The Guide to Gift Giving


Creative Commons

A neatly wrapped gift sits below the traditional Christmas tree and waits to be opened on Christmas day!

Isabel Keefe, Richie Huppe, and Sierra Dinman

Creative When it comes to giving gifts during the holidays, many people stress about finding the perfect gift for their friends or loved ones. Some people don’t have the time or funds to buy the extravagant gifts that some of their recipients may like. Other people just don’t know where to start in the gift giving process at all. If you’re truly in a bind and running out of time, here is a gift giving guide to help you brainstorm.

How to choose a gift

When choosing gifts for people, start by thinking about what you know about the person and what you have done together. If you start to think about the general personality of the person, it becomes easier to understand what they’d like. Eliza Vertullo ‘19 said that she chooses gifts by, “When you know what they like or pick up on their interests and figure out their style, a gift idea will just come to you based on those things.” If you incorporate past memories, it makes for a more personal gift. If you have similar interests as the person you are shopping for, you could also always get them something you’d want for yourself.

How to know if a gift will be good for someone

You never know if a person will like your gifts, but it’s best to go with ideas that they’ve mentioned before or go along with their interests. Rachel Cerato ‘19 commented, “an out-of-the-box idea may end badly because sometimes, typical gifts can make someone happier.” We all know that awful feeling of giving an expensive or time consuming gift to someone and having them give you that awkward ‘Oh yeah I love it! … Kind of?’ look. Sometimes a gift that is super original may not be the best idea, depending on the person.

Good ‘go to’ gifts

If you’re completely clueless about someone, try to take typical gift ideas and add a bit of a personal touch. A former Hollis Brookline student, Michaela Dinman weighed in saying, “Gift cards are my go to; you can’t go wrong with them. If you go to a certain store or restaurant often together, just grab a gift card!” Another way to work in your history together could be buying a teammate a necklace with a quote about determination, teamwork or the sport. It’s the thought that counts, so “typical” gifts with good intentions usually do the trick!

How to decide between store bought or homemade

Homemade gifts tend to be better just because they show more effort and thought. If you’re trying to get someone something that they really want, a store bought item can show that you’ve listened to what they wished for and that you want to make them happy. It all depends on who you are buying for and what they’ll appreciate. A lot of homemade gifts are appreciated because they show how much effort was put into the thought process gift giving. It depends on your intention with the gift, how much you want to pay, and how much time you have.

Hopefully this year’s gift shopping won’t be too much of a hassle now that these tips are fresh in your mind. Bottom line: have fun with it. As long as you keep this process stress free, it will be a happy holiday season!