How To

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How to simplify gifting

Gift-giving takes place numerous times during the year. In addition to holidays and birthdays, there are plenty of smaller occasions when it's customary to give a present.

Gift-giving is not always easy. Some people already seem to have it all, while others might not be forthcoming with regard to their interests or needs. But there are a few strategies gift givers can employ to simplify the gifting process.

• Choose experiences as gifts. A new gadget might be nice, but it also may lose its luster after a few months. However, a unique experience can create memories that last a lifetime. Opt for experiences like trips, tickets to  shows or sporting events. Doing new things together can solidify relationships and keep them fresh.

•  Gift cards with a twist. Some people shy away from gift cards because they feel such cards are impersonal. However, there's no denying the convenience of gift cards, and you don't run the risk of getting the wrong item. To make gift cards more heartfelt, offer to go along on the shopping spree with the person after giving the card. This way you can share in the experience and know that the recipient got something he or she truly loves.

• Gift baskets are sure winners. Themed gift baskets can certainly make gift-giving easier. Once you choose a theme, it's just a matter of putting together several coordinating items. Foodies can fawn over cookware and recipe ingredients, while movie buffs may like a popcorn maker, candy and a streaming movie subscription.

• Emphasize enjoyment over price. Bigger isn't always better, and the more expensive item won't  necessarily be the favorite. Tap into what the gift recipient enjoys and cater to those interests. Also, don't feel compelled to make everything "even" in terms of gift value. If you received a gift from this person in the past, you don't have to meet or exceed that gift's value when reciprocating.

• Accept that there's no "perfect gift." Don't set expectations that cannot be reached. Those who continually seek out the ideal gift and then try to beat that gift the next time around can make the experience more stressful than it has to be.

A few simple strategies can make the process of shopping for gifts go as smoothly as possible.