuss the lot who don’t. And trust me, most people fall into this category. So, here are the things which you should keep in mind, when selecting a gift.

  1. What they like

Sounds fairly obvious, doesn’t it? If your friend is a voracious reader, find out their favourite writers or genres, and get a book accordingly. If they really, really love Coldplay, get an autographed poster by them (those are available online). If they like gardening, you could opt for something like Garden Time [hyperlink]. If they’re into cooking, get them some amazing, hard-to-find herbs or seasoning ingredients. Mmmm, the very thought is making me drool.

  1. Don’t give them something they already have

If they already have two autographed posters of Coldplay and a ton of herbs, then skip that idea. For this one, you’ll have to think out of the box. One good trick for deciding something is using the process of elimination. So, once you’ve come up with a list of things which they won’t like, simply head to a local gift store, or even online, and buy the first thing that makes sense. Except flowers. Do not buy flowers, dear reader.

  1. Try to prise it out of them

No, I don’t mean get a set of pliers and crowbar and pull out a tooth. What you’re prising out here is some simple information, not national secrets or teeth. Anyway, getting back to business – it’s the good old trick that’s tried in movies and shows, and which rarely ever works. But your life isn’t a movie. So, talk to them. Drop subtle hints, and see if they tell you anything which you can use. This is best done a long while before the occasion in question. Try broaching the subject of gifts in general, and complaining about generic gifts. Hopefully, they’ll tell you what would be a good gift idea!

  1. Make something with your own hands – be creative!

As they often say, it’s the gesture that counts, not the goods. So, put in some work, and make something with your own hands. If you’re into woodcraft, you could make a container or a customized show-piece. If you can paint, make a portrait of them (or just draw something funny, like the back side of a camel). However, if you’re not artistically inclined, don’t worry! There’s always something you can make – you only have to be creative. How about food coupons for McDonalds? Or work coupons, massages, a house-painting job, three free gourmet meals cooked by you…anything which they might like. It’ll be creative, and genuinely useful.

  1. Ask them (not recommended if you want to surprise them)

Last but not the least, if you can think of absolutely nothing, yet don’t want to disappoint them with something boring, you can always ask them what they want. Tell them your dilemma and your budget, and let them decide what they want. It’ll not be a surprise, but at least it won’t be a picture-frame. Oh lord, I hate picture-frames. To still have a slight element of surprise, you can ask them to provide 3 (or 5) options, from which you’ll choose any one item, to gift them.


We hope these ideas were helpful! Brainstorm a little, and you’re certain to find something that’s just right for that person. The key here is thinking out of the box. But not too out of the box, I guess. I mean, don’t gift a marine-life lover a dead jellyfish picked up from the beach. Live animals are a little conventional, but sometimes, conventional is good.


One Comment

  1. Denda

    what if they don’t like any of them ahah? I will never forget when my boyfriend gave me a set of rings for christmas and even if I didn’t say anything my face spoke for me :/

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